Last year, experimental hip-hop trio Death Grips dropped their first mixtape, Exmilitary, to an extremely positive reception. Personally, I really enjoy a few songs from that tape. “Takyon (Death Yon)” and “Guillotine” are both excellent. Now, they’ve released The Money Store to an equal, if not better, critical reception. The group is mainly known for their gritty and dark electronic production paired with really hardcore rap vocals.
“Get Got” is dark and fast. Right from the start of this song, you know this album is going to be much different from Exmilitary. On this track, vocalist MC Ride is a little more soft spoken than usual, but he spits his lines much faster. There are some African grooves and very little melody on this one, making it a little hard to access for me. This track definitely stands out, but I just don’t really feel it.
“The Fever (Aye Aye)” is oddly catchy. The lyrics are grungy and disturbing as usual, with lines about electrocution, rabid dogs and suicide–if you can pick them out. Despite the dark and hardly intelligible lyrics, the chorus is pretty infectious. “Lost Boys” feels very downtempo, and it appears to have a little dubstep influence thrown in. It has some of MC Ride’s best flow on the album. It’s hard to tell under the distortion and grit, but he’s got some serious skill. I recommend checking out the lyrics on the band’s website to really appreciate the rhymes. “Hustle Bones” is another track with a strangely addictive hook. You just wanna shout, “Hustle Bones comin’ out my mouth!” over and over again, I mean, if you don’t do that all the time already.
“I’ve Seen Footage” is probably my favorite song on the album. The lyrics are a creepy take on police brutality, with MC Ride saying, “creeps up behind me, over my shoulder, turn around try to see, but it’s nowhere, noided, noided”. He talks about seeing some really scary stuff, like kids getting shot and police pulling their guns on him. Throughout all this, the backing track is just this jamming party riff that’s unfitting, yet pretty groovy.
“System Blower” sounds more like a Tyler the Creator production, with lots of synths and clicks. It’s just generally off-putting, despite following the uptempo party song “I’ve Seen Footage”. The lyrics on this one are murderous and savage. The lyrics in combination with the disturbing production really makes me cringe. When music can make you feel like that, I find it to be rather respectable. I dig this one a lot.
“Hacker” sounds exactly what I expect to be played at clubs in the future. It’s a great fusion between a dance production and hip hop vocals. It definitely has its own place on this album just like most of the other songs do.
This album is interesting. It throws you off in an enjoyable and pleasant way. Death Grips are doing something important here. They are pushing the boundaries of traditional hip hop music and really innovating. It’s a sweet album with some songs more enjoyable than others, but I completely love what they’re doing musically. This album is a 4 out of 5.
Listen to this album and my future reviews on Spotify! – http://spoti.fi/IqlygE