You know that feeling when you finally made someone listening to the music that you recommended to, you will feel very happy about it, like “finally someone like my music taste”. Well, as far as my music history goes, I think all of my favorite songs or artists are pretty listenable to all my friends, such as Radiohead, Mac DeMarco, even Sigur Rós, they all likened it. Death Grips, on the other hand, is quite an exception. Amongst all the musicians that I’ve listened, this band intrigues me the most, and all of my friends.
Death Grips, as Wikipedia says, is an American experimental hip-hop band formed in Sacramento, California, in 2010. The band has released 6 studio albums so far, with the latest one Year Of The Snitch. The band consists of 3 members, with Stefan Burnett as the frontman, Zach Hill as the drummer, and Andy Morin as the recording engineer, the DJ during live shows.
My first exposure to them is from the album Year Of The Snitch, when the internet’s busiest music nerd, Anthony Fantano, reviewed their album, giving it 9/10 (Thank you, Anthony Fantano). It really intrigues me, I like those kinds of experimental music, is the kind of music that needs time to listen and able to likened it for a while, which is ultimately become my principle of judging and defining any kinds of music whether is good or not. So Death Grips is clearly one of those bands, that is kinda hard to listen to, but clearly worth it in the end. Soon after I listened to Year Of The Snitch, I continue to their most critical album, The Money Store.
Well, saying that The Money Store is Death Grips’ welcoming album, is kinda ironic when I said in the very start, that their music is hardly listenable. Nevertheless, this is for me the album that helped me to listen more of their tunes, bringing me to their musicscape. The first track of the album is really fast-paced, and well, kinda bit unusual like any other hip-hop songs, heck, if I could call them a hip-hop band. I’m very intrigued with their sampling, each of their songs is uniquely sampled, like the song “System Blower”, the intro of the song are taken from a Vancouver Skytrain. What I’m trying to say is, the band took the whole new direction in composing their music, like, a whole different kind of approach. It’s kinda nice and funny that the band could make everything into music, like literally everything, one of their songs also sampled Williams’ sisters playing tennis, people would go like, what the fuck? But I think that’s the point of their songs if it’s weird, then the better the song will go. This kind of approach really had me listened to The Money Store. From then on, I can say that I’m into Death Grips, probably one of my weirdest artists amongst all of the artists that I listened to.
After Year Of The Snitch and The Money Store caught my attention of the band’s presence, like the usual me, I kept on searching their discography, their previous albums that I had never listened to. Then, I stumbled upon some of their albums, such as The Powers That B, Government Plates, Exmilitary, and No Love Deep Web. Like the previous albums that I’ve listened to, the songs in those albums are also pretty intriguing, and for me, pretty listenable, and fun to listen? What I meant by fun to listen is in every song that I’ve listened, Death Grips or any other artists, I always listened to the melody and the producing of the songs first, Is it good to listen? Does it take time to listen? Does the song have a good transition and connection from the verse to the chorus according to the melodies? Is it fun to listen? I always paid attention to the melody of every song I’ve listened to, that’s why sometimes I can tell that some songs are good and bad by listening to the intro or a minute through the song. Probably that’s a bad way of reviewing songs, but so far my way has really proofed it so.
Again, it is really hard to listen to their songs, and it’s also hard to tell if they deliberately creating songs that are not listenable, or it’s just us as listeners don’t get the idea of their songs. If so, what attract others to listen to their music? From what I listened to, all of their discographies, it’s getting weirder and weirder when you go listen to their albums from time to time. But again, I think that’s the point of their songs actually, making it not listenable as possible. Why though? Well, I think their way of making their music as not easy-listening music is a really cool thing to do. For me, there’s no fun in listening to a piece of easy-listening music, you will instantly like the music and therefore you’ll often leave the music hanging as the background music in your studies or other activities you do, which is fine but me, as a music goers, that just kills the music and the purpose of it. So Death Grips offers me a kind of music that is hard to listen, but eventually, I likened it after 10 times hearing the bloody thing.
The point is, listening to Death Grips made me feel special, like how can I, like their every song even though it is hard to listen and really weird? Might be that I’m weird or my music taste is kinda trash, but I am really delighted that at some point, I can’t recommend this artist to any of my friends, because really, only probably certain people who might actually like their songs. You can say that their audience is pretty small but to the people who are reading this article, you should give it a try, listening to Death Grips. If you like it, then give it a listen to their next tunes, or if you don’t like it, just leave it be.