Black Thought Raps With MF DOOM On An Instant Classic

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Today (August 12), Black Thought and Danger Mouse have partnered to release Cheat Codes. One of the finer releases of 2022 finds The Roots MC and the Gnarls Barkley producer joining forces for a musical party that involves Raekwon, Joey Bada$$, Run The Jewels, Conway The Machine, and more. It also features a posthumous verse from MF DOOM on “Belize,” marking the second officially-released union between the late Metal Face and Tariq Trotter. Both MCs made names for themselves in the 1990s—one with KMD and the other with The Roots crew. In April of 2017, Black Thought linked with DangerDOOM for “Mad Nice,” a release on Nature Sounds—where DOOM recorded and produced for years.

DOOM & Black Thought Have Released A Track Showcasing How Mad Nice They Are (Audio)

In a recent conversation with HipHopDX‘s Kyle Eustice, Danger Mouse detailed the origins of the DOOM verse. “The basics of it was after we did the DANGERDOOM [The Mouse & The Mask album], DOOM and I had done lot of sporadic songs here and there, a lot of things that wound up not being quite finished, and I got busier and busier,” he said. “But there were a few songs that we did where I had a verse from Tariq and then had DOOM do a verse, or had a verse from DOOM, then had Tariq do a verse and I was putting them together. I had planned to do the album with Tariq, and I thought, ‘Well, maybe we’ll use one here or there,’ but I wasn’t really sure. However, Danger Mouse calls “Belize” the cream of the crop. “The best verse was the first thing that he had done, and that’s now on ‘Belize.’ I had never finished it and gotten Tariq to do something with it. So I had it, and while we were doing the record, we finished it. I redid the music, and Tariq did his verse, and we finished it.”

Kicking off the song, Thought’s verse addresses his partner in rhyme. “Yo, I’m sick, no lymph nodes is swollen / They told me even when the records skip, keep it rolling / On his shoulder like a California highway patrolman / Launch codes was stolen and sold by Ed Snowden / I fled to Rome and told ’em address me as a Roman / I’m still in photos, posted with my own omen / A thumping kicker for me to slam like Hulk Hogan / It’s something like a plane bumper sticker, no slogan / This something for the shooters and back-and-forth commuters / Who never knew the difference in laws and jurisprudence / I feel as though it’s safe to assume that to the students / And I can prove it to the way me and DOOM do this / You checking the top-two of a thousand intelligent chaps / With rap projects in housing developments.” The South Philadelphia MC then adds, “Bring the Cambridge, the Websters, the Oxfords / The picture too long to watch, see the synopsis / Compensated for playing nice, it’s optics / Product of the Last Poets and the Watts Prophets /Ah, stop it, it’s beyond out-of-pocket Dunzo, I hit the gun show and got a rocket / Catastrophic, supreme microphonics / In Mexico, we the legendary dos cojones / Brothers both components of the close to coldest.

Atmosphere Has Released What May Be MF DOOM’s Final Verse

DOOM then follows. “DOOM get rude with the dude off chips / The mood switch, he chewed off strips of a Broodwich / Danger make him groove off a glitch / Made your boo booty twitch and the crew rich, b*tch / Always wanted to say that / Ever since the days in hallways tauntin’ a stray cat / The one he often frequently slapped around / All the while, waited then graduated, cap and gown / Hated the rap sound / Debated the crap until he felt he had it mapped out / Enough to have the game trapped and bound / Scratchin’ the crown with the names of lames who yapped the noun / Or verb, for that matter / Had no data for a herb who chat chatter / Oh, Erik Estrada / Fat rat, the mask made him batty as a mad-hatter,” raps the KMD MC/producer. Both MCs reference CHiPs in their own way. The artist calls back to aspects of his back catalog in the ensuing bars: “Known for his absurd word choices / And will ignore you if you ask him if he heard voices / Look, the energy is crazy / Far as he was concerned, the enemy was lazy / Hm-hm-hm, your attention please / Freeze, he came to seize the free cheese / Before he flees to Belize / In case you forgot to mention, squeeze these / Just keep it on a need-to-know basis / They knew he was a negro, so no need to show faces / Back in the days of no laces / On a slow pace, they used to say he might could go places / Meh, whatever the case is / The card he played was Ace of Spades but no races / A spastic, some call loony  When he spit a tomb sarcastic as Paul Mooney.” Notably, before his 2020 death, DOOM was able to flee the country and live in exotic places as his lyrics vowed.

In the DX conversation, the Providence, Rhode Island native did allude to more material in his vaults that has DOOM and Black Thought. “There’s a few things out there that have the two of them on there, but this is the only one that’s really all the way finished, and that’s the one we wanted to put on the album. I think it’s the best one we have.”

How MF DOOM Became Hip-Hop’s Biggest Hero

The AFH playlist features many other new and recent Black Thought & Danger Mouse songs, as well as other tracks by Royce 5’9″, Nas, Slick Rick, Elzhi Your Old Droog, and more.

#BonusBeat: The Ambrosia For HeadsWhat’s The Headline podcast episode dedicated to MF DOOM: