On October 1st, Death Grips chose to release their new album, NO LOVE DEEP WEB for free stream and download through their website against the wishes of their label, Epic Records. Now, via Facebook, the band has posted the alleged original letters of infringement received from Epic .
In the days following the original leak, some Internet skeptics began to ponder if the entire incident was a staged publicity stunt. Death Grips intent with the post appears to have been to clear the air on such chatter, accompanying the post by writing, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA NOW FUCK OFF.”
The e-mail, dated Oct 1 (the day the album was leaked), is written by a gentlemen named Heath Kudler who’s signature has him listed as the Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for Epic. The message states:
As you are aware from our several conversations today, Epic is extremely upset and disappointed that the artist decided to release an album with Epic’s knowledge or involvement. As you know, the artist has not only blatantly breached a number of provisions in the applicable agreement, it also has willfully infringed Epic’s copyright rights with respect to these masters. Equally important, without provocation, the artist has made false and disparaging statements on various websites about Epic. All this, despite the fact that Epic has done nothing except wholeheartedly support the band, even though the band has made certain decisions that have financially damaged Epic.
Given the situation in which Epic finds itself, please immediately pull the album from all website on which it is currently being distributed. In addition, please promptly provide the masters (which Epics owns) to us. Once we have cleared the tracks, we intend to quickly put the album up for sale.
Today, unsurprisingly, the announcement came from Epic that they are “working to dissolve [their] relationship” with the group. It feels like this one is going to be a long and bumpy ride.
Epic Records released this statement:
Epic Records is a music first company that breaks new artists. That is our mission and our mandate. Unfortunately, when marketing and publicity stunts trump the actual music, we must remind ourselves of our core values. To that end, effective immediately, we are working to dissolve our relationship with Death Grips. We wish them well.