It’s been quite a year for hip hop trio Death Grips. Their debut album (not mixtape) The Money Store dropped earlier this year, and even though the album kept the obscure, almost threatening, style of music, they recieved a fair bit of positive attention. Even sites like NPR, who stereotypically wouldn’t even touch an album like this, gave it its props. And now, with a bigger audience, released this mixtape – under their own terms.
If you don’t know, this is what has happened. Epic Records (a sub division of Sony) and the band couldn’t agree on a time when this album should be released. So Death Grips, in typical rebel fashion, released it for all to hear a couple of days ago – leaving Epic out to dry. And now, we have No Love Deep Web, a phallus laden hip-hop mixtape that puts Death Grips in yet another interesting place in their recent history – how they can evolve from being an abrasive hip-hop outfit into an abrasive and much loved hip-hop outfit without changing who they are. And the argument can be made that No Love Deep Web is a step backwards for the group stylistically, it is still 100 percent them.
The opener “Come Up And Get Me” has the giant synths hanging around the background, making for a rather thrashy and catchy song. “No Love” has MC Ride rides one of the dirtiest beats on the album so well, making the five minutes this song has to offer. “Hunger Games” has one of the most low down beats on the album and some of the best imagery I’ve heard from Ride (“Push one my swing out in a glass of purple rain/Candy painted by the lord of stainless steel liquid your ashy brain”).
Just like The Money Store, I had some complaints – mainly how some of these songs just fall completely flat. “Lil Boy” has a lot going on, which isn’t overwhelming, but feels like all of the moments are trying to outdo each other. “Black Dice” is full of synths that really weigh down Ride’s vocal contributions, while “Whammy” has this blistering beat that Ride SHOULD kill, but he does a whole lot of nothing on the track. The last three songs also are pretty unimpressive; ends the album on a sour note.
The biggest question I have going forward with Death Grips is “What can they do to remain unique and raw, while still sounding good?” The clearly have the ear for out there beats and hooks, but there comes a time where, as a listener, I get a little bored. I don’t know if the problem is that I’ve heard two better projects from them in the course of the year, but now the character that is Death Grips is starting to fade.
No Love Deep Web is the weakest release from Death Grips so far. However, it’s still good and mostly enjoyable. There are some downfalls here and there, but that only comes out when you listen to each song separately. As a whole product, this is pretty good. Sucks that Epic will probably make no money from this.
Final Grade: B-
Go Download: The entire album