Separately, both Danger Mouse and Black Thought have built up a reputation for forward-thinking innovation within the hip-hop sound. While Danger Mouse has become a renowned producer, transforming the sound of The Black Keys, Gorillaz, and Michael Kiwanuka with his adventurous flair, his heart remains focused on the vibrant beats and aesthetic of his mixtape work, while Black Thought remains the crucial voice behind The Roots to this day. And while this collaboration has been teased for the best part of a decade, 'Cheat Codes' is more of a love letter to both of their formative origins.
While each of them have this incredibly progressive guise to their material, 'Cheat Codes' is more about returning to the humble 90s New York vibe that both had a strong fondness for at the start of their respective careers. Rather than look to invent something new and experimental, there is a familiar groove running the length of this new collection that harks back to the simple majesty of their earliest beginnings. But despite exploring a tried-and-tested sound, they have still managed to find something interesting to explore within every track, resulting in a wonderfully bold and textured release.
There was never any doubt that these two coming together would produce solid gold, but Danger Mouse and Black Thought already feels like a pairing that have spent many years finding their flow. 'Cheat Codes' is a brilliantly fresh and flamboyant slice of hip-hop magic that very few could have pulled off.