Black Thought and El Michels Affair Embrace the ‘Glorious Game’ on New Song

Music

Let the Game Begin

Track, featuring guest vocals from Kirby, will appear on the pair’s collaborative album of the same name

Black Thought and El Michels Affair have shared another new song, “Glorious Game,” featuring Kirby, the title track from their collaborative album, out April 14.

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 the Black Thought’s crystalline flow. “Glorious Game” is accompanied by an engrossing animated visual (helmed by Gugen Allan) that follows a panther as it roams through an otherworldly dreamscape. 

“Glorious Game” is the third song Black Thought and El Michels Affair have shared from their new album, following “Grateful” and “That Girl.” Along with Kirby, Glorious Game will feature appearances from Son Little and Brainstorm. 

Black Thought and El Michels Affair frontman Leon Michels first met in the early 2000s, performing together at a few benefits and occasionally collaborating in the studio. During the pandemic, Black Thought reached out to Michels for material, and the two struck up a correspondence that eventually led to the creation of Glorious Game as they sent tracks and raps back and forth. For his part, Michels leaned into hip-hop’s affinity for sampling, creating soul tracks from scratch, pulling samples from them, then chopping them into loops to create fresh instrumentals. 

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As for Black Thought, he previously explained his approach to the lyrics for this album in a statement, saying, “What I write about is determined by the equation of the producer’s energy and my energy, it’s about where we meet. To me, these songs are like scenes from a film that is my life. That’s the way it evolved.”

Michels added: “This is an effing rap record. He’s a storyteller; the point is to listen to the story. It’s not a verse-chorus, verse-chorus approach. Listen to what he has to say and the way he has to say it.”

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