Death Grips

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Death Grips
Death Grips Performing in NYC.jpg
Death Grips performing in New York City in 2012
Background information
Origin Sacramento, California, United States
Genres Experimental hip hop,[1][2][3] industrial hip hop[4]
Years active 2010–present
Labels Third Worlds, Harvest, Epic, Warp
Members Stefan Burnett
Zach Hill
Andy Morin

Death Grips is an experimental hip hop[5][2][6] group from Sacramento, California, formed in 2010. The group consists of rapper Stefan Burnett, drummer Zach Hill, and producer Andy Morin.

The band's music has been described as combining punk rock, hip hop and industrial.[7] They released the mixtape Exmilitary in April 2011, followed by two studio albums in 2012, The Money Store in April, and No Love Deep Web in October, as well as a second mixtape in November 2013, titled Government Plates. Their releases have received positive reviews from music critics all around, including The Money Store placing 9th in Pitchfork's Best Albums of 2012.[8][9]


Formation and Exmilitary (2010–2011)[edit]

Death Grips was formed in Sacramento, California on December 21, 2010, by Zach Hill and Stefan Burnett, who lived on the same street as Hill. Burnett had previously studied art at Hampton University in Virginia and had been involved in a "very experimental rap" project with his brother.[7]

On the first day of their formation they recorded their first song, "Full Moon (Death Classic)".[10] It was released on March 8, 2011 together with a video and a free self-titled EP which featured "Full Moon" together with seven other songs.[11][12] On April 26, 2011, Death Grips released a free mixtape entitled Exmilitary, which later became widely perceived as their debut album, containing five tracks from the EP and eight new cuts.[13][14]

Throughout the spring and early summer in 2011, Death Grips played small live shows while Exmilitary was spreading steadily throughout the Internet. It received several favorable ratings from music critics, with calling it "an intense, dark listen".[15][16][17][18] During this time the band members were largely elusive, the only known member being Hill.[10]

The Money Store and No Love Deep Web (2011–2013)[edit]

Stefan Burnett (left) and Zach Hill (right) performing live in August 2011.

On February 27, 2012, Death Grips signed with Epic Records, under the recommendation of Epic's then-executive vice president of marketing Angelica Cob-Baehler,[7] and announced the release of two albums in 2012. The first album, The Money Store, was released on April 21, 2012 while the songs "Blackjack", "Get Got" and "The Fever (Aye Aye)" have been released as singles. Music videos have been released for all three, as well as the track "Lost Boys" alone with no video accompaniment.[19][20][21]

In May the band scheduled a thirty-show international tour to support The Money Store, but shortly afterward cancelled it so they could complete their second album of 2012, which angered many fans and their label.[7] They spent the next four months recording their next album, No Love Deep Web, in Sacramento.[7] During this period the band also remixed two Björk songs, "Sacrifice" and "Thunderbolt", as part of the Biophilia Remix Series[22] after receiving an artist-to-artist note of support[7] and released two songs; "@deathgripz", an unreleased track from The Money Store named after their Twitter account as part of the Adult Swim Singles Program 2012 was released on September 10,[23] and on September 29 the track "True Vulture Bare" was leaked and made known on YouTube.[24] A video for this track was released on October 17 featuring animation from Galen Pehrson. This project was created for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.[25]

On October 1, the band self-released their sophomore effort via a website which they linked to from Twitter and Soundcloud, and various filesharing services including BitTorrent.[26][27] This was apparently an effort to bypass the fact that their record label was unwilling to release the album until 2013.[28] The band was dropped by Epic Records on November 1 due to the issues surrounding this incident, including the release of private emails on Facebook.[29] In March 2013, they released a series of videos to their YouTube account, called "No Hands". On March 20, 2013, a music video for "Lock Your Doors",which was recorded on a live show in SXSW was released.[30] Zach Hill did not attend the show physically, but played the drums via Skype.[31]

On November 19, 2013, No Love Deep Web was released on vinyl and CD through Harvest Records,[32] as well as being made available on Spotify.[33]

Government Plates and film soundtrack (2013-present)[edit]

