Though Danger Mouse and Black Thought shared several a handful of stellar collaborations in anticipation of their new album, Cheat Codes, they held back a track with the late MF DOOM titled “Belize.” Now that the album is out in the wild, we can finally get ears on the reunion between the three artists.
Update — 10/18: Danger Mouse and Black Thought have now shared an official music video for “Belize.” The black and white visuals use movement of shadows — and absence of shadows — to honor their late collaborator MF DOOM. Check it out below.
Danger Mouse’s production on “Belize” is steeped in soul, with warm brass and a hypnotic bassline making way for each MC to spit a dizzying array of bars. Even without a chorus to bridge the gap, the track still transitions from Black Thought’s precise delivery to DOOM’s less structured flow with ease. When two of the greatest rappers of all time appear back to back, song structure is basically irrelevant.
“You checking the Top 2 of a thousand intelligent chaps,” Black Thought boasts. “With rap projects in housing developments.” Meanwhile, DOOM spits self-effacing lines like, “Fat rat, the mask made him batty as a Mad Hatter/ Known for his absurd word choices/ And will ignore you if you ask him if he heard voices.”
Black Thought last appeared on a track with Danger Mouse and DOOM in 2017, when he guested on “Mad Nice,” a bonus track from the re-release of the latter two artists’ 2005 DANGERDOOM album The Mouse and The Mask.
“We had done some stuff years after the DANGERDOOM album,” Danger Mouse explained in a recent interview with Consequence. “We had kept working and then there were a few songs where Tarik and DOOM were both on, songs that I was working on. I would give DOOM a track with Tarik on it and vice versa.”
Stream “Belize” below, along with the rest of Cheat Codes. The album also includes previously released singles like “No Gold Teeth,” the Michael Kiwanuka-assisted “Aquamarine,” “Strangers” featuring A$AP Rocky and Run the Jewels, and “Because” with Joey Bada$$, Russ, and Dylan Cartlidge.
Cheat Codes Artwork:
Cheat Codes Tracklist:
02. Cheat Codes
03. The Darkest Part (feat. Raekwon and Kid Sister)
04. No Gold Teeth
05. Because (feat. Joey Bada$$, Russ, and Dylan Cartlidge)
06. Belize (feat. MF DOOM)
07. Aquamarine (feat. Michael Kiwanuka)
08. Identical Deaths
09. Strangers (feat. A$AP Rocky and Run The Jewels)
10. Close to Famous
11. Saltwater (feat. Conway the Machine)
12. Voilas & Lupitas