It’s simple to overlook simply how a lot weight the names Brian Burton and Tarik Trotter – higher generally known as Hazard Mouse and Black Thought – carry within the music business at the moment. Their names are by no means too far out of thoughts, however producer credit and discuss present duties can typically cloud the affect of their precise music. So, with the discharge of the wonderful Cheat Codes (out Friday, August twelfth) right here’s a fast reminder of simply how achieved these two gents are.
After gaining widespread consideration with the enduring Gray Album (a mashup of Jay-Z’s The Black Album and The Beatles’ “White Album”), Hazard Mouse rapidly established himself as a powerhouse, genre-less producer. He launched collaborative full-lengths with the likes of MF DOOM and Sparklehorse, acted as a band member for Gnarls Barkley and Damaged Bells, and helmed the boards for artists like Gorillaz, Beck, ASAP ROCKY, Adele, and Purple Scorching Chili Peppers. At this level, having a sticker in your venture that reads “produced by Hazard Mouse” is sort of as useful as having one which reads “Grammy-winning.” In truth, the 2 typically discover themselves positioned on the identical initiatives.
Black Thought, then again, has spent his profession within the highlight. Fronting the legendary, extremely influential hip-hop group The Roots, Black Thought has lastly begun to be acknowledged for what he’s — among the finest MCs of all time. Whether or not it’s sparked by the elevated visibility that comes from his tenure on The Tonight Present or his 2017 viral freestyle on Funk Flex, Black Thought topping increasingly “Greatest Rappers Ever” lists proves that there’s a minimum of some justice on this world.
Earlier than Black Thought teased Cheat Codes in 2020, although, few might have predicted the document’s arrival. Certain, the 2 had run in comparable circles for years, establishing a private relationship throughout that point, however every gave the impression to be set on their very own path. Black Thought was within the midst of his Streams of Thought sequence, was penning the music and performing within the Off-Broadway manufacturing Black No Extra, and, in fact, was persevering with to be among the finest components of The Tonight Present. =
Hazard Mouse, for his half, hadn’t dropped a full-length hip-hop venture since 2005’s Hazard Doom, as an alternative enjoying a bigger position within the different rock scene as a go-to producer for megastars (like U2) and indie favorites (like Parquet Courts) alike.