This is an album where I really love what I’m hearing, but I am 100% positive that most of you will really hate this album. This is some really polarizing, experimental, and weird music. Death Grips is an experimental hip-hop/rap trio from Sacramento, California. The group members are: Stefan Burnett (MC Ride), Andy Morin, and Zach Hill. Of these three members, the only notable one to have done any work prior to joining Death Grips was Zach Hill, who has done solo work for the band Hella. Without further ado, let’s get into the music.
Let’s start with the beats. Zach Hill’s performance is nothing short of incredibly sporadic and energetic. His high-tone electronics to back his drumming definitely keep the album intense – there’s never a dull or calm moment. Just when you think the music is going to settle down, it just hits you even heavier than before.
There are elements of some other genres, such as Noise and Punk. Some of the tracks, like Guillotine and Takyon to name a few, really keep you on edge the entire time with their heavy bass backing tracks and highly intense vocal delivery from MC Ride. On the other hand, most of the other tracks on this mixtape are very skippy and repetitive. Trust me, when I say this, MC Ride literally screams on this record. Like, actually screams at the top of his lungs on some of these tracks.
Overall, the production and the beats are nothing short of excellent. Everything about the production on this album feels intentional: the skippy beats, glitchy electronics, the intense drumming, et cetera. Nothing feels like it’s accidental or poorly pieced together. Musically speaking, the production paints a dark and ugly background, for an even darker and uglier character being portrayed by Stefan Burnett (MC Ride) in lyrics.
The first track on this album, Beware, starts off with an interview clip of Charles Manson with a guitar playing in the background. I feel that this song really gives you the first taste of this roller coaster of an album that you’re about to experience.
Many of the lyrics in this album can be described as angry, violent, and sort of the epitome of the most primal urges of mankind. The songs Spread Eagle Cross the Block and I Want It I Need It are lyrically about a man’s (MC Ride most likely) prowl for sex, drugs, and how these addictions can turn a person terrible and greedy. This album is intentionally violent, angry, and just all out ugly. Ugly isn’t supposed catchy or have a conventional structure.
Overall, I would rate this album a 9/10. I can’t say much more other than you really just have to listen to this album yourself to fully understand what I’m talking about.