Follow TV Tropes


Music / Death Grips

Go To
We upload trash.note 
We bring this for the ones who fiend to see the truth taken back in pain
The weakness of this scene who fucks who lack the nuts to claim
The streets from which that real shit comes to push you up on game!
What's your name? Check it, bitch!
It's Death Grips!
"Death Grips (Next Grips)"

Formed in December of 2010, Death Grips is an experimental hip hop group that consists of rapper Stefan Burnett (aka MC Ride), drummer Zach Hill (of the band Hella) and producer Andy Morin.

Their music is a unique and hyper-aggressive blend of noise, samples, noise, Hill's insane drumming, Ride's loud vocals, chaotic production, noise, and subverting and deconstructing almost every hip hop trope under the sun. (But to make for less of a mouthful, it's been summarized as "industrial hip hop" — although that doesn't even cover everything they do.)

They're also known for the sheer nightmarish ferocity of their live shows and the massive following they've gained on the Internet, especially on 4chan's /mu/ board (as well as the Fountain of Memes that has grown as a result).

They're (in)famous for using this extensive following to confound or deliberately mislead fans' expectations, with a famous example being when they announced that they were disbanding in 2014... only to continue making music several months later, to no one's surprise.


  • Death Grips (EP) (2011)
  • Exmilitary (mixtape) (2011)
  • The Money Store (2012)
  • NO LOVE DEEP WEB (2012)
  • Government Plates (2013)
  • Fashion Week (2015)
  • The Powers That B (double album) (2015)
    • Niggas on the Moon (disc 1) (2014)
    • Jenny Death (disc 2) (2015)
  • Interview 2016 (EP) (2016)
  • Bottomless Pit (2016)
  • Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix) (EP) (2017)
  • Year of the Snitch (2018)
  • Gmail and the Restraining Orders (EP) (2019)

The band has a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Andy has an individual Twitter and an individual Instagram; Zach also has an individual Instagram.


  • All Drummers Are Animals: Zach Hill's playing has been known to break lug casings and bend the top hoop of his drums. He's fractured his own hand in a rehearsal once. It's not uncommon for his kit to be broken and splattered with his own blood by the end of some performances.
    • Rehearsal footage used in the video for "No Love" shows him drumming full-force with his bare hands and headbutting his crash cymbal.
  • Alternate Reality Game: The band conducted an intense one to drum up hype for NO LOVE DEEP WEB around two months before the album's release, extensively detailed here.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • "World of Dogs" is fairly self-explanatory, comparing modern civilization to a pack of feral dogs.
    • "Flies" uses flies as a shorthand for death and decay, while "Linda's in Custody" features numerous references to worms in much the same fashion.
  • Animesque: The cover art for The Money Store, which features a topless wide-eyed moeblob with "DEATH GRIPS" razored into her chest and a dog gimp mask, led around on a leash by another anime-styled girl dressed as a dominatrix, as drawn by Sua Yoo (who draws zines in this style).
  • The Anti-Nihilist:
    • "On GP" has MC Ride deciding against suicide after a lengthy rant.
    • The whole band seems to be this, based on interviews.
  • Anti-Police Song: "Klink", "Black Quarterback"
  • Ascended Meme:
    • The phrase "JENNY DEATH WHEN" became something of a meme, being used frequently as a burning question asked by Death Grips fans during the waiting period in between halves of Powers That B. On the album Fashion Week, all of the tracks' letters spell that phrase.
    • "Zach here, thanks man" finally appeared on the official Death Grips twitter on April Fools' Day 2015.
    • The first track off Year of the Snitch is called "Death Grips Is Online", a phrase infamously retweeted en masse by the band's Twitter when tweeted out by fans.
  • Arc Number:
    • Three.
      • The band is composed of three members.
      • I've Always Been Good at True Love (the album by the ILY's) has 9 (or 3 squared) tracks.
    • Thirteen.
      • Exmilitary, The Money Store, No Love Deep Web, Bottomless Pit, and Year of the Snitch all have 13 tracks.
      • Government Plates was released 13 months, 13 days, and 13 hours after NO LOVE DEEP WEB.
      • The starting sample on the song "Fuck That" is 13 seconds long.
