Stereogum have published a very persuasive theory about Death Grips and the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the release of their new album. To be honest, it had crossed my mind that it was either a publicity stunt or was being spun into one, since the website – complete with download links – came up rather quickly after disappearing.
No Love Deep Web has been downloaded an astonishing 34 million times, amid a flurry of controversy.
If Death Grips won’t sell records, they will sell their story. The band already proved their mastery of social media — the toolset necessary to open-source acclaim. And with NO LOVE DEEP WEB, the band hits every possible button in the history of musical anti-heroes.
I haven’t paid too much attention to their lyrics, though they’re ambiguous enough to perch on the edge of problematic. Thuggish at the very least. But I wonder how much of that is play-acting – the Linkin Park analogy strikes a chord; are Death Grips the “nasty” to their “nice”? Regardless, there’s nothing jumping out at me that’s bad enough to stop listening to it, but it’s not exactly something I’ll be singing around the house.
I’ve listened to the album a few times now and it is a good record – falling somewhere between FOTL-era Prodigy and the Beastie Boys.
A friend tweeted earlier: “Utterly bored with fakes, hoaxes and parodies on the internet now. Don’t care if they’re clever – it’s just a nuisance now.” On the whole, I’d agree, but a little harmless mystery can brighten a day, and if it’s drawing attention to a quality record, that can only be a good thing.
Read the Stereogum theory here.