Finally putting an end to years of swirling rumors and speculation, the collaboration (once misnomered as Dangerous Thoughts) is now officially announced: Danger Mouse & Black Thought will release their debut album Cheat Codes on August 12, 2022 via BMG.

The first single from Cheat Codes, “No Gold Teeth,” is available now.

Brian Burton (the artist known as Danger Mouse, AKA one half of Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells, and Karen O & Danger Mouse—and universally regarded as the most versatile producer in modern music) has found a formidable new partner in the incomparably prolific rapper Tariq Trotter (AKA Black Thought: rapper, MC & co-founder of The Roots, film and theater actor, producer, writer or, as Hypebeast sums up: "one of the best lyricists in hip-hop history." )

For Burton, Trotter was a dream collaborator. For Trotter, he thought the guy who made The Grey Album was pretty cool. The pair first met in 2005, worked on some songs, time went by, life happened—Danger Mouse produced critical and commercial smashes by Gorillaz, A$AP Rocky, Adele, Beck, Michael Kiwanuka, The Black Keys, U2, and more. The Roots became the house band for Late Night then The Tonight Show, while Tariq released his own critically acclaimed series of albums, Streams of Thought. He wrote, composed and starred in the critically acclaimed off-Broadway show, Black No More. He collaborated with Eminem, John Legend, Pusha T, Griselda (Westside Gun, Benny the Butcher), etc, and co-produced a television series with Questlove.

Each thought the other had moved on, but neither ever stopped wanting to work together. Then the world changed… Burton felt an instinctive pull to go back to his roots (no pun intended): to make another hip hop album, the genre that raised him — and he knew Tariq was the rapper whose lyrical prowess could adapt to the lush sounds, moods and textures he had in mind — the emotional spectrum of Brian’s musical landscapes had to be matched with a lyrical intensity that only Tariq could pull off.

Tariq needed a place where he could express himself musically outside the confines and structure of his own band. Brian was the first collaborator Tariq worked with that consciously avoided structure altogether: Tariq would hear Brian's music and the words would just flow. It was liberating.

The music the two would create was informed in large part by the combined benefits of age, wisdom… and isolation. Burton was a far more seasoned songwriter and producer than when they first met—years of accrued confidence taught him that less could be more. Tariq’s unparalleled skills — and the apparent ease with which they are employed over a vast array of sonic palettes — can only be attributed to his extensive experience in honing them. Paradoxically, in some respects, those closest to Tariq have remarked that his voice has never sounded younger. These years of personal and professional experience were only amplified by the increasingly isolated conditions in which Cheat Codes was recorded. This intimacy focused not only the artistic vision of the music, but enhanced and deepened the bonds of creativity and friendship between these two as they became one unique musical/lyrical force.

Cheat Codes is an album that — despite the brilliance and seeming complexity of its array of sounds, moods and top notch guest vocalists — is actually quite restrained. The natural chemistry between Brian and Tariq comes through in the ease with which the artist and listener move through this album. Moreover, it’s an album untethered to any genre, era or trend — uncategorizeable and timeless. It is the sound of the pair observing their own culture and asking questions they still may not have the answers to... but they undoubtedly have (dangerous) thoughts.

Cheat Codes features guests such as A$AP Rocky, Run The Jewels, Michael Kiwanuka, Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, Russ, Conway the Machine, the late MF DOOM, among others.

Along with the aforementioned first single, Danger Mouse & Black Thought have released the accompanying video for “No Gold Teeth.” Directed by UNCANNY (the UK-based creative duo of George Muncey and Elliot Elder), viewers are treated to a visually hypnotic collage of Machine Learning-driven images that seamlessly line up with the outline of Black Thought’s silhouette.

Watch the video HERE

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