Ending on a High Note
Previous to the news of their recent disbandment, Death Grips released the first disc of their double LP The Powers That B. Entitled Niggas on the Moon, Death Grips brings forth the sonic fury and raw vocals that they have captured on their previous three releases and project it at full volume. When Death Grips became the opening act for the recent Nine Inch Nails/Soundgarden tour, this industrial hip hop act’s spotlight began to shine a little bit brighter, introducing new listeners to their brand of experimental art, but in light of the recent news of their breakup Niggas on the Moon is the first half of this band’s swan song.
“Up my Sleeves” starts off this farewell affair. MC Ride has one of the tightest flows of late, his delivery is reminiscent of punk bands of the ’70s fueled with such emotion and sincerity. “Billy Not Really” is one of the more pop-influenced songs on the album, but in no way does that it imply it it would be in the same category as Justin Timberlake. Though the vibe may be a little lighter, drummer Zach Hill and producer Flatlander create beats and instrumentals that would make Timbaland scratch his head in awe.
An interesting note about Niggas on the Moon is Björk’s contribution. Throughout the eight tracks, vocals supplied by everyone’s favorite Icelandic siren are chopped and contorted into some of the most interesting samples of the last few years.
Everything must come to an end, and maybe it’s a good thing that Death Grips called it quits early in their career, though one wonders what other interesting music these three could have created. Niggas on the Moon may not be the best album this trio has produced, but it still soars light years beyond most of their cohorts.