      • No Love Deep Web and The Money Store have 13 letters in them.
      • The video for "No Love" was released on February 13.
  • Audience Participation Song:
    • "Guillotine" really seems to be a fan favorite.
    • Everyone always shouts the "triple six, five, forked tongue" line at the start of "Takyon".
    • Audiences have also been known to shout the intro to "No Love" alongside Ride.
    • "Death Grips Is Online" is one of the few songs where Ride will take his mic away from his mouth and into the air for the audience to shout out the eponymous line.
  • Ax-Crazy: MC Ride in most songs. Probably best exemplified in the music video for "You Might Think..." in which he completely loses it in front of the camera.
  • Badass Boast:
    • "I Break Mirrors With My Face in the United States".
    • "Turned Off" gives us this gem:
    I've been spinning chambers since the day I was born!
    • The famous hook to "Beware" also qualifies.
    I close my eyes and seize it
    I clench my fists and beat it
    I light my torch and burn it
    I am the beast I worship.
    • Andrew Adamson gives one on the band's behalf in "Dilemma".
    They have a dilemma. But they'll win their dilemma.
    • Even Zach gets one in, on "Little Richard"
    In the horn section
    They hide weapons
  • Blast Out: "Takyon" depicts a frantic, free-for-all gunfight.
  • Blood Bath: Mentioned in one section of "Steroids".
    Bathe in you like Bathory, bathe in you like Bathory
  • Boastful Rap: Oh so many.
    • Also subverted on many occasions, as Stefan's lyrics frequently display a great deal of self-loathing and suicidal thoughts, especially on later albums.
  • Bookends:
    • In "Beware," the song starts out with the chorus, moves onto the "And I know soon come my time" verse, and proceeds into three minutes of other verses, before repeating the same "And I know soon come my time" verse and ending with the chorus.
    • If The Powers That B really was the band's final album (as was thought to be the case upon release), the first and last songs of their discography would've been called "Death Grips"note  and "Death Grips 2.0".
  • Breather Episode:
    • "Eh" and "80808" are two more chilled out tracks on the manic Bottomless Pit.
    • "Streaky" off of Year of the Snitch also qualifies.
    • Their instrumental albums, Fashion Week and Interview 2016, are this for their discography in general.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: MC Ride causes someone to do this in "Lil Boy".
    I keep em hanging from my balcony
    Shrivel in my sun
    Warm piss showing through his cheap slacks
    This bitch is done
  • Broken Record:
    • The hook to "World of Dogs". "It's all suicide, it's all suicide..."
    • The title of "I Break Mirrors with My Face in the United States" is repeated ad nauseam around the start of the song.
  • Camera Abuse:
    • In the "Hustle Bones" video, we see an open bottle of milk tossed into a dryer. When the dryer starts working, the bottle and milk go flying every which way, including the camera lens.
    • Let's not forget Ride viciously humping the camera in "Double Helix."
    • The video for "I Break Mirrors With My Face In The United States" consists of rehearsal footage in which the camera is strapped to the performers' wrists.
  • Careful with That Axe: MC Ride's modus operandi; choice examples include "Voila" (which includes screams that sound like he's being disemboweled), "Spread Eagle Cross The Block" ("SHIT IS MINE/IT'S ALL MINE/ALL THE TIME!"), and "Full Moon (Death Classic)" (in which he shouts his raps for the entire song).
    • There's also the agonized female scream in "You Might Think".
    • Year of the Snitch gives us two of Ride's finest screams: "DON'T JUMP" in "The Fear" and "WHY ME" in "Disappointed."
  • Cement Shoes: Referenced in "The Fever (Aye Aye)".
    Ankles tied to cinder blocks
  • Changed for the Video: In the video for "No Love", the song is occasionally interrupted by a harsh, distorted noise and "1000%! I USED TO GIVE A FUCK!" pops up on the screen, in keeping with the "on the [X]th day I gave a fuck / did not give a fuck" scrolling across the bottom of the screen. This interruption doesn't appear in the actual song.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The whole band, or at least whoever's in charge of their Internet presence.
  • Country Matters:
    • "Centuries of Damn" features the line "Nailed to crucifix / Lilith shoved up her cunt".
    • "Linda's in Custody" has the refrain "Eat it like the devil's cunt".
