Danger Mouse & Black Thought - Cheat Codes
Aug 13, 2022
After the great singles, I really didn’t have any doubts that this was going to be good. In some ways, it feels like a love letter to Hip-Hop Heads. Combining an incredible yet underrated producer with a respected rapper, that I think most would agree is one of the greatest to ever do it. But they don’t stop at that, they also got legends of the rap game. Run The Jewels, Raekwon, Conway and DOOM all come through with great bars, making this record all that much more noteworthy. Even the features I wasn’t excited for, fully deliver. Russ was surprisingly solid. The flow of this album is absolutely insane, it never slows down. Just keeps on hitting you with quality tracks. It also never falters, it’s a concise and consistent experience.

Both Tarik and Danger Mouse are operating at their A game. These are some of the best instrumentals I’ve heard in years. It’s sample-based and jazzy, but most importantly it gets my head bobbing. It’s the type of beats Black Thought was born to rap over. “Aquamarine” still remains one of my favourites. It sees Tarik at his lyrically strongest on the record. Just throwing out any historical reference he can think of in an urgent manner. The backing vocals and the instrumental make it that much better. Michael Kiwanuka’s feature was a perfect chance to catch your breath in between Thought’s verses. Just the other day, I was wishing for a strong posse cut. Well, “Strangers” is just that, EL-P and Killer Mike absolutely destroyed it. Rocky was slacking a bit, but it didn’t hamper my overall enjoyment of the song. By far my favorite track has to be “The Darkest Part”. Kid Sister’s chorus was catchy and soulful. Just a joy to listen to. It also has the best beat on the record, which Raekwon and Tarik took full advantage off. I don’t have anything else to say other than that it’s one of the best listens of the year. It genuinely reminds me why I got into rap in the first place.

Favourite Tracks: The Darkest Part, Belize, Aquamarine, Sometimes.

Strong Eight /8

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