“Death Grips was and always has been a conceptual art exhibition anchored by sound and vision, above and beyond a ‘band.'” A lofty mission statement, but rap group/troll gang Death Grips’ farewell note also came to fans via used napkin. It’s a fitting kiss-off for a band whose very short history is defined by giving the literal and figurative middle finger to everyone from their label to their fans: sudden, tongue-in-cheek, and not entirely believable. While we wait to see whether Death Grips’ breakup is, in fact, real, here’s a look back at all they’ve managed to accomplish.
Canceling an Entire Tour
Death Grips didn’t have the best track record of playing scheduled shows — more on that later — but before the baiting-and-switching started, the group straight-up canceled all of its summer 2012 tour dates to finish No Love Deep Web. The album itself would prove to be just as controversial, and Death Grips would go on to bail on shows in far more creative/confrontational ways. But hey, everyone has to start somewhere!
Dropping an Album Without Checking with Their Label
When Epic wanted to push back No Love Deep Web‘s release date into 2013, Death Grips took matters onto their own hands and simply dumped the LP on the Internet. It cost them their relationship with the label, though No Love Deep Web was physically released in 2013 through Harvest Records. The group also claimed via Twitter that Epic had never heard the version of No Love Deep Web unleashed on the public: “[They’re] hearing the album for the first time with you.” Populism!
Putting a Dick on Said Album’s Cover
Black-barred, SFW version above. Should you have the burning desire to see the real deal, though, you can do so here. (Spoiler: the dick has No Love Deep Web written on it.)
Playing Prerecorded Music Instead of a Show
Death Grips never actually planned on showing up to their 2013 Lollapalooza set, or their gig at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge. They weren’t even in the Windy City at the time. Instead, attendees were treated to prerecorded tracks over the speakers, an email suicide note projected onto the stage, and a child’s drum kit, which was consequently destroyed by an enraged crowd. Can’t say I blame them.
Featuring Björk on Every. Single. Track. of Their Latest LP
Released out of nowhere a little less than a month ago via Facebook, n****s on the moon is the first half of a double album called the powers that b; according to the napkin note, the second half is still forthcoming, despite the breakup. Anyway, every single track of n****s on the moon features Björk, though it’s not clear if she was just sampled or actually recorded with them. Since she claimed she’s “thrilled to be their ‘found object,'” the former seems more likely.
Bailing on Pitchfork Festival, Nine Inch Nails, and Soundgarden
“Sorry everyone… why would I have ever thought those dudes would keep it together?” Thus spake Trent Reznor. Prior to their sudden disbanding, Death Grips were scheduled to tour with Reznor and Soundgarden, plus appear at festivals like Pitchfork later this summer. Clearly, the group fears no ’90s icons, and the industrial/grunge acts are currently in need of an opener.