Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Albums of the Year # 5 Danger Mouse & Black Thought - Cheat Codes



This came out a few weeks back. An old skool collaboration in many respects. With the rapping rhythms and tone of early NAS and the vague gangster dread of those times but leavened by cool samples, melodic flourishes, tight beats and the constant ability to surprise. 

I don't really listen to much that might be labelled Hip Hop these days so am in no position to judge whether it's in rude health or not really.Very few records seem to appear that really grab my attention and make me think I must play, them but this one certainly did.

Producer Danger Mouse and rapper Black Thought are neither of them actually new kids on the block. Far from it.  Black Thought made his name as MC of The Roots who have been putting out records since the early Nineties, while Danger Mouse has been a producer of note for a broad range of artisits from Jay Z to Beck and Damon Albarn. No spring chickens then.

But on latest collaboration Cheat Codes they make Hip Hop's broad legacy work for them. This is something of an instant classic. Put it on and it will give you the instant shivers in the way that Illmatic, De La Soul is Dead or Liquid Swords might do.

One of the albums off the year then. One of the best records of this type I've heard for some time. A lyrical free wheeling treasure that improves on every listen.

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