  • Crapsack World: Their general view of the world, most clearly shown in "Artificial Death in the West."
  • Creepy Circus Music: Provides a backing beat throughout "Double Helix".
  • Darker and Edgier: NO LOVE DEEP WEB (somehow) manages to be this despite the band already having some of the darkest output of any rap group, with both the lyrics and musical production being bleaker to commemorate the album's focus on atmosphere as opposed to The Money Store, which relied mainly on catchy hooks.
    • The Powers That B manages to be even darker than that.
  • Death Glare: Prominently featured in Exmilitary's cover art.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The first nine or so minutes of the "Come Up and Get Me" video is abstract black and white footage seeming to depict Ride going insane. It's also mostly silent.
  • Demonic Possession: The lyrics to "You Might Think..." depict Ride dying and possessing someone else through his spirit.
  • Deranged Animation: The music video for "True Vulture", animated by Galen Pehrson and featuring voiceover work by Jena Malone of Donnie Darko fame.
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay:
    • No Love Deep Web was leaked by the band themselves in response to Epic refusing to release the album in 2012; the album racked up over 30 million BitTorrent downloads, making it the most legally torrented album of the year.
    • While not exactly piracy, the list of works self-released for free reads far longer than their list of conventionally released works: the Death Grips EP, Exmilitary (and its accompanying stem collection Black Google), Government Plates, Niggas on the Moon, Fashion Week, Interview 2016, Steroids, and the first two albums from side project The i.l.y's, I've Always Been Good at True Love and Scum With Boundaries. Both the instrumentals and an unmastered version of The Money Store have been put out there, as well as the instrumental/acapella stems for Bottomless Pit and instrumentals for Year of the Snitch.
    • The band also uploads all their music to YouTube and SoundCloud on the day of release. Jenny Death, in fact, was released on YouTube nearly two weeks before its official release in response to it being leaked.
  • Distinct Double Album: The Powers That B, which consists of two halves: Niggas on the Moon and Jenny Death. The first disc is extremely abstract and experimental, while the second has heavy influences of Rap Rock.
  • Drone of Dread: Frequently used in the instrumentals, notably in "Guillotine" and much of NO LOVE DEEP WEB. "Flies" ends with one that sounds like an air raid siren.
  • Either/Or Title:
    • Every song on the self-titled EP, and by extent several songs on Exmilitary that got re-released ("Takyon (Death Yon)" and "I Want It I Need It (Death Heated)").
    • Three songs on Government Plates ("This Is Violence Now (Don't Get Me Wrong)", "Bootleg (Don't Need Your Help), and "Whatever I Want (Fuck Who's Watching)").
    • "Guillotine" sometimes has "(It Goes Yah)" suffixed onto it.
  • Eldritch Abomination: One interpretation of The Powers That B.
  • Epic Rocking: "Beware", "I Want It I Need It (Death Heated)", "No Love", "Artificial Death in the West", "Whatever I Want (Fuck Who's Watching)", "Up My Sleeves", "Inanimate Sensation", "Beyond Alive", "The Powers That B", and "On GP" are all over 5 minutes, which counts by the band's standards.
    • "Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix)" is 22 minutes long.
    • Gmail and the Restraining Orders eclipses them all, at nearly a half-hour worth of music.
  • Establishing Character Moment: "Full Moon (Death Classic)" and "Beware" are arguably the most concrete summaries of the Death Grips ethos that they've ever put out.
  • Exorcist Head: Referenced in "Guillotine".
    The screens flashing red, can't see shit but heads
    Spinning exorcist like planets
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Especially in the sense that their beats are sample-based and often take instrumentation straight from those samples.
    • "Face Melter" samples, of all things, a Kodak printer.
    • The bass of "Hustle Bones" is an overmodulated and pitch-shifted motorcycle engine.
    • "System Blower" sampled the sound of a passing train and fashioned its distinctive bridge from the sound of Venus Williams returning a strike.
    • "Death Grips is Online" and "Outro" feature Lucas Abela playing plate glass—with his face, through a pickup and a bunch of guitar pedals.
  • Evil Laugh: Courtesy of Björk in "Up My Sleeves".
  • Face Death with Dignity: "Come Up and Get Me" is an extremely dark variation.
