Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
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  1. Aug 15, 2022
    100
    You could dismiss Cheat Codes as dad rap, but this record is absolute joy from end to end.
  2. Aug 12, 2022
    92
    While Cheat Codes sometimes walks the tight-rope of being another installment in the Streams of Thought series, it’s still a lesson in supreme lyricism and pristine production that should have any aspiring MC/producer combo aspiring to get on their level.
  3. Aug 23, 2022
    90
    There are those who employ cheat codes just for the hell of it. Lyrically and musically, Black Thought and Danger Mouse used theirs here to get one up on their peers in their respective mediums.
  4. Aug 19, 2022
    90
    Some stellar outside contributions notwithstanding, Cheat Codes stimulates most when Mouse and Thought are sequestered, allowing the latter to leave space only for the occasional instrumental break or rare prominent sampled vocal.
  5. Aug 11, 2022
    90
    The chemistry shared between The Roots vocalist and Danger Mouse on Cheat Codes is so high caliber that it’s almost impossible to believe the two artists walk amongst the common man. The term “God Level” is thrown around a bit within the hip-hop community, and once people hear Cheat Codes, that saying is going to have a new definition.
  6. Aug 12, 2022
    80
    ‘Cheat Codes’ is Black Thought’s most complete project to date.
  7. Aug 12, 2022
    80
    An ebullient record brimming with sheer love of the craft.
  8. Mojo
    Aug 10, 2022
    80
    Danger Mouse's illustrious production CV is a big draw but it's his classy discretion in play here, giving plenty of space for Black Thought. [Sep 2022, p.86]
  9. Aug 10, 2022
    80
    Cheat Codes finds Danger Mouse rolling with a new lyrical foil and this one feels like it could run and run. [Sep 2022, p.22]
  10. Aug 10, 2022
    80
    Danger Mouse and Black Thought’s long-awaited album arrives as a tribute to a whole scene rather than just two artists.
  11. Aug 10, 2022
    80
    Cheat Codes stands as Black Thought's most fully fleshed-out and accessible non-Roots project to date. Despite not veering too far outside his comfort zone or breaking any new ground, it holds the perfect blend of accessibility and complexity, supported by an energetic cast of guests.
  12. 80
    Danger Mouse and Black Thought remain firmly in their comfort zones, and though the record constantly delights, it rarely surprises. It seems a little churlish, however, to criticise two greats for simply living up to their own high standards. ‘Cheat Codes’ is brilliant.
  13. Aug 12, 2022
    78
    Cheat Codes captures the glory of rap’s classic era and brings it to the present through thick mesmerizing samples and the rapper’s incredible vernacular.
  14. Aug 10, 2022
    75
    It’s evident that the producer-rapper duo complement each other’s work and by featuring other artists, elevate the rappers around them. Because of this, Cheat Codes isn’t just an album for old hip-hop heads – it’s a timeless record that celebrates all artists.
  15. Aug 11, 2022
    72
    The album is so structurally and thematically similar to that series [Streams of Thought], it often becomes difficult to see the difference. ... But regardless of its scope, Danger Mouse and Black Thought bring good things out of each other. At Cheat Codes’ best, it’s electrifying to see the ways their respective obsessions with history and time inform the whole.
  16. Aug 12, 2022
    70
    Cheat Codes is a balm to Gen X hip-hop fans who feel out of step with trap’s spare beats and mumble rap’s hazy flow, proof positive that hip-hop requires a senior circuit.
  17. The Wire
    Aug 17, 2022
    60
    Danger Mouse constructs decorative, melodic beats that don’t really bang, resulting in a hazy, slightly funky and psychedelic quality reminiscent of late 1960s pop. ... It’s frustrating to see him [Black Thought] shut off that aspect of his creativity in favour of “bars as hard as Angola’s”. ... Cheat Codes is compelling enough, but one wonders where it’s all going. [Sep 2022, p.42]
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 30
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 30
  3. Negative: 2 out of 30
  1. Aug 12, 2022
    9
    Possibly one of the greatest Hip-Hop Album I've ever heard. The production is obviously incredible and Black Thought's pen game is pretty wild.
  2. Aug 13, 2022
    9
    Black thought and danger mouse finally release this album. It was worth the wait!
  3. Aug 16, 2022
    10
    This album is a breath of fresh air in the hip-hop genre right now. Danger Mouse's funky beats mix perfectly with Black Thought's flow. I alsoThis album is a breath of fresh air in the hip-hop genre right now. Danger Mouse's funky beats mix perfectly with Black Thought's flow. I also really enjoyed the guest appearances.
    Bottom line is this: if you're tired of the same auto-tuned mumble rap stuff that is out there, and want to hear some REAL hip-hop, then this album will deliver ten times over.
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