Black Thought and El Michels Affair Ready New Album 'Glorious Game'

Hear opening track "Grateful" from the Roots leader and soul

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Jan 11, 2023

Black Thought and El Michels Affair have joined forces for a new album. The Roots leader and the Leon Michels-led soul group will share Glorious Game on April 14 via Big Crown.

The minds behind Glorious Game have a rich history: after Black Thought and Michels met one another in the 2000s through the MC being a fan of the artist's Menahan Street Band, that group's Dave Guy (trumpet) and Ian Hendrickson-Smith (saxophone) are now with the Roots as full-time players.

"Before long, Black Thought was coming around the studio and would jam with us from time to time," Michels recalls in a statement. "Then, fast forward to 2020 and COVID lockdowns, he just hit me up out of the blue, wanting me to send him stuff to write to. We both were looking to stay busy."

Opener "Grateful" is the first song to arrive from the partnership, and you can hear it below. Glorious Game's 12 tracks see Michels both compose and record soul songs in his studio ahead of sampling himself, and take a more traditional approach to hip-hop production in sampling the music of others. "I'm a big fan of soul music," Michels explains. "And part of hip-hop's appeal to me has always been the sample-based production."

Glorious Game is now available for pre-order. Last year, Black Thought teamed with Danger Mouse for new album Cheat Codes.

Glorious Game

1. Grateful
2. Glorious Game
3. I'm Still Somehow
4. Hollow Way
5. Protocol
6. The Weather
7. That Girl
8. I Would Never
9. Miracle
10. Alone
11. Glorious Game (Reprise)
12. Alter Ego

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