The drawn-out and consistently controversial saga between Californian noise-hop outfit Death Grips and their label Epic Records (a division of Sony), may well have reached it’s conclusion.

The bitter dispute began early last month, after the band deliberately leaked sophomore album NO LOVE DEEP WEB on their website and all over the net, which they subsequently claimed was shut down by the label, who did not give permission for the early release.

The tensions escalated when the band began to post confidential exchanges with Epic through their Facebook page, with some highly inflammatory captions included for good measure.

Now, in not-too surprising news,  the undeniably entertaining feud may be over after Epic Records has announced that they have officially dropped Death Grips from their label, as NME reports.

In a statement, the label claimed that they are “extremely upset and disappointed” at the Sacramento group’s actions, and that they are “working to dissolve [their] relationship with Death Grips”:

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.

Absolving their contract with Death Grips comes just after the label offered to absolve the controversy if the band handed over the recordings for their second album, with Epic Records’ Heath Kudler writing the band: “please promptly provide the masters (which Epic owns) to us. Once we have cleared the tracks, we intend to quickly put the album up for sale.”

Looks like NO LOVE DEEP WEB won’t be made available for sale through Epic anymore, following the band deliberately leaking its entire contents, without permission from their label on October 1st.

After claiming via their Twitter page (which at the time of writing appears to be offline) that “the label wouldn’t confirm a release date… ‘till next year sometime’” and subsequently they “will be hearing the album for the first time with you (the fans).”

“We are working to dissolve our relationship with Death Grips”

Death Grips then claimed that the record label had shut down their website to prevent the early release of the album, although this was quite possibly caused by the sudden influx of internet downloaders flooding their servers and potentially crashing the website.

To make matters worse, the band’s second release also happens to feature unsellable and extremely NSFW artwork, with the album’s title scrawled on an erect penis.

The dramas then continued when the band began posting confidential exchanges with the Epic Records head honchos on their Facebook page. As if this wasn’t contentious enough, the band also added a subtle caption of “HAHAHAHAHAHAHA NOW FUCK OFF” to accompany pictures of the emails.

The album follows the band’s debut release The Money Store, which our Tone Deaf reviewer labelled a “full of barren yet maximalist electronics made up of otherworldly samples, sickly synths and thunderous drum patterns with hyper-masculine aggressive rapping”.

Aside from all the controversy, the new album can still be heard below via Death Grips’ SoundCloud page, and the band will be visiting Australian shores for Big Day Out in early 2013 – though presumably without the financial backing of their former major label.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine