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Meet Death Grips: The Beast Lurking In The Shadows Is Set To Change the Hip-Hop Game

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Thu, Jul 7, 2011 at 9:15 AM
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"I close my eyes and seize it

I clench my fists and beat it

I light my torch and burn it

I am the beast I worship...

I am the beast I worship"

As the media is shining its hip-hop spotlight on Los Angeles, there is a monster growing in the state's forgotten capital.  Drummer Zach Hill (Hella, Wavves), MC Ride and Mexican Girl make up the looming beast that is Death Grips.  We hate to say unique, but they are-and they are a group that could only rise from the off-the-radar scene of Sacramento,  a city not caught up in the melting pot of trends, fashions, and celebrity pollution like L.A. is.  The city has infamously grown to be known for producing some of the most aggressive acts of today, and Death Grips can stand toe to toe with Sacramento heavy hitters Trash Talk, Deftones, and even Hill's Hella.

By no means is Death Grips another hardcore punk rock-inspired hip-hop mash up mistake, or forced genre blending in vein of what was brought to us by the likes of Jay Z and Linkin Park.  The group is a heavy hip-hop group like nothing you've heard before:  Their carefully crafted sound is a perfect balancing act between genres. Taking inspiration from '80s hip hop and hardcore and building on that with a thick layer of raw unapologetic vocals, MC Ride makes even the loudest of rappers seem like they were nervously whispering.

There's nothing cute or fun about Death Grips, a breath of fresh air for California hip hop after the now-popular candy pop-rap of Kreayshawn or the swagged out "teen prankster vibe" of OFWGKTA. The production is raw, industrial, and sparse, leaving plenty of (necessary) room for MC Ride's vocals.  Where other aggressive hip-hop groups have failed translating their aggressive nature from live shows to the studio, Death Grips has far exceeded that goal. On their Exmilitary mixtape, raw aggression comes through and hits you square between the eyes.

Given the chance, Death Grips will bludgeon your ear drums. You've been warned. Proceed at your own risk:

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