On May 5, Death Grips released the track, “Streaky,” their first piece of new material to promote the upcoming album, Year of the Snitch, due out June 22. The song was notable, mostly for being something of a subdued sound for a band as intense and genre-defying as Death Grips. On May 18, the band went hard and released “Black Paint,” another single from Snitch. Later followed “Flies” and “Ha Ha Ha,” both of which showed an experimental range that appears to be present on their upcoming release.
After the release of “Ha Ha Ha,” Death Grips officially announced the release date of Year of the Snitch and it seemed like four singles was plenty for fans to ride out until the album finally dropped.
Just a little while ago, Death Grips surprised fans once again by tweeting a link to yet another single and music video, entitled “Dilemma.” As reported by Pitchfork Shrek and Shrek 2 director Andrew Adamson has collaborated with the group, marking one of the least predictable collaborations in art history — let alone music or movie history.
For those unfamiliar with Death Grips, the group is synonymous with intensely dark, cryptic themes and imagery, a chaotic music style blending hardcore punk, old school hip-hop, and heavy industrial-electronic music, and for unpredictably intense live performances.
Death Grips has roundly rejected the status quo of the music industry, declining interviews in recent years, refusing to appear on television, and taking a pass on corporate promotion. The band promotes its music almost exclusively from its own social media accounts, refusing commercial advertising of just about any kind. While earlier in their career they seemed mildly open to the idea of more traditional promotion, since their departure with Epic Records in 2012, Death Grips has remained something of an enigma within the world of music. Largely active, always prominent, but never around to give context for anything they do.
As of this writing, their approximately two-hour-old music video for “Dilemma” has already topped 30,000 views on YouTube, while their first single for Year of the Snitch, “Streaky,” has already gained over 1.1 million views. If Death Grips are trying to convince the world that they don’t need corporate promotion to be successful within the world of music, mission accomplished.
Death Grips vocalist Ride, aka Stefan Burnett, is known for his electric stage energy, frantic vocals which often blur the line between rap and punk rock screaming, and for being notably reclusive. When interviewed by Spin Magazine in 2012 for being named Artist of the Year, Burnett was blunt about his dedication to privacy.
“I’m a very private person. I have very few people that I call my friends. I’m very distrustful of human beings in general; I’m very distrustful of the media. I have no interest in sharing my personal life with the world. Zero.”
Since then, Burnett has held true to that statement.