Hip-hop has traveled far from its core — in the distance, miles ahead of the thousands competing for second place, is Death Grips. Though 2022 still feels too soon for them, it's safe to say we're well past the irony of auditory violence. For those who do "get it," going back to regular music feels like quite a drag in that it makes the comfort of an established framework seem painfully dull; for those who don't, it can be quite traumatizing.
The trio from Sacramento has spent over a decade hacking away at every piece of equipment within their reach, enabling other creatives to unlock the audacity within that nudges them to keep crossing the line. Artists ranging from David Bowie to Tyler, the Creator have credited them for ushering in a new era of anti-music, so it would be unfair to dismiss them as noisy rubbish. Appreciation aside, most listeners do tend to agree that Death Grips is a full-blown riot. From sampling veteran serial killer Charles Manson on their debut mixtape to using the photograph of an erect penis as an album cover, their commitment to scandalizing the hip-hop community in the spirit of punk has made them the brand ambassadors of change in 21st-century bohemia.
The combined genius of vocalist MC Ride, drummer Zach Hill and producer Andy Morin is tough to put into words, especially when you place it beside their visual content. This has left fans struggling with the nearly impossible task of spreading the word. How exactly are you supposed to sell Death Grips to someone who's unfamiliar with their work? If you think you have it down with adjectives like "experimental" and "avant-garde," try again ... or you could just turn to the most selfless space of advanced creative writing on the internet: the YouTube comments section. Here are some of the most refined characterizations of the once-in-a-lifetime force that is Death Grips as posted on YouTube (some of these put music journalists to shame while others barely make any sense):
Butternoob2000 It’s like slam poetry but they slammed my face on the table
Brian Buckler The most punk rock band in 25 years and they're listed as "alternative hip hop"
Elijah Marche Finally some good Christian music
ZED Death Grips is the kind of thing that makes you want to stay up until your alarm goes off, and then go to sleep
Former CT Governor Dannel Malloy Not gonna lie with you guys, this song makes for a mad intense toilet scrubbing session
Sweetz angry man abuses his instruments while even angrier man abuses his microphone and voice
20Lush this is just about as close as we can get to the same catharsis tribal warriors felt when they heard the shamans and drummers laying out a beat while tripping on salvia before a battle
i\believe\in\angels The plan is: 1 - listen to death grips with headphones 2 - buy new ears 3 - listen to death grips with headphones
CarbonatedPeachMilk this song sounds like drinking cigarette water
j I showed this to my father when he said that art has bounds
phoenix carroll producer: okay we really need to stop destroying our shit, we're below the budget, we have no more equipment, 👏we👏need👏to👏stop👏destroying👏everything." MC: *handstand*
SmilinProphet fun fact: this video is actually completely unedited! the “glitchy visuals” were actually caused by MC Ride’s strong presence in the physical world
Albert Camus That seatbelt is the only thing keeping him in this dimension
humanspeltwrong death grips is like death grips if death grips was death grips
Romulus Draco death grips has been my favorite music collective for 3 years and I still cant tell if I like their music or not
Len Kagamine I have listened to this song every day for almost a month and I think I’m developing a brain tumor. Good song!
dash Typical rap video: - exotic cars - money - women Death grips video: - Honda Accord 2004 ✅ - seatbelt on ✅ - driving through a black hole ✅
Majano Lin Death grips in the studio be like “Yeah this shit sounds like a nuclear environment, Drop it”
shut up, travis Imagine stopping at a stoplight and seeing this
Eryk S. This man has so much potential energy, it's destabilizing the world around him
Austin if you play this song in two tabs at the same time without them being in sync, it would still sound like a death grips song
PlayGun Channel Hello, I'm from Thailand. Hackers have put this song on the website of the Constitutional Court of Thailand. for their unfair judgments on political demonstrators. which is a case related to the King's Institute (thanks hacker)
PanVids this is what it feels like when your hand falls asleep
Gustavo Figueroa MC Ride will never die. He actually uploaded himself to the internet last year. What you saw after that was.a well defined hologram. He is searching the worlds databases for the origin of rage and sense of freedom.
Marvin Staal i love it when a band can only be loved and worshipped or totally hated, and nothing inbetween.
David Miles Death Grips is tight cause every album they sell is hand sold by MC Ride and Zach. You have to meet them in a dark Sacramento alley at 2am and just pray that you get out of there alive, let alone with your new DG album.
