The new song, which is fuzzy and bluesy, will be included on the album “Cheat Codes.”
Two of hip-most hop’s brilliant, long-serving, and underappreciated exponents are collaborating. Danger Mouse and Black Thought have recently released the track “Because” off their upcoming album Cheat Codes, which is set to be released in early August. The chorus has verses by Joey Bada$$ from New York, Russ from New Jersey, and English singer and rapper Dylan Cartlidge. A month ago, the pair released the tune “No Gold Teeth.”
Danger Mouse whips up some terrific boom-bap that’s also a touch trippy, with just enough vinyl static to match Black Thought’s typical East Coast flows and delivery. The tune sounds like it was taken from a ’90s mixtape and reworked with punchier rhythms to give it more movement. The guitars and high-pitched keys provide lushness to the music, making the beat hazy and dreamy while highlighting the soul elements.
The lyrics mirror the excitement of the chorus, which has a vintage feel to it. Black Thought delves into his perilous childhood in Philadelphia, as well as his inner struggle, to give a portrait of his existence. His lines are razor-sharp, vivid, and to-the-point, with particular highlights including “We stole shoestrings, lemon drops, and chips from the deli / Knocked ’em out the box with spinner tops and skelly / Mr. Woo Mac would urge me, “Do it, you’ll get to it,” / I was locked, my celly read nigga, no Makaveli.”
Joey Bada$$’s New York husk complements the retro sound nicely, and his delivery is reflective in tone as well. He tells a story on his prior experiences.
Lines such as “Havin’ memories, niggas gettin’ clapped at in front of the cleaners / On 34th street, it haunts me to this day” cut deep into the music. Russ’ verse closes off the track, and considering the disparity in tone between both musicians, it’s an unexpected placement on the track. He isn’t a slouch on the tune, though, delivering one of his most confident and seamless verses in a long time.
Fans are likely to be excited for more with this new tune, as Danger Mouse and Black Thought are two legends that will always have highly anticipated releases. Black Thought’s stint with The Roots and his streak of fantastic features and singles make for an amazing resume as one of hip-most hop’s accomplished and consistent lyricists.
On Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, he recently discussed his upcoming musical, Black No More. On the other side, Danger Mouse is known for his collaborations and team-ups. Aside from his work with Gorillaz and mixing together The Beatles instrumentals with Jay-Z lyrics, he’s previously collaborated with MF DOOM on their classic Danger Doom album and A$AP Rocky for his AT.LONG.LAST album. A$AP record.
You can listen to “Because” from Black Thought and Danger Mouse’s upcoming album Cheat Codes, which is set to be released in early August.