On May 10, 2013, it was announced that Hill is currently writing and directing an original feature film. Death Grips will be involved with the soundtrack of the film. The announcement also revealed that Hill is currently working on a new Death Grips album.[34] On July 8, it was announced that Death Grips had launched their new label, Third Worlds. The label was created via "a unique relationship with Harvest/Capitol" and will be distributed by Caroline Records.[35]

Death Grips were scheduled to perform at Lollapalooza in Chicago on Saturday, August 3, 2013, but their performance was cancelled after the band failed to show up for an "after party" show the previous night at the Bottom Lounge. Fans at the Bottom Lounge show destroyed the band's equipment after being informed of the cancellation.[2][36][37][38] Their subsequent performance scheduled for Montreal's Osheaga Music and Arts Festival on Sunday, August 4, 2013 was also cancelled.[39] It was later discovered that Death Grips never actually planned appearing at Lollapalooza, and the drum kit that was destroyed was a child's learning kit [40]

On November 13, 2013, Death Grips released Government Plates on their website and shared the link on their Facebook page, as well as music videos for each of the eleven new songs.[41][42] Included in the album was the song "Birds", which had been released earlier in the year. The band's press has said that Government Plates is not an official record, but is only "where they are right now". [43] On January 14, 2014, Government Plates was officially released through iTunes and Spotify. [44] On January 16, 2014, it was announced that Warp Music Publishing signed an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with the group. This agreement covers the previous and future releases by Death Grips.

On January 20, 2014, Zach Hill stated that the band has started recording new material for the next album and is planning to tour in summer.[45] On March 15, 2014, it was confirmed that Death Grips would be touring in support of Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden throughout their 2014 Summer tour.


  • Stefan Burnett - vocals
  • Zach Hill - drums
  • Andy Morin - keyboards, programming


Studio albums[edit]

Album Year Peak Chart Positions
The Money Store 2012 130 3 181
No Love Deep Web



  • Death Grips (2011)

Other albums[edit]

  • Black Google (2011)
  • The Money Store Instrumentals (uploaded by the band in a Alternate Reality Game) (2012)
  • No Love Deep Web Instrumentals (uploaded by the band's now deleted twitter page) (2014)
  • Government Plates Instrumentals (also uploaded by the band's now deleted twitter page) (2014)


  • "Full Moon (Death Classic)" (2011)
  • "Guillotine" (2011)
  • "Blackjack" (2012)
  • "Get Got" (2012)
  • "@deathgripz" (2012)
  • "Birds" (2013)


Music videos[edit]

Song Year Directed by Album
"Full Moon (Death Classic)" 2011 Death Grips Death Grips
"Lord of the Game" Exmilitary
"Culture Shock"
"Spread Eagle Cross the Block" Terroreyes
"Takyon (Death Yon)" Death Grips
"Known for it"
"Blackjack" 2012 The Money Store
"Get Got"
"The Fever (Aye Aye)"
"I've Seen Footage"
"Hustle Bones"
"Double Helix"
"World of Dogs" No Love Deep Web
"True Vulture" Galen Pehrson n/a
"Come Up and Get Me" 2013 Death Grips No Love Deep Web
"Lock Your Doors"
"You Might Think He Loves You for Your Money But I Know What
He Really Loves You for It's Your Brand New Leopard Skin Pillbox Hat"
Government Plates
"Anne Bonny"
"Two Heavens"
"This Is Violence Now (Don't Get Me Wrong)"
"Feels Like a Wheel"
"I'm Overflow"
"Big House"
"Government Plates"
"Bootleg (Don't Need Your Help)"
"Whatever I Want (Fuck Who's Watching)"
"No Love" 2014 No Love Deep Web


