Back in 1981 Nintendo had another gorilla-centric arcade game called Sky Skipper, which never left Japan as far as I can ascertain. The point of interest here is the music -- one of the level clear jingles, which (heard hear at the 2:48 mark
) sounds very DKC-ish, very Bonus Room Blitz
-esque to me (the first few notes at least).
Now there was very little to the DK franchise at the point. Could Nintendo have shown the very DK-like Sky Skipper to help Rare get a better feel of what, at the time, was the DK "feel"? Could those choice notes been Davis Wise's inspiration for BRB, at least subconsciously? I say maybe! Perhaps the uninspiredly named "Gorilla" was the template for Funky! Who knows!
If I'm off the mark, you've at least learned about a new game. Maybe! I don't know!