Death Grips: Performance Art or Idiocy?
Experimental hip-hop sensation Death Grips is either a revolution in a world of bland, homogenized music created by manufactured pop stars, or absolutely annoying, loud, obnoxious tripe. There is no in between, nor a middle ground to be found with the band, a trio that consists of MC Ride, Flatlander, and Hella drummer Zach Hill.
That doesn't really matter, though, as Death Grips are rapidly becoming less famous for their musical output, while becoming far more well known for their increasingly erratic behavior. The group has stunned the general public with their baffling decisions -- decisions that would be unthinkable for most musicians -- decisions that could potentially wreck careers, but yet they continue to grow.
Death Grips also leave their motives -- like their career decisions -- as ambiguous as possible, which begs the question as to whether these guys are brilliant artists, or just what they seem to be -- which are absolutely pompous douchebags.
Score one in the "artist" column for Death Grips, a point awarded when they refused to be dominated by record labels on the release of last year's album, No Love Deep Web. They instead took the Radiohead/Nine Inch Nails approach and put the thing out for free on the internet.
The only problem? They didn't have legal right to do so, which meant that they essentially pirated their own recording, which their record label had the distribution right to. Even if breaking the law in the name of artistic freedom is a bit admirable, it's important to remember what a great opportunity these guys had by being signed to Epic Records in the first place.
Yeah, it's punk to stand up to the label, but they essentially spit in the face of every band desperately trying to achieve the status they had, and then they pissed it all away. They might as well have smoked a joint rolled with a hundred dollar bill in front of some starving indie bands.
Plus, the "album cover" is just a picture of Zach Hill's dick. Death Grips claimed that this was not "graphic content," but rather "art." They also gave a bizarre, nonsensical explanation about how it related to homosexuality to SPIN, and that it was chosen because it was a "great photo."
Sorry guys, but that's one tally for the idiocy column. A dick is just a dick. You're really pushing the boundaries of art by describing it as such. Should I have taken a shit, snapped a photo of it, and put it in this article? Would that make this article art?
If it is, Death Grips would probably be pleased. Nevertheless, the friends of Beyonce and Robert Pattinson weren't content with their record label fiasco being their sole source of irascible antics. They also needed some zaniness to accompany their live shows.
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