Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ode to Death Grips

I was away on vacation when the news broke that Death Grips had broken up. While I am not terribly saddened nor surprised by this move, it has given me a reason to reflect on Death Grips' short history. Come along, won't you?

My first introduction to the band was through the following video:

My thoughts while viewing this video were, in order:

1) This is a joke.
2) Oh my god, someone provided this insane homeless man the means to make music, and this is the result.
3) The world is a scarier place than I thought.
4) What.

Afterward, I kept hearing hype for their forthcoming album, actually being released through a record label. I couldn't believe this band wasn't a joke, and checked out their promotional video for their lead single:

The song, while disarming, was catchy in a strange way. It still wasn't my bag... but I figured I'd check out the album anyways. A man screamed on top of mechanical noise for 40 minutes. I did not get it, but I was hypnotized. I couldn't stop listening. Over repeated listens, the noise revealed complex beats, interesting samples, and MC Ride's screams showed themselves to be the catchiest hooks I'd heard on an album in quite some time.

Since then, I was hopelessly hooked. The band has become more spectacle than band over their short history, but the quality of music was never forsaken. Somehow each album was completely different from the last, and yet distinctly Death Grips.

For a band who specialized in giving the middle finger to everyone and everything, including their fans, they still came off as strangely lovable. Here are some of my favorite moments:

Greatest countdown in music history: "Triple 6, five, forked tongue"

At 0:13 in this song, they sample Serena Williams' barbaric scream as she wails on a tennis ball:

"Bitch please, you must be smokin ROCKS"

While the cover for NO LOVE DEEP WEB was both awesome and uncomfortable, it provided an opportunity for me to replace it with this:

"I got the nasty in my taxi, you need a lift? You can sit between the backseat and my dick"

The video and song title for "you might think he loves you for your money but I know what he really loves you for it's your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat"

They released niggas on the moon out of nowhere, stating that Bjork was featured on each track. While they heavily sample Bjork's voice on this album, I would be surprised if she knew anything about it before release.

"Have a sad cum bb"

And last, but certainly not least, this picture:


Pre-blog, I was known to say that Flying Lotus' Cosmogramma was "the internet in music form". Having experienced the chaotic and brief run that was Death Grips, I can confidently say no band has ever encapsulated the internet more perfectly. They were a band that represented the times they were a part of more accurately than perhaps any other band before them. That may mean they sound incredibly dated in 10 years, but we can always hope that they will force themselves back into the world's consciousness with a free album released at midnight featuring nothing but zoo animals or some shit.

Stay noided.