[WARNING: There’s a picture of a cock on the album cover. Most likely, NSFW]
We love Death Grips. They’ve even indirectly fucked some shit up for me personally, and I still love them. Tonight they’ve given us yet another reason to get behind them even more–bypassing the label to make sure that their long awaited album isn’t awaited any longer.
Intrigued after coming across their video for “Guillotine (It Goes Yah)“ last year, I immediately downloaded the Ex-Military mixtape for free from their site, ThirdWorlds.net. I then listened to it religiously for the next week, before ever really discovering any substantial information about the group. While an aggressive, tattooed and bearded rapper by the name of MC Ride had become the face of the group, he showed no interest in being it’s voice outside of what he said on the tracks, rejecting nearly every opportunity to discuss the project through interviews. That task was taking on by former Hella member and Death Grips drummer/producer, Zach Hill, who explained their grimy approach and hyper focused intentions in detail, while stating that the group was not just another side project for him (he’s had quite a few simultaneous projects along the way: Marnie Stern, Boredoms, Wavves, etc.), it was the main project for him for now on; everything else would be indefinitely put on hold or ceased permanently. Along with a third member, a producer by the name of Flatlander, the Sacramento trio creates dark, gruff, dystopian music, incorporating audio clips that they self-record throughout their everyday lives, as well as youtube audio samples, and whatever else they have at their disposal or take for their disposal. The vocals are considered to be decidedly hip hop, but it’s fairly difficult to know how to categorize what they create overall. It’s fresh, but raw, primitive, yet futuristic, fractured, but pure focused energy. It moved me enough that I wrote that crazy huge fucking piece analyzing the whole goddam thing, nearly track by track, last year.
They did a handful of sweaty warehouse shows in places like New York and Oakland, eventually even taking the stage at Coachella, but they never seemed to be booking any shows up the West Coast so that I could see them. They’ve made it to Canada and Europe, but no Seattle dates. Then something crazy happened and the news came in that this underground trio of mainstream-poison actually landed a deal with Epic records. It was a confusing revelation, but apparently L.A. Reid took a shine to the post apocalyptic aggression of these boys and offered them a sweet deal. When asked about the idea to accept a deal locking them into a major label deal by the X-Factor TV show judge, Zach Hill spoke highly of Reid, explaining how they felt like he seemed to really understood their focus and how they would have artistic freedom to do whatever they wanted. There were also anecdotes about how Ride went Looney Tunes Tasmanian devil-style on the Sony bathroom, destroying and tagging the shit out of it, when they went to the meeting with the label, and one about how, when the printer wasn’t working, they went were forced to enter Reid co-star, Simon Cowell‘s office and have him print up the contracts for them. Along with the announcement of the signing, came the announcement that Death Grips would release 2 albums this year alone. Not long after that, news also came through that they would finally be announcing a full on US tour. Maybe this signing wouldn’t be that bad. Maybe a label that also promotes Avril Lavigne and The Fray would truly understand the voice of these future/primitive gutter rap mongrels from Sac Town. Maybe, but I was skeptical.
Back in May or so, I started contributing to an interview-centric print magazine. I pitched the idea of conducting one with Death Grips and they seemed pleased about the idea. From there I was sent their new Epic release, The Money Store and began listening to it for research. The cover had the decidedly non-corporate image of a scantily-clad woman with a leather-masked slave on a chain. The somewhat dumpy, stubbly female was smoking a spliff, or possibly just a cigarette, in a leather cap and loin cloth. The “victim” appeared to be a transsexual, with exposed augmented breasts and “Death Grips” carved into it’s torso. The album was really good and, while it was clearly pushing the group in some new directions, the sound was just more refined, but still contained the same essential vibe. It’s on that they were becoming less raw–the cover art sure as fuck wasn’t–it’s just that their vision seemed to be getting increasingly clearer. Inside the CD case was a loose sticker that read, “ ‘No Love’ Coming Fall 2012” on the backside of it.
According to interviews, they wanted each album to be different and they wanted to continue to release music as they created it, without delay. They didn’t want to release old material that had been sitting on a shelf for a minute waiting for a release date–they wanted it all fresh. This was something that they made incredibly clear and something that they felt the label could help facilitate, as they would have the luxury of focusing even more on just creating the music.
A tour was announced. My questions were compiled. I was ready to do this shit. Then, about week before the phone interview was supposed to take place–only a week or so after the tour was announced, with full dates which included one here is Seattle—Death Grips canceled their tour altogether, stating that they needed to go work on the follow up, “No Love” album. What the fuck? They don’t have it ready, but are announcing it? They didn’t see this coming before hand? Is the label pissed? Did they even agree to those tour dates? What the fuck was going on? Well, at least I’d have another question or two to throw into the mix. But when i contacted the publicist, it was clear that they weren’t having much luck locating the group or getting too much information for themselves. The interview opportunity just kind of disappeared. There were apologies and the absurd suggestion that I watch their twitter religiously for any updates (apparently that’s what they, as publicist, were being forced to do, as well). Fuck that, I was over it. I wasn’t gonna wait around playing myself. The dates were never rescheduled, but apparently Europe and Australia have some tours coming through, so good for you mates. I wasn’t sure if I was gonna stick by these fucks anymore after that, but the music is still really good and I can’t deny that the fact that they didn’t give a shit was a major part of their charm and something that I connected with in their music.
Earlier tonight I randomly decided to visit the Death Grips Facebook page to see what the status was with their album release and if any US tour dates had ever been rebooked. That’s when I saw this message:
From there it was collectively interpreted that the album, now titled “No Love Deep Web,” was finished and that, instead of fucking around and waiting on EPIC to put it out, the group was just going to leak this fucking thing themselves. It would be leaked at 12am on October first, as indicated by a couple of prior posts.
As the night progressed, more and more cryptic posts appeared.
Including one with this image:
Then came a full on track list:
The @DeathGripz twitter displayed a similar scene.
Ok… maybe they are still doing shit hardcore.
As of right now, there’s about 12 minutes until the album is supposed to drop. Nothing in this post has been edited yet and it’s being created on faith. The minute something happens, if it happens, you will see what that something is below…
HERE IT IS!