    My life is a fuck
    Ain't one thing I don't hate
    Tell me my time's almost up
    Imma say I can't wait
    Put your gun to my head, I blow smoke in your face
    Think you got what it takes?
  • Face on the Cover:
    • Sua Yoo (the lady who made the Money Store artwork) on the cover of Fashion Week.
    • Matthew Hoffman on the cover of Interview 2016.
  • Fading into the Next Song:
    • Exmilitary has several examples:
      • The sampled voicemail message that closes "Beware" ends with "It goes, it goes, it goes, it goes, YUH!", which is the hook of the next track, "Guillotine".
      • The computerized female voice sample that recurs throughout and ends "Culture Shock" leads into the start of "5D".
      • The sample at the end of "Takyon" transitions into "Cut Throat" to form the phrase "Six million ways to die, choose— death."
      • The digital turntable scratches at the end of "Cut Throat" segue into the opening of "Klink", which starts with an analogue turntable scratch.
    • On No Love Deep Web, the echoing voice clip of Ride at the end of "World of Dogs" sets the tempo for "Lock Your Doors".
    • Niggas on the Moon commonly segues directly from one track to the next.
    • Almost every song on Year of the Snitch flows seamlessly into the next, with some being Siamese Twin Songs.
  • Fainting Seer: Referenced in "Billy Not Really".
    Visit some medium, won't come near me
    Treats me like a meteor
    She scares me
  • Free Handed Performer: MC Ride only raps while Zach is on drums and Flatlander is on keyboards.
  • Freudian Threat: The rather memorable line "I'm the coat hanger in your man's vagina," off of "Deep Web".
  • Genre-Busting: Good luck finding anything remotely similar. Their sound straddles the genres of hip hop, punk, electronic music, industrial, and even heavy metal, without fitting cleanly into any of them. B L A C K I E, dälek, and clipping. take similarly extreme and experimental approaches to hip-hop, but none sound quite the same—or quite like each other.
  • Genre Roulette: Any given song on Bottomless Pit leans either towards the band's normal electronica-tinged industrial rap or more aggressive sounds more reminiscent of heavy metal.
    • Taken to a new extreme on Year of the Snitch, which throws a new curveball with every track.
  • Harsh Vocals: One of the very few rap examples.
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Used as the backing beat for "Blackjack".
  • Homage: The infamous cover of No Love Deep Web is both this and a Shout-Out to a Black Flag poster featuring a penis on it, right down to the angle of the . . . shaft.
  • Humanoid Abomination: MC Ride himself in a couple songs, like "You Might Think..." and "The Powers That B."
  • "I Am" Song: "Beware" may be the most brutal, nihilistic example of this trope to ever exist, and is by extension a perfect summary of the band's ethos.
  • Idiosyncratic Song Naming: The tracks on Fashion Week all share a naming theme: the word "Runway", and then a letter. As the track listing shows, all of the letters spell "JENNY DEATH WHEN".
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Nay nay, Ride, we don't know what you're sayin'.
  • Instrumental: Fashion Week is a completely instrumental album.
    • "Cut Throat" and "5d" off of Exmilitary, which are both sort of instrumental interludes.
    • The music featured on Interview 2016 is like on Fashion Week, and because this it was nicknamed by fans as Fashion Week 2.
  • Interface Screw: Year of the Snitch drops several hints that it deliberately presented its tracks in the wrong order, such as Siamese Twin Songs not playing right after the other, and a song titled "Outro" as its penultimate track.
  • Last Stand: "Come Up And Get Me" is about one, though in the song MC Ride's not even sure if his attackers are real.
  • Leave the Camera Running:
    • The 9-minute film at the start of the "Come Up And Get Me" video consists of numerous notably long takes of next to nothing happening.
    • The video for "On GP" has the band sitting extremely still in a room while the song is blasted over the speakers.
    • There's also the video "June 22", which is about 7 minutes of weirdly distorted footage of a hooded figure rolling a toy truck around.
  • Loudness War: Done on purpose, though not in a negative fashion.
    • Exmilitary brings it to the point of Sensory Abuse.
