After years of speculation and anticipation, Black Thought and Danger Mouse have officially announced their joint album. Titled Cheat Codes, the long-awaited collaborative project between the legendary Roots MC and enigmatic producer is scheduled to arrive on August 12.
As if the combination of Black Thought’s potent bars and Danger Mouse’s eclectic beats isn’t exciting enough, the 12-song album boast an all-star supporting cast that includes the late MF DOOM, A$AP Rocky, Run The Jewels, Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, Conway The Machine and Russ, as well as Michael Kiwanuka, Kid Sister and Dylan Cartlidge.
According to a press release, Cheat Codes is “an album untethered to any genre, era or trend — uncategorizeable and timeless. It is the sound of the pair observing their own culture and asking questions they still may not have the answers to.”
The album is currently available to pre-order on vinyl, CD and cassette via Black Thought and Danger Mouse’s official website. Fans can also get their hands on an exclusive signed and numbered vinyl test pressing featuring a limited edition slipmat.
The first single, “No Gold Teeth,” dropped on Wednesday (May 11) accompanied by a shape-shifting video directed by UNCANNY, the UK-based duo of George Muncey and Elliot Elder.
Black Thought and Danger Mouse first revealed plans to work together over a decade ago, although it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that the project (which was previously titled Dangerous Thoughts) began to take shape.
“This Dangerous Thoughts album, that’s probably the next move I’m gonna make,” Thought told Hot 97 in October 2020. “That’s the long-awaited joint collaborative effort between me and Danger Mouse. And though it’s something that’s probably gonna drop in the middle of all these Streams of Thought volumes, since it’s something that we began the initial idea maybe 13 or 14 years ago, I don’t consider it to be part of that same series.”
He added, “It’s a return for [Danger Mouse] to Hip Hop and to sampling in this way. 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 and Danger Mouse recently kickstarted the rollout for Cheat Codes by launching the Instagram page @dangermouseblackthought, through which they’ve posted three visual teasers in the last week.
Cheat Codes will serve as Black Thought’s fourth non-Roots release following his aforementioned Streams of Thought series, which saw him team up with veteran producers 9th Wonder, Salaam Remi and Sean C across three well-received volumes between 2018 and 2020.
The Philadelphia-bred lyricist recently delivered guest verses on Saba’s Few Good Things and Black Star’s own long-awaited No Fear of Time LP, while continuing to branch out beyond the booth. In February, Thought starred in and wrote the music for his first off-Broadway play Black No More.
Danger Mouse, meanwhile, is coming off a relative quiet spell in his prolific, genre-spanning career. In 2019, the White Plains, New York native released Lux Prima with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs lead singer Karen O, in addition to producing Michael Kiwanuka’s Kiwanuka and Sam Cohen’s The Future’s Still Ringing In My Ears.
He’s also kept his Hip Hop chops sharp thanks to his Grammy-nominated “Chase Me” collaboration with Run The Jewels and Outkast’s Big Boi — taken from the Baby Driver soundtrack — and A$AP Rocky’s “Sundress.” However, his output has scaled back since then.
Fans will no doubt be looking forward to hearing Danger Mouse reunite with the late MF DOOM on Cheat Codes following the pair’s fan-favorite 2005 album The Mouse & The Mask. Black Thought appeared on the previously-unreleased DANGERDOOM song, “Mad Nice,” in 2017.
Of course, Danger Mouse is also revered for his work with CeeLo Green as one-half of Gnarls Barkley and his JAY-Z-meets-The Beatles mashup The Grey Album, which elevated his career back in 2004.