The Roots rapper Black Thought told The Crate 808 Hip Hop Podcast that he’s making music with a new supergroup called Dopamine. The other members are new wave icon Elvis Costello, Gang Starr producer DJ Premier, country producer T-Bone Burnett, singer/songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff and jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson.
When asked about collaborations in the works, Black Thought mentioned that he and DJ Premier have also recorded some songs together for a new Streams of Thought series addition that’s in the works. He said he and Premier have a lot of stuff that they’ve been working on the past year or so.
Then he mentioned that he and Premier recording with the other supergroup members. He described them as “just a really unusual sort of motley crew” and added, “You know we’ve been recording this project that’s tentatively being called Dopamine. It’s helmed by T-Bone Burnett…We come up with some stuff that’s mostly live instrumentation and Premier is right there and he takes it and chops it up and we’ve been working in that capacity.”
Most recently, Black Thought released a song called “American Heartbreak” with R&B vocalist and HBO star Ledisi. Staying prolific as usual, Black Thought has also contributed a lot of guest features this year. He’s shown up on albums by Common, Public Enemy and Eminem.
Black Thought has also been putting out a series of releases he’s calling Streams of Thought. The first two EPs, Streams of Thought, Vol. 1 and Salaam Remi collaboration Streams of Thought, Vol. 2, came out in 2018. In October this year, he released the full length Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane and Abel.
The rapper has been working on his forthcoming collaboration with Danger Mouse as well. He said during the podcast interview that they had started 14 years ago. He added that they’d been working on it much more steadily for the past year or so and now have a full-on album called Dangerous Thoughts. Considering the time that has gone into it, Black Thought says it’s definitely not a Streams of Thought release.
Costello had previously collaborated with Black Thought when he made an album with The Roots in 2013 called Wise Up Ghost. He released an album this year called Hey Clockface and just got Iggy Pop to cover one of the songs, “No Flag,” in French last week.
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat