GRAMMY® Award-winning legendary MC and The Roots Co-Founder Black Thought teams up with acclaimed cinematic soul luminary El Michels Affair on a new epic collaboration album ‘Glorious Game’ via Big Crown Records
Whether it be Black Thought’s nostalgic bars hovering above a soulful soundscape on “The Weather” or dreamy horns and delicate guitar bolstering his lyrical brilliance on the pensive “Alter Ego,” this body of work pools their individual strengths into one arrestingly fascinating force.
Last month, they shared “I’m Still Somehow” in advance of Glorious Game. Earning critical acclaim, Stereogum hailed it as “smooth and heady,” and Brooklyn Vegan declared, “Black Thought’s timeless rhyming style and El Michels Affair’s vintage soul is a great match, as evidenced once again by “I’m Still Somehow.” OKAYPLAYER noted, “Black Thought & El Michels Affair continue to prove the potency of their collaborative chemistry with a smoky and swaying spell.”
To celebrate the arrival of the album, El Michels Affair and Black Thought will host a Glorious Game release party on May 18 at Brooklyn Made in Brooklyn, NY.
They revealed the title track “Glorious Game” [feat. KIRBY] last month. Instantly, Rolling Stone proclaimed, “The track is anchored by stuttering drums and a bulbous bass line, with KIRBY’s from-the-heavens falsetto on the psych soul chorus providing the perfect counterbalance to Black Thought’s crystalline flow.” Stereogum assured, “There’s probably nobody on the planet who’s more experienced than Black Thought at rapping along live instrumentation, and he sounds fully relaxed and in-control here.”
The duo initially paved the way for Glorious Game with “Grateful.” Beyond tallying half a million streams and counting, it received widespread critical praise with support from Pitchfork, HYPEBEAST, Rolling Stone, and The FADER described Black Thought as “clearly keen to continue this run of excellence.”
As the story goes, Black Thought and El Michels Affair founder Leon Michels initially crossed paths in the early 2000s, exhibiting mutual admiration for one another’s craft. This respect manifested on stage as they performed together at a handful of charity concerts in New York and Philadelphia. Black Thought began to occasionally pull up to the group’s studio to collaborate. During the global pandemic, he reached out to Michels for material, building the foundation for Glorious Game. Now, this 12-track hip-hop soul opus layers the rapper’s elite rhyme-play and intense storytelling above cinematic soundscapes brought to life by the band.
In 2022 Black Thought linked up with Danger Mouse for the unanimously acclaimed, Cheat Codes. Beyond tallying tens of millions of streams, it incited the applause of Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Clash, NME, and Pitchfork who professed, “the album feels both modern and vintage—a swirl of distant touchstones happening all at once.” Meanwhile, President Barack Obama touted “Belize” [feat. MF Doom] among his favorite songs of the year. Simultaneously, El Michels Affair has consistently captivated audiences and inspired tastemaker applause, serving up Yeti Season (Deluxe) in 2022 and producing for others at a prolific pace including Lady Wray’s Piece Of Me album and tracks for Mary J Blige and Norah Jones.
Black Thought and El Michels Affair now give you Glorious Game.
- Glorious Game feat. KIRBY
- I’m Still Somehow
- Hollow Way
- Protocol feat. Son Little
- The Weather
- That Girl
- I Would Never
- Glorious Game (Reprise)
- Alter Ego feat. Brainstory