Mixtape Review – Death Grips, Exmilitary Mixtape
Death Grips’ Exmilitary Mixtape just came out and has more stripped down moments than previous peeks at the Zach Hill-backed, experimental hip hop project. Still, the production is impeccable and the experimental qualities persist. The usage of effects and samples create what many Zach Hill projects tend toward: a spastic, noisy, perpetually changing burst of energy. Death Grips is redefining certain boundaries, infusing noise and Zach Hill-absurdity into hip hop.
This time around you can actually understand what Mr. Fuzzface is saying, especially on the first track “Beware.” The lyrics are fairly nonsensical though there are moments worth repeating. Some lyrics play to a frivolous party atmosphere and you can be sure that there will be a Death Grips hesher drunkfest at my house this weekend. Others are reminiscent, though not replicas, of Tyler, The Creator. “Guillotine” is about burning a prostitute’s disembodied head and its corporeal counterparts, “Head of a trick in a bucket, body of a trick in a bag. Throw it in the fire like fuck it, gotta burn it before it goes bad.” However, against the pulsating, dark synthesizer note, the dead prostitute is more Scorsese than ’98 Eminem. The song has some very intense sound effects and a video that made me nauseous–watch it at the bottom.
“Known for it” is still my favorite song and Skinner and I reference it daily. It was released previously in the original Death Grips batch of tracks. An oscillating synth, alternating low and high parts, carries the outbursts to the invigorating chorus: “Known for it, had to do it.” Now I’m wondering if “it” was referring to beheading that trick.