Death Grips – “Year of the Snitch” review

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After having a quiet 2017 with the exception of their Steroids EP, renown Sacramento experimental hip hop trio Death Grips are returning with their 6th full-length album.

The album begins with “Death Grips is Online”, where The I.L.Y’s provide an instrumental with a futuristic atmosphere to it as MC Ride calmly delivers his cryptic verses. I also love the scratches from DJ Swamp as well as the moments where Ride tells “BREAK IT, BREAK IT DOWN!”. The next track “Flies” talks about severing all ties over a glitch hop instrumental while the song “Black Paint” talks about requiring privacy & finally thinking over a noise rock instrumental. The track “Linda’s in Custody” has a nice electronic beat & the depressed tone in Ride’s voice suits it very well. After the short drill & bass interlude “Horn Section“, we go into the song “Ha Ha Ha”. Here, Ride gets sexual & the way the trio samples their past songs “Lock Your Doors”, “Up My Sleeves”, “Black Dice”, “Inanimate Sensation”, “I Want It I Need It (Death Heated)” & “Lord of the Game” was very creative.

The track “Shitshow” is a wild 2-minute sequel to “Hot Head” off their last album Bottomless Pit down to Ride’s aggressive delivery & the digital hardcore instrumental while the track “Streaky” talks about the hustler life over an instrumental with their signature industrial hip hop sound. The track “Dilemma” talks about Ride’s lifestyle over a synth-punk instrumental while the song “Little Richard” has a nice EDM instrumental, Ride’s robotic delivery is just ok. “The Fear” sees Ride venting being afraid to die & I absolutely love the sinister synths that Andy Morin brings to the table. Also, the way Ride famously screams his brains out during the hook never fails to amuse me. After the heavy guitar “outro”, we get into the actual closer “Disappointed” which is anything but. Zach Hill’s rattling drums in the instrumental are insane & the call/shout delivery that Ride employs will make you wanna fight someone. Especially when he yells “WHHHYYY ME?” throughout the hook.

To be honest, this is one of Death Grips’ best albums. As expected, MC Ride’s lyrics are cryptic & there are strong elements of both industrial hip hop & punk music. However, they also fuse elements of noise rock & IDM near-perfectly. My only real complaint about this (aside from Ride’s delivery on “Little Richard”) is that I feel like the last 2 tracks should’ve been switched around. Other than that, Death Grips yet again prove why I consider them the greatest experimental hip hop act of all-time

Score: 4.5/5

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