Death Grips will always be one of the oddest musical groups of all-time. From releasing multiple albums for free due to not wanting to follow the rules of a major label, cancelling more tour dates than they actually performed in, and using a stream of an album as a concert and never actually performing, they will forever be remembered for their feverish antics. Love them or hate them, Death Grips will mark a changing tide in the world of hip-hop. That is what made their eventual breakup one of the more disappointing events of the year, especially in sequence with their tour dates announced with Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden. Not that they ever wanted the fame, but it could have been the duo’s chance to get an even larger fan base and maybe break into the mainstream like most bands dream of. Instead, they break up with the picture of a break up note on a napkin and crushing the hearts of numerous fans just after releasing a new half-album. If Death Grips never release the second half of this record, they will go out on the weakest note of their odd and exciting career.
Niggas on the Moon gives fans the most glitchy, uneven, and bizarre offering from Zach Hill and MC Ride. Every song is full of beats that constantly evolve without any discernible rhythm in mind, which can be both a blessing and a curse. The good side of the coin comes in on tracks like “Up My Sleeves” and “Say Hey Kid”. “Up My Sleeves” kicks the album off as a great lead-in to what listeners are to expect. The opening glitch beat and drum cymbal hits are pretty effective in the beginning, while MC Ride brings the typical fire we have become used to. There are numerous references as to whether life is necessary giving verses a truly dark tone even if the repeating chorus is problematic. “Say Hey Kid” is where the glitch really connects on all levels. The beat that fills into the track is slow and brutal, making even the electronic tones give off some steam. MC Ride is amazing on the verses, sounding sadistic from beginning to end, especially as he throws out verses about needing a female’s neck for an odd sexual pleasure near the end of the track.
Despite those two strong additions to Death Grips’ discography, the rest of the track listing shows off some of the worst traits of the duo. The first four tracks are easily passable for an experimental sound, but “Have a Sad Cum” is where the ride gets to be dreadful. It feels more like a poorly rendered beat track that fails to even have an interesting beat. “Fuck Me Out” follows up with an equally gross and uninteresting track. The lyrics from beginning to end just go down a twisted path but fail to truly become interesting even as a shocking track. The only savior on the track is the late verse from MC Ride that is delivered well. “Big Dipper” is possibly the worst track Death Grips have ended an album on, and maybe even the worst song they have created. The slower beat to open the track is a nice break from the ferocious attack of the first seven tracks, but the chorus and misguided tone fail to be interesting on a bizarre level.
Death Grips are undisputedly one of the most interesting experimental groups of all-time. However, Niggas on the Moon is a grand example that experimentation can go brutally bad. Despite three or four interesting songs and interesting rap segments from the fired-up MC Ride, most of the tracks fail to be interesting on a shocking level. The Money Store will always be Death Grips’ biggest contribution to the music industry and might be looked upon as the time the duo truly fired on all cylinders. There is still a second half to be released later on this year, and let’s hope it turns out more interesting than this messy first half.
1. Up My Sleeves
2. Billy Not Really
3. Black Quarterback
4. Say Hey Kid
5. Have a Sad Cum
6. Fuck Me Out
8. Big Dipper
The link to the free album download is listed below to anyone interested(in the description of the video):