El Michels Affair & Black Thought “Glorious Game” Album Review

Glorious Game

El Michels Affair & Black Thought

  • Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
  • Date: 14 Apr, 2023
  • Content: explicit
  • Track(s): 12
  • ℗ 2023 Big Crown Records

Black Thought has made a comeback with another collaborative album, this time on Glorious Game with the funk and soul trio El Michels Affair. Since Leon Michels, the creator of El Michels Affair, first met the rapper over two decades ago, this record has been a long time coming. The record maintains the tempo from the first note to the last with thrilling consistency. Overall, the aptly named ‘Glorious Game’ is a punchy LP with great replay value.

Album Cover Art

El Michels Affair &Amp; Black Thought &Quot;Glorious Game&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, June 17, 2024

Ice is used to sculpt the head of a leopard, one of the feared and fiercest carnivores in the jungle. This could also be a representation of how the artists fancy themselves in the glorious game that is rap.

Tracks and Features

“Grateful,” the album’s opening track, features a pleasant flute melody, energetic tempo, and supporting synthesizer tones. Black Thought raps about the blood that has been shed in the name of wealth and power. By associating fruitless struggles for power with the American Dream, he attacks the rat race of American capitalism thought.

Kirby is featured on the title track, which has a funky bass-driven melody and subtle metallic pinging in the background. Black Thought considers his influence as one of hip-hop’s most admired lyricists and how he has grown to be unreplaceable. The tempo of “I’m Still Somehow” is slower, with gentle electric guitar strumming and tremolo background voices.

Next, we get to “Hollow Way,” which contains the album’s most intriguing production. After a gritty and staticky sample, the song immediately switches to a much gentler and ambient instrumental. Black Thought speaks candidly on the psychological scars that living in the streets has left on those who have survived. A significantly softer tone is used in Son Little’s song “Protocol,” which features a guitar and piano duo that floats above the steady snare pace. Thought explores his passion for writing and how it instills in him a potent sense of enlightenment.

In the song “The Weather,” Black Thought looks back on his youth as a mix of “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” Over a constantly shifting beat, he raps. It’s amazing how effortlessly he can switch between the quicker and slower sections of the song. Thought gives us two love songs, “That Girl” and “Miracle,” in which he declares his passion to his wife of 30 years. In “I Would Never,” he offers some sound advice by considering how important it is for individuals to adjust to their circumstances for their own gain. He takes the time to remind the listeners to always remember who they are and to be whoever they need to be.

“Alone,” where Thought talks about how even during our most painful afflictions, we’re never truly alone in any hardship we go through, is filled with grooving snare with soft, scaling bass and grand piano key strikes. “Alter Ego,” a collaboration with Brainstory and the album’s final track, is anchored by a bass line and gentle electric guitar strumming.

Black Thought explores how he overcame a period of stagnation and sadness brought on by the belief that he had no more goals to strive towards. The album’s inspirational conclusion serves as a reminder that we are the only ones in control of our own futures. Since the kind of people we are and will become are entirely up to us, the tune nudges us to be thankful for the time we have to grow into the best versions of ourselves.


1 Grateful 2:51
2 Glorious Game (feat. KIRBY) 3:53
3 I’m Still Somehow 2:04
4 Hollow Way 2:24
5 Protocol (feat. Son Little) 2:56
6 The Weather 2:59
7 That Girl 2:10
8 I Would Never 2:43
9 Alone 2:06
10 Miracle 2:32
11 Glorious Game (Reprise) 1:23
12 Alter Ego (feat. Brainstory) 3:10

Album Theme

The pair creates a passionate and intense album that examines identity, love, and self-worth.

Production Credits

El Michels Affair & Leon Michels produced the album.


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