We are now five episodes into the second season of Atlanta, and it is apparent that we are witnessing some historically great TV. Last night’s episode, “Barbershop,” was an instant classic. It followed Paper Boi, the show’s rapper, as he attempted to get a haircut for a photo shoot. But his barber kept running out to do an increasingly absurd set of errands, dragging Paper Boi along with him. Whenever Paper Boi and the barber were out driving together, frantic and jazzy instrumentals would play, adding to the hectic feeling of the episode. Watching it last night, I remember thinking that it sounded like Thundercat. And it turns out that I was right; Thundercat and Flying Lotus composed an original score for the episode.
According to a press release, show creator Donald Glover, who directed last night’s episode, is a longtime friend of Thundercat, and he asked Thundercat for a score. Thundercat then turned to FlyLo, his friend and frequent collaborator, for help. Hopefully, they’ll eventually release the score, or at least post it on SoundCloud. But even if it just lives in the context of the episode, that score was a perfect accompaniment.
It’s worth noting here that Hiro Murai, who directs most of the episodes of Atlanta (though not last night’s one) is also the person who directed FlyLo’s astonishing video for his Kendrick Lamar collaboration “Never Catch Me.” All of these talented people should work together whenever possible.