Kkarbon’s Digital Basement MC Ride is one of the only artists i’d literally be scared to meet
Haribo Monkey death grips invented cursed images
Okonkwo The 12 Inch Wonder Shit I think I'm starting to like them..
Tundra Some I've listened to a lot of "angry music" but I never feel like Death Grips is angry at me. I feel like they're angry at almost the same things I'm angry at
Stefan Sommer This is the music my uncle puts on whenever he needs to heat his insulin in a spoon.
H1dden Industrial hip-hop beats to evade taxes/commit vehicular homicide to
Ground Control To Uncle Tom musically, this record was the equivalent to discovering an abandoned spaceship in a backyard to me
smflks this mixtape feels like skating with both legs broken
noxplum Deathgrips is like the ultimate mind-clearer.. its like it screams over any embarrassing mind-reel or pestering overthinking
blondedocean this album feels like taking lsd and realizing it was battery acid
Consural Homeless man yells at you rhythmically for 48 minutes straight while you're listening to some electronic music tracks.
Sakana Otoko It's MY schizophrenic episode and I choose the music
C0kk9ine This feels like it unlocks a memory from when I was a kid. Kinda sounds like those weird street market toys and the red and blue lights and the bad camera quality also play into this. Anyone know what I’m taking about?
Jared Trupp Music video looks like it’s from 2002. Song was released in 2012. Music sounds like it’s from 2022.
lymantria Death grips makes me feel like I'm in a scary laundry room
BlueSorcerer If 100 gecs is licking a battery, then Death Grips is eating the battery and swallowing it down with two cans of red bull with a little cocaine for good measure.
nail_ This is the type of music Hollywood thinks Hackers listen to
Ignatius_Fails Me: hits my elbow My entire nervous system:
Ernest Dabrowski My English bad but this song fucking!
Dardargo This is what happens when you try to drive out of a Death Grips concert early.
Alpha Lax The fact that there's a day/night cycle in this means they recorded Ride harassing a Toyota for an entire day
Jay Fisher I like Death Grips, because it makes me feel like I'm being assaulted.
Loren Law The "check surroundings for safety" caption should be on all Death Grips videos
Ben Haigh This is just a video of Fantano trying to park
ProsecutorGodot mc ride's physique is one of the most interesting things about this band, truth be told.
Cool Goon they had to cancel their nationwide tour because MC Ride wouldn't let them back out of their parking space
Hyper.Bomb This is what aggression, loneliness, depravity and aimlessness would sound like if they got into a knife fight. Death Grips at their absolute finest (in my opinion).
Aleph One I swear Death Grips cures my depression everytime by turning it into anger
Gene McBeats It sounds like a bunch of desks and chairs getting thrown around a cafeteria. I fucking love it
Luke McEwan It's like listening to a meditation tape while your dad yells at you
Squim I use that “GET UP GET UP GET UP” sound clip as an alarm clock when I’m good and truly exhausted and at high risk of sleeping through something, and swear to god, that sound can kill a weak heart, jolts you right out of bed
kool boi Showed this to my brother with epilepsy he's fuckn vibeing rn
Jonsa008 This song sounds like how it feels to rest your head on the bus window
rezony33 All i know is that these songs did some kind of damage to my already damaged brain. I've been waking up the whole night imagining own melodies and own 3d animations
Samm Shoyu This sounds like getting robbed while having a seizure and tripping on acid, but the robber is really drunk and is kicking you in the head while screaming.
JL Reminds me of nightmares where I could never punch the thing chasing me
Drew's Brew Crew This is some fucking David Lynch Inland Empire shit.
maya_void why deathgrips is most punk band I've ever seen without even being punk genre.
EliasMsv This album has aged like fine wine that was amazing wine to begin with
Slyde as someone who had the fever, i can confirm that this is an accurate representation of your mental state during it
Giggledoodle doodle deathgrips is that feeling you get in your arm after you got hit or something and you're just chilling after and the pain is still there
Morii when i first heard death grips i felt like i was having a stroke and thought nobody could ever be calm and listen to this. now i just sit here sipping tea w my feet up getting ready to go to bed.
Òscar Rocabert Enjoyed this song while working as a teacher in a catholic school. Death Grips got me through those years.
Robert Aiello MC ride looks like he could strap 65 pounds of C4 to himself and detonate it and walk out unscathed
CRA_55 Only Death Grips can put me in a washing machine and make me feel dirty
The15231 who the hell puts their broccoli in the washer?
Paul Smith knowing death grips, they probably did this at a public laundromat