Experimental hip-hop group Death Grips was online today at 5:18 a.m. EST, according to a cryptic tweet from their ambiguously official Twitter account. Twitter user bbpoltergeist who, in true Death Grips fashion declines to follow anyone else on Twitter, tweeted simply “bewussteinlage” earlier this morning, without any clarification.
— Ꭰeath Ꮹrips (@bbpoltergiest) June 1, 2018
Today, online fans are doing their best to figure out what this means, or if it in fact means anything at all, according to Reddit. Hoping to find some clues as to the band’s new album release date, attempting to crack the code of Death Grips has become synonymous with fandom. A reference to yesterday’s spelling bee, no doubt, the definition of the word according to Merriam-Webster is “a state of consciousness devoid of sensory components.”
In March, Death Grips announced they will release a new album entitled Year of the Snitch, though they gave no indication as to when that album might be released. Since the announcement, they have released a bizarre album cover, three singles, one music video, and announced numerous collaborations for the album.
These collaborations include Justin Chancellor of the band Tool, Oscar-winning director of Shrek and Shrek 2 Andrew Adamson (who has no history of being a musician, in terms of public knowledge), and Lucas Abela, an artist known for playing broken glass using his face. Also today, all singles released for Year of the Snitch, which were previously only available via the band’s YouTube account, were officially added to streaming services like Spotify, with the accompanying album artwork. A release date for the album remains unknown.
Last year the Death Grips Twitter began hype for Year of the Snitch by announcing a 22-minute song called, “Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix).”
This form of communication is common for the Sacramento group, who formed in 2011. Going all the way back to the album No Love, Deep Web in 2012, Death Grips often have an unorthodox approach for album releases. After signing to Epic Records, the group was dissatisfied with Epic’s release plans, so drummer Zach Hill uploaded the album and distributed it to fans free of charge, prompting the label to drop Death Grips entirely. Sporting a heavily censored album cover, No Love Deep Web was downloaded more than 34 million times.
Since then, album release dates are often announced less than a month before release, or even on the same day. In 2013, Death Grips released Government Plates without warning, and in 2014 they also surprise-released the first half of their double LP, The Powers That B, a collaboration with Bjork. The second half of that album was announced via Twitter mere weeks before its release.
Death Grips remains a contemporary powerhouse of unconventional music, opting to promote their work directly to fans by way of social media and their official website. According to Eric Andre, host of the popular Adult Swim series The Eric Andre Show, the band now refuses to appear on television, they also rarely grant interviews. Further jabs at conventional music standards include abandoning a Nine Inch Nails-headlined summer tour by way of scrawling what appeared to be a break-up letter across a paper napkin and uploading it to social media. They later confirmed they hadn’t broken up.
Even with their seemingly unprofessional and deeply mysterious approach to promotion, Death Grips regularly receives critical acclaim and sells out music venues across the country.