    • Fortunately though, an unmastered version of The Money Store exists on the web and isn't hard to come by, and it avoids the brickwalling of the released versions. All the stems of Exmilitary also exist on the web, so it shouldn't be hard for anyone with the right programs to make their own master that isn't so abrasively loud.
  • Lucky Charms Title: No Love Deep Web is sometimes stylized as NØ LØV∑ D∑∑P W∏B.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Spread Eagle Cross the Block", "Hunger Games", "Whatever I Want (Fuck Who's Watching)", "Giving Bad People Good Ideas".
  • Madness Mantra:
    • The very beginning of "Steroids".
    • "World of Dogs" also has MC Ride repeating "It's all suicide" over and over in a Creepy Monotone.
    • All of MC Ride's "lyrics" in Gmail and the Restraining Orders consist of nothing more than several repeated sentences.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: No Love Deep Web's cover is literally just Zach Hill's penis.
  • Metaphorgotten: One would have to read interviews from around the time to understand why "The Horn Section" was not a Non-Indicative Name for an instrumental featuring an extended drum solo.
  • Mind Screw: A lot of their music videos and promotional work are heavily reminiscent of totheark's strange diatribes.
  • Minimalism: No Love Deep Web uses this extensively to an unsettling effect. "Hunger Games" is probably the most stripped-down song on the album.
  • Miniscule Rocking: "5D" and "Cut Throat", both off of Exmilitary, are around a minute in length.
  • Motive Rant: "Beware" can be considered one, as Ride lays bare his incredibly individualistic and nihilistic philosophy in it.
  • Motor Mouth: Ride does this on both verses on "Shitshow".
  • Murder Ballad:
    • "Takyon", which appears to be about a gunfight.
    • "Guillotine" mixes Boastful Rap and this.
  • N-Word Privileges: Actually averted in most of the band's discography. The word only shows up in the title of Niggas on the Moon, and even then isn't used in the actual lyrics of the album.
  • New Media Are Evil: "Culture Shock" off of Exmilitary explicitly decries technology's influence, using the anti-tech argument that no one needs that much information and that phones and other newfangled gadgets are stripping people of their free will, to be replaced by mass media.
  • New Sound Album: While they still fall under the umbrella of industrial hip-hop, each of their albums is this compared to the previous one.
    • Exmilitary was a lot more hook- and beat-driven than their debut EP.
    • The Money Store was considerably more electronic and less sample-based than Exmilitary.
    • NO LOVE DEEP WEB eschews catchy hooks in general in exchange for a deeper focus on atmosphere.
    • Government Plates took this to a new level, with a much larger emphasis on experimental electronic production and much less rapping from MC Ride.
    • And then Ride returned in a big way for Niggas on the Moon, which in general features more frenetic production, cleaner, quieter, yet far more absurd verses from Ride, and samples from Björk on every track.
    • Let's not forget Fashion Week, which takes the roots of Government Plates and plays with them at will, having special amounts of freedom since it's a wholly instrumental album.
    • Bottomless Pit hearkens back to the accessibility and catchiness of Money Store combined with the raw aggression of Exmilitary which, at its most intense, begins crossing into grounds of heavy metal ("Giving Bad People Good Ideas", "Ring a Bell", "Bottomless Pit").
    • Year of the Snitch leaned even harder on their hip-hop roots (complete with scratches), but expanded their pallet even further, going into uncharted territory for the group.
  • Nonindicative Name: "Outro" is the second-to-last song on Year of the Snitch.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • The video for "Come Up And Get Me" features roughly nine minutes of abstract black and white footage capturing, among other things, MC Ride slowly losing his mind. Most of the audio is completely absent, meaning that at any moment you have absolutely no idea what you'll see next...
    • NO LOVE DEEP WEB as a whole embodies this trope a lot in its minimalist sonic approach compounded with its increasingly dark lyricism, with the instrumental for "Hunger Games" probably being the most clear-cut example.
    • Andy's website, ever since he's been missing, usually consists of a single cryptic phrase or image at a time, occasionally with hidden images in the code or whatever the ARG calls for.
    • The video for "Takyon" has a masked individual cautiously exploring an abandoned office.
  • Not Quite Dead: Despite the band making a big statement that they were breaking up, they not only put out more music afterwards but left lots of fans in disbelief—not shocked disbelief, but "I know that this isn't true" disbelief. Soon enough, the band not only completed The Powers That B but confirmed on Facebook that their music-making days aren't quite over.
