Danger Mouse stayed away from hip-hop for a staggering 17 years. THE MOUSE AND THE MASK, the cooperation as DANGERDOOM together with MF DOOM, was his last album in this genre in 2005. After that, as a producer and songwriter, he invented his own indie and pop style that combined extraordinary beats with a very direct sound that allowed his partners like James Mercer of the Shins to develop pop from the parallel world. With all the love for it, his work for the Red Hot Chili Peppers or U2 was certainly well endowed, but also a bit flat – also in terms of production.
The fact that he is now returning from the roots to the hip-hop base with the great Black Thought is a happy coincidence: the rapper recently presented eloquent solo releases under the series name “Streams Of Thought”, with Danger Mouse he found a partner here who tailor a perfect sound for him. The tracks on CHEAT CODES breathe vintage soul and 70s soundtrack music, elegant and melodic, as if dressed in velvet.
Big 70s acts like the Dramatics or Delfonics shine through, the conscious lyrics of Black Thought protect against too much relaxation, support is provided by prominent guests, including A$AP Rocky, Run The Jewels, Michael Kiwanuka and Kid Sister, who together with Raekwon ensures that “The Darkest Part” is a highlight with its super chorus. Also worth mentioning: A last appearance of MF DOOM, who died in 2020, at the atmospheric “Belize”.
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