California Hip-Hop group Death Grips’ sophomore album, The Money Store has seen the trio gain much success. This achievement is due to Death Grips’ strange, fast rhyme patterns and off-time, transition-prone beats. It’s hard to decide which to tackle first. Both vocals and instrumentation are astonishingly atypical of hip-hop, but after multiple transitions, the beats are evidently more conspicuous.
Production duo Zach Hill & Andy Morin’s influences are notably varied. Ranging from classic, heavy dub to old school hip-hop, Zach Hill & Andy Morin texturizes Death Grips’ songs, transcending genre boundaries. Beats no longer rely on snare, kick and a bass line, instrumentation is instead heavily based on synth lines, backed up by hostile percussion. The songs also include numerous uncanny and unexpected transitions, most notably in ‘Hustle Bones’ chorus, where vocal samples quickly replace a heavy bass line for the song’s chorus.
Death Grip’s emcee, Stefan “MC Ride” Burnett is equally strange. Using an unpredictable, yet always-aggressive flow, MC Ride violently tackles various topics, some seemingly unfamiliar to hip-hop. The emcee’s lyrics are nonetheless heavily camouflaged, and deriving any meaning from the volatile lyrics would be difficult. MC Ride’s flow simply adds to Death Grips’ abrasive nature; you’ll find no respite from the production team’s onslaught of loud, coarse beats.
Death Grips are certainly not for the faint of heart. If you thought hip-hop was stagnant since Odd Future blew up, Death Grips is for you; the group is forceful, pervasive and funereal. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.