  • Number of the Beast: Occurs at the beginning and ending of "Takyon". The song's opening line on is "triple six, five, forked tongue", and it ends with a sample saying "six million ways to die" that is intentionally stuttered to repeat the "six" three times.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: Parts of "No Love" and "Spread Eagle Cross The Block".
  • Odd Friendship: With Robert Pattinson. He's been photographed hanging out with Ride on several occasions, is apparently a huge fan of the band, and is apparently behind the electric guitar on "Birds".
  • The Oner: The video for "You might think..." and the first video for "On GP". In fact, the latter actually confused viewers initially, since the band members are so still in the video that many thought it was a still image (they do move later in the video).
    • "I Break Mirrors With My Face In The United States" is uninterrupted footage of the band rehearsing the song taken from cameras attached to the band members' wrists. The first time, it's shown from Zach's camera; then, the same footage is shown from Ride's camera.
  • One-Word Title:
    • Exmilitary: The album title, "Beware", "Guillotine", "Takyon" (not counting the Either/Or Title), "Klink", "5D"
    • The Money Store: "Blackjack", "Hacker"
    • NO LOVE DEEP WEB: "Whammy", "Stockton", "Pop"
    • Government Plates: "Birds"
    • The Powers That B: "Voila"
    • Bottomless Pit: "Spikes", "Warping", "Eh", "Trash", "Houdini"
    • Year of the Snitch: "Flies", "Shitshow", "Streaky", "Dilemma", "Outro", "Disappointed"
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The video for "You might think he loves you for your money but I know what he really loves you for it's your brand new leopard skin pillbox hat" consists almost entirely of MC Ride smiling and laughing.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience:
    • Some of the Powers That B tracks ("On GP" comes to mind) go from the band's usual experimental rap style and goes into full-on rap rock. It's essentially something you'd find on Exmilitary, but on steroids and crack.
    • Year of the Snitch is experimental even by their standards, having an odd amount of influence from classic rock, jazz, and even shoegaze.
  • Performance Video:
    • "The Fever" and "No Love" are the most straightforward examples (albeit still heavily edited in post), taken from rehearsal footage.
    • "Guillotine", "Hustle Bones", "Double Helix", and "Come Up and Get Me" (after the 9-minute mark) have only Ride performing the song.
    • "Lock Your Doors" and "Death Grips Is Online" are built around actual concert footage of the band.
    • "I Break Mirrors With My Face In The United States" consists of rehearsal footage taken with cameras strapped to the band members' wrists.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Ride. He's subverted this on one occasion in the video for "You Might Think...", and boy is it creepy as hell.
  • Powers That Be: They have a double album called The Powers That B.
  • Pretender Diss: "The Powers That B" ends with a particularly scathing one.
    Your parasite's showing, that's not my bad
    Your bad's pathetic, your bad's your price tag
    Your bad's embedded in your lives, a white flag
    A sterilized white flag, born, bred, and buried in it
    Wears you like a cherry finish, keeps you valuable and shiny
    You're a shiny clown to me and the powers that B
  • Pretty in Mink: After the "short film" in the "Come Up and Get Me" video, we see Ride rapping the song in a fur coat.
    • Sua Yoo appears this way on the cover of Fashion Week.
  • Rap Rock:
    • Some of their songs that incorporate samples of old rock songs ("Klink" comes to mind) could be classified as this.
    • For about half of Jenny Death, the band is joined by a live organist and guitarist. "On GP" takes this even further, featuring Andy Morin on bass guitar.
  • Religion Rant Song: "Beware" briefly becomes one with this lyric:
    To pray is to accept defeat.
  • Re-release the Song: "Takyon", "Known For It", and "I Want It I Need It (Death Heated)"note  on the debut EP would later become part of the Exmilitary track list.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Oh, let us count the ways...
    • Epic Records giving you some Executive Meddling on your new album release? Just go and release the album for free immediately. Having an erect penis on the cover wouldn't hurt, either.
    • Government Plates and Niggas on the Moon, both deliberately made with high mindfuck levels in the experimental production.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: MC Ride has a tattoo of a symbol from the Necronomicon called the "Sigil of the Gateway".
