In your formative years, you learn some things that stay with you. In my formative years, I learned that if you wore white socks and black shoes to school, you were just asking for abuse. Only helpless nerds whose mommas dressed them wore white socks and black shoes. Poor motherfuckers, it was even worse than duct-taped glasses and using pocket protectors with a half-dozen pens. Yeah, that’s how fuckin’ old I am.
At some point, it looked like Michael Jackson would make white socks cool, back before it came out that he was sleeping with little boys. But I think you needed to have patent leather shoes and a white glove to pull that off, and you needed to be cool in all sorts of other ways, too. And honestly, I thought he was still pushing his luck with that shit, even when he was at the height of his powers.
Well, motherfuckin’ Death Grips may succeed where Michael Jackson failed. That pic up there is the new alternate album cover for No Love Deep Web, the new Death Grips album that has become a case study in how to viral-market your music. In case you missed our earlier post about this album and didn’t see the news elsewhere, this is the album that Death Grips released for free download earlier this week despite the fact that they’re signed to the mainstream Epic/Columbia label, who presumably has rights to the music — and used a picture of an erect dick as the album cover.
Supposedly, something about that album art led to the band’s site being shut down, though that still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Web hosts don’t give fuck what you put on your own web site and I can’t fathom how the band’s label could unilaterally have it shut down since the site pre-dated the band’s signing with them and presumably is paid for by the band.
But in any event, per a post on their Facebook page, Death Grips seem to have created a new alternate album cover, which is at the top of this post.
These dudes seem to have an uncanny sense about how to sell themselves as cool — even if you disregard the fact that their music IS COOL. I mean, for a certain demographic, you can put “Suck My Dick” on anything and be cool. But this new album cover is even more clever than that . . . because Death Grips put the words on some white fucking socks . . . beneath a pair of khakis . . . and above some black dress shoes with a shine.
And with a wadded bill at the feet of the wearer.
As if to say, keep that trash . . . and suck my dick. We ain’t about the money, we about the music, motherfuckers.
So, one reason I’m not totally taking this at face value is that Death Grips signed with a label like Epic in the first place, and probably got a cash advance out of that deal. I don’t begrudge the dudes that kind of monetary success for one minute, but once you’ve taken that step, it puts the events of the last week in a different context. To me, it means one of two things is happening:
1. Death Grips suffered from temporary insanity when they signed with Epic (or had a temporary personality transplant) and have now recovered their minds and returned to their DIY ethic, and are genuinely fuckin’ with the label and attempting to re-establish their credibility; or
2. Death Grips are just some really smart, self-trained marketers and are doing some carefully calculated things to vault their popularity into the stratosphere, and everything already is (or soon will be) cool with the label.
I’m okay with #1. If #2 is what’s happening, then I’m not okay, because it means Death Grips aren’t being honest. Because I like their music, I prefer to believe that #1 is the truth.
I feel a bit like a dick for even harboring these suspicions. I mean, we’ve backed Death Grips’ music pretty hard at this site, especially considering that the music doesn’t even fit the usual definition of metal. But my antenna are twitching anyway, despite the fact that I like the socks.
And you can still download No Love Deep Web for nothing via this link. You can also listen to the whole album in this stream, which the band put up on YouTube. The index to the songs is below the player.
What’s your take on this situation?
0:00 Come Up And Get Me / 4:09 Lil Boy / 7:57 No Love / 13:00 Black Dice / 16:26 World Of Dogs / 19:10 Lock Your Doors / 22:59 Whammy / 26:10 Hunger Games / 28:49 Deep Web / 31:07 Stockton / 34:26 Pop / 37:19 Bass Rattle Stars Out The Sky / 39:46 Artificial Death In The West