Review Summary: Nasty
Death Grips - Exmilitary
There are many emotions that can be associated with hip-hop. From the downright playful, to the gritty underground, the faces of hip-hop take on many sizes, shapes, and forms. The past year has seen the rise of shock-and-awe act Odd Future which has been making a name for themselves for their rather over the top songwriting and antics. But while the quasi-adolescent behavior of the twisted minds of a collective of rappers could be generally appealing to the masses, both for its catch factor and controversy, at the end of the day they’re still kids. Enter rap group Death Grips. Seemingly springing up out of the nowhere, almost nil is known about the three person rap group other than the supposed member Zach Hill. The one defining factor that makes Death Grips mixtape Exmilitary
so astounding is its one emotion, anger. Seriously, this album makes everything from Wu-Tang sound like an season of Barney and Friends. At thirteen songs and just under the fifty minute marker, what we get on Exmilitary
is a collection of beats and lyrics that are dredged up from the scum of one’s mind and brought into sonic format. The production on Exmilitary
is downright nasty; gritty, stereophonic and scratchy, it references the underground attitude of mid-90s gangster rap without the Hollywood glam. Exmilitary
is all skin and muscle with no fat to trim.
The rappers featured on Exmilitary
are the embodiment of anger in hip-hop; it’s also the one factor that will polarize nearly every listener. From dark and brooding lyrical (“Culture Shock”) delivery to just plain screaming (“Spread Eagle Cross The Block”), Death Grips emcees’ so their job of attaining a sound that will not be everyone. Most fans of hip-hop and basically any fan of screaming in their music should approach this album with care, as it is clearly not for everyone. Yet Death Grips have achieved their goal of being one of the most sonically disturbing and astonishingly vocal hip-hop acts to have come out in recent memory.