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Their current Twitter handle is bbpoltergiest, with "poltergeist" deliberately misspelled.
  • Sampling: Extensively. Often overlaps with Everything Is an Instrument (see above). The following examples are just some of the examples in their music.
    • Their debut EP's first track primarily samples Nancy Sinatra's "Lightning's Girl".
    • Exmilitary:
      • The album starts with the famous "I roll the nickels" clip by Charles Manson.
      • "Klink" primarily samples Black Flag's "Rise Above".
      • "I Want It I Need It" primarily samples Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive".
      • "Lord of the Game" features the "I AM THE GOD OF HELLFIRE!" clip from Arthur Brown's "Fire".
      • "Spread Eagle Cross the Block" primarily samples Link Wray's "Rumble".
    • The band has actually sampled themselves on multiple albums. This is most prevalent in Year of the Snitch, which mostly samples Exmilitary.
  • Sanity Slippage Song:
    • Almost every song on No Love Deep Web, particularly "Come Up and Get Me" and "Deep Web". The line "Tongue cut out the mouth of reason and chucked off the river's edge" is a pretty nice summary for the whole album.
    • There's also a hint of this on Government Plates and Niggas on the Moon, though those two are just incredibly abstract for the most part.
  • Scary Black Man: MC Ride, and how.
  • Scenery Gorn: The video to "Inanimate Sensation" is shown through the TV display of a basketball court—which has just fallen off the ceiling and gone straight through the floor.
    • A lesser case in "The Powers That B," which consists of sped-up footage of Stefan and Zach cleaning up a torn-open beanbag chair.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Like most rappers, MC Ride stacks his vocals—but given his trademark style, this is how it typically sounds.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their debut EP. There are also numerous songs that feature their name in the title, including “Death Grips (Next Grips)”, “@DeathGripz”, “Death Grips 2.0”, and “Death Grips is Online”.
  • Sensory Abuse:
    • Sometimes, mostly on Exmilitary, which is probably the loudest of their releases.
      • The odd, screechy synth section towards the end of "Guillotine" stands out.
    • "Punk Weight" deliberately sounds like it's being played through blown-out speakers, with its bass completely swallowing the instrumental.
    • The end of "Big Dipper" is a solid two and a half minutes of random chopped-up vocal samples from previous tracks.
    • The opening of "Little Richard".
    • Most of their videos have intentional glitches and spaced-out effects, such as visual static. "Full Moon" and "Flies" are probably the most glaring examples of straight-on optical abuse, considering a good portion of the Ride footage in those videos is played while flickering intensely.
    • Gmail and the Restraining Orders. ALL OF IT.
  • Siamese Twin Songs:
    • "Culture Shock" and "5D" off of Exmilitary.
    • Year of the Snitch features several cases. Most notably, "Dilemma" and "The Fear" are presented as such, but the tracklisting places one song between them. This suggests to some that the album is meant to be played in a different order than initially presented.
  • Shout-Out:
    Them clueless strut nailed to crucifix Lilith shoved up her cunt
  • Singer Namedrop: They reference "Death Grips" in a few different songs, but the most poignant example has to be in "On GP".
    "It's been a pleasure, Stefan."
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: A rare rap example — if you heard Stefan speak, you'd never believe he was MC Ride.
  • Slasher Smile: The video for "You Might Think...". It's the one time Ride isn't always frowning, and after watching the video, you'd wish it would stay that way.
  • Song Style Shift: "Steroids", being 22 minutes long, does this about a half dozen times. Gmail and the Restraining Orders follows the same principle.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Any time they have a guest vocalist, they and Ride will be several octaves apart.
  • Spoken Word in Music:
    • The iconic sampling of a Charles Manson speech at the start of Exmilitary.
    • "Dilemma" has one from Andrew Adamson.
  • Spoof Aesop: "I Want It I Need It (Death Heated)" has a very true statement.
    Responsibility's cool, but there's more things in life
    Like getting your dick rode all fucking night
  • Stoic Spectacles: Andy.
  • Stylistic Suck: Their songs are intentionally brickwalled and compressed to a brutal degree, and their videos are about as close to a live-action Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff as you can get. Take the videos for "Guillotine," "The Fever (Aye Aye)," and "Takyon," for example.
