Just last month, producer Danger Mouse and The Roots leading man Black Thought announced that their long-awaited collaboration album Cheat Codes (formerly known as Dangerous Thoughts) will arrive on August 12. Now, the pair have delivered their second single “Because” — enlisting fellow emcees Joey Bada$$ and Russ to share the spotlight.
The new track features all three lyricists riding over a warm, crackling beat while Cartlidge’s soulful hook ties the whole piece together. As always, Black Thought delivers two excellent verses as Joey and Russ follow up with exceptional displays of lyrical prowess.
Joey sounds hungrier than ever here, talking about his upbringing and reminiscing on his past. If the bars on his upcoming album, 2000, are anything like this, it’ll be a fulfilling treat for lifelong fans. Russ wraps the track up referencing his family life and mental health before Cartlidge’s hook comes in one last time.
Similarly, Joey and Russ both gave Black Thought his flowers when speaking on the collaboration. They each labeled him as one of the greatest to ever touch a mic and Joey even recalled the time he saw The Roots record the music video for their classic song “You Got Me.”
“I’ve always been a big fan of Black Thought and Danger Mouse. I think Black Thought is one of the greatest rappers ever, so when they asked me to get on this record, it was a no-brainer, plus the record is fire! I still remember the first time I heard ‘You Got Me’ the video was shot on my great-grandmother’s block and I was actually there that day when I was a child. It changed the way I looked at music. I’m very honored to be a part of this track. We’re making history!”Joey Bada$$ on Black Thought and his legacy
“Being able to collaborate with one of the greatest lyricists of all time is an honor and to do it in unison with Danger Mouse is something I’m just really proud to be a part of.”Russ on working with Black Thought and Danger Mouse
Black Thought and Danger Mouse haven’t missed yet with these past two singles and it shows just easily Mouse’s production and Thought’s style blends in with the new school of lyrical hip-hop.
Although Cheat Codes is still two months away, it’s gearing up to be one of the most exciting releases of the year.
Listen to “Because” by Black Thought featuring Joey Bada$$, Russ, and Dylan Cartilage below!
Black Thought, Danger Mouse announce joint album ‘Cheat Codes,’ share lead single ‘No Gold Teeth’
Legendary Roots’ emcee Black Thought has officially announced his long-awaited joint album with producer Danger Mouse.
Originally, titled Dangerous Thoughts, Cheat Codes is set to drop on August 12 and will feature an extensive guest list, as the pair announced the project with its first single and video “No Gold Teeth” on May 11.
The new track sees Black Thought spit over Danger Mouse’s cleanly-produced sound — allowing Thought to breeze through and completely dominate the track. He raps about his legacy and how he remains a top-tier lyricist even this far into his career.
Throughout the visual, Black Thought’s face is completely covered behind continually changing images. The image changes from various animals and people as he barrels through his verses. It’s a simple display of Black Thought and Danger Mouse’s abilities, but above all, it shows just how well they play off each other.
Speaking to NME in 2020, Black Thought said that his upcoming record was for people who loved rap and grew up embedded in the genre with its many shifts in trends and sounds.
“It’s a feel-good record. It’s a record for people who got into hip-hop and sort of evolved at the same period of time that we did. We’re the elder statesmen at this point, so I feel like this record is reflective of that too.”Black Thought on ‘Cheat Codes’ (known at the time as ‘Dangerous Thoughts’)
Cheat Codes features a lineup of rap stars both old and new, including A$AP Rocky, Run the Jewels, Raekwon, Joey Bada$$ and more. Black Thought even has a posthumous feature from the masked villain himself in the late MF DOOM, giving fans one more potential verse from the artist.
The partnership will mark Danger Mouse’s first hip-hop collaboration since his work with MF DOOM on 2005’s The Mouse and the Mask. As for Black Thought, this will be his first album since 2020’s Streams of Thought Vol 3. With these two long-time craftsmen teaming up, it seems that they’re ready to give fans something truly special.
Check out ‘No Gold Teeth’ by Black Thought below!
Cheat Codes Tracklist
02 Cheat Codes
03 The Darkest Part [ft. Raekwon and Kid Sister]
04 No Gold Teeth
05 Because [ft. Joey Bada$$, Russ and Dylan Cartlidge]
06 Belize [ft. MF Doom]
07 Aquamarine [t. Michael Kiwanuka]
08 Identical Deaths
09 Strangers [ft. A$AP Rocky and Run the Jewels]
10 Close to Famous
11 Saltwater [ft. Conway the Machine]
12 Voilas & Lupitas