  1. ^ Lymangrover, Jason. "Death Grips". Allmusic. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Death Grips Fans Turn Violent After Band Skips Lollapalooza After Party Appearance". Billboard. August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ Adams, Gregory (March 20, 2013). "Death Grips "Lock Your Doors" ("No Hands" 6 video)". Exclaim!. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  4. ^ Genuske, Amber (April 19, 2012). "Death Grips' 'I've Seen Footage' Gets A Jarring Music Video". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ Lymangrover, Jason. "Death Grips". Allmusic. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ Adams, Gregory (March 20, 2013). "Death Grips "Lock Your Doors" ("No Hands" 6 video)". Exclaim!. Retrieved August 25, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Weingarten, Christopher (2012-11-20). "ARTIST OF THE YEAR: DEATH GRIPS". Spin. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  8. ^ Powell, Mike (December 20, 2012). "The Top 50 Albums of 2012". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Death Grips' Scores". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  10. ^ a b HATER (2011-07-27). "Death Grips. The First Interview". Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  11. ^ "Full Moon (Death Classic) video". Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Death Grips EP on Discogs". 
  13. ^ "Death Grips - Exmilitary review". Drowned in Sound. 
  14. ^ "Suspicious Minds - The Resolute Mission Of Death Grips". Clash Music. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  15. ^ Eisinger, Dale W. (2011-09-15). "Death Grips Album Review: "Exmilitary"". NBC New York. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  16. ^ Fantano, Anthony (2011-05-05). "Death Grips - Exmilitary Review". The Needle Drop. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  17. ^ Patrin, Nate (2011-06-30). "Death Grips - Exmilitary - Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  18. ^ Calvert, John (2011-04-26). "Death Grips - Exmilitary Review". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2012-11-30. 
  19. ^ Pelly, Jenn (March 27, 2012). "Video: Death Grips: "The Fever (Aye Aye)"". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  20. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (February 7, 2012). "Death Grips - "Blackjack"". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  21. ^ Coplan, Chris (March 7, 2012). "Video: Death Grips – "Get Got"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  22. ^ Pelly, Jenn. "Listen: Björk Remixed by Death Grips | News". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  23. ^ Minsker, Evan (2012-09-10). "New Death Grips: "@DEATHGRIPZ"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2012-09-11. 
  24. ^ Minsker, Evan (2012-10-01). "Listen to Death Grips' Album NO LOVE DEEP WEB Now, Check Out the Extremely Graphic Cover Art". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  25. ^ Darville, Jordan (2012-10-17). "Death Grips and Galen Pehrson collaborate for insane "True Vulture" video". Chart Attack. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  26. ^ Van Buskirk, Eliot (October 1, 2012). "Death Grips Top BitTorrent's List of Most Legally Downloaded Music". Billboard. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  27. ^ Raymond, Adam K. (June 21, 2013). "Public Enemy and Death Grips Use New BitTorrent Bundle to Connect With Fans". Spin. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Death Grips defy their label with free album release - listen". NME. October 1, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  29. ^ Stutz, Colin (2012-11-02). "Death Grips Dropped By Epic Records Following Album Leak". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). Retrieved 2012-11-02. 
  30. ^ Battan, Carrie (March 20, 2013). "Watch: Death Grips Share Disorienting "Lock Your Doors" Video, Explain "No Hands" Series". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  31. ^ Marthins, Chris (March 20, 2013). "See Death Grips' Disorienting Head-Cam and Skype-Shot 'Lock Your Doors'". Spin. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  32. ^ Worlds, Third. "iTunes - Music - No Love Deep Web by Death Grips". iTunes. iTunes Store. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  33. ^
  34. ^ Pelly, Jenn (May 10, 2013). "Death Grips to Soundtrack Feature Film Directed and Written by Zach Hill, Working on New Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 
  35. ^ Pelly, Jenn (July 8, 2013). "Death Grips Launch New Label Third Worlds". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Death Grips Lollapalooza Set Cancelled, Band Replaced After No-Show To Official Afterparty". The Huffington Post. August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  37. ^ Gilmer, Marcus (August 3, 2013). "Death Grips bail on Lollapalooza after-show, fans destroy band’s equipment". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  38. ^ Coleman, Miriam (August 3, 2013). "Fans Trash Death Grips' Equipment After Lollapalooza No-Show". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  39. ^ Mongrain, Marc-André (August 3, 2013). "OSHEAGA 2013 - Death Grips annule à son tour" (in French). Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^ Battan, Carrie (January 20, 2014). "Zach Hill Says He's Working on New Death Grips Album and Film, Possible Tour, New Hella Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  46. ^ "CHART LOG UK: NEW ENTRIES UPDATE". Zobbel. 2012-05-05. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 

External links[edit]