    • This applies to the visuals for Government Plates. A music video was made for each song, and most of them include rotating 3D art looping over and over on a black background.
    • "Eh", fitting for a song about indifference, is deliberately phoned-in—it even has the only video not directed (or co-directed) by the group.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Their calmest songs musically tend to be their heaviest lyrically, such as "On GP" mostly being nihilistic brooding about life and the pointlessness of it.
  • Surreal Music Video: Almost their default.
    • "Guillotine" has Ride rapping the lyrics in the passenger seat of a car, with a majority of the screen being consumed by grainy distortion.
    • "The Fever" has the band performing the song, but with an extremely weird darkening filter on the footage.
    • "Full Moon (Death Classic)" switches between Ride ferociously rapping as the footage flickers to no end and grotesquely candid footage of one bird preying on another.
    • "Come Up and Get Me" has a 9-minute "short film" at the start, which treats us with largely silent black-and-white footage of Ride going insane.
    • "No Love" is a Performance Video with the footage split into two parts put up against each other; one part is completely tinted red, and the other is tinted green. Not to mention the sliding captions at the bottom that are in an order such as this: "on the first day I gave a fuck", "on the second day I did not give a fuck", "on the third day I gave a fuck". This then leads to the song and video sometimes being interrupted by a caption that reads: "1000%!!! I USED TO GIVE A FUCK" and a video-only metal-esque guitar riff.
    • "Eh" has an interesting visual effect where all of the people in the video are rendered through neon-like lines of digital animation.
    • Conversely, "Giving Bad People Good Ideas" was filmed on (literally) a shoestring budget and has a shoe being dismantled, and even lip syncing some parts of the song.
    • "Takyon" alternates between a masked individual exploring an abandoned office and Ride rapping with a weird, watery effect on top of the footage.
    • "You Might Think" starts with 15 seconds of a fire being lit and then has a close-up of Ride as he utterly loses his shit in front of the camera.
    • Every other song on Government Plates has a video featuring loops of CGI animation except for "Whatever I Want", which features a POV meeting with a strange, skull-masked character who eventually leads the viewer to Ride laying face up on a bed, eyes wide open.
    • "Streaky" features a womannote , staring into a flashing multi-coloured LED light as glitter is periodically thrown on her, with 2 alternating gifs of a hand squishing some weird objects in the top-right corner.
    • "Flies" has MC Ride floating in the air by way of a stopmotion effect, coupled with a TV screen in a pitch-black room, displaying footage of MC Ride in a white hoodie.
    • "Shitshow" (which was actually removed from YouTube for its "sexually provocative content" and "fetishes",f and re-uploaded onto Vimeo, so obviously NSFW) contains a fuckload of weird and downright disgusting imagery:
      • The video kicks off with footage of first responders trying to communicate with Galen Pehrson (who animated the True Vulture video) after he suffered a seizure. With a banana randomly floating across the screen.
      • Once the ACTUAL video starts, we aren't just treated to a couple of legs kicking frantically out from a bush, but Zach wiping his ass and a Gross-Up Close-Up of some random lady peeing on the ground.
      • We then see Zach crawling around like a loon in front of people on the hills of Hollywood before sliding back down the hill.
      • And to top it all off, we come back to Zach wiping himself four times (with the same piece of toilet paper, no less) to reveal purple, green, blue, and black liquids on the paper, with footage of Zach placing his hand a weird crystal planted on top of the actual crystal in shot, presumbably for weirdness' sake.
      • If you look closely, you can slightly see Zach's balls.
      • The video finally ends with more footage of Galen suffering from a seizure, only this time he's naked.
  • Take That!:
    • In "Hacker":
    • Year of the Snitch repeatedly points its barbs at Linda Kasabian, a Manson Family escapee and a key witness against him. This extends to its title and its release date—it came out right after her 69th birthday. That fact is alluded to in "Hahaha," itself titled in reference to a Charles Manson interview.
  • Take That, Audience!: "BB Poison" directly talks about the strange and twisted relationship the band has with their fans, considering fan freakouts and meme explosions have become an integral part of the band's culture.
  • Take That, Critics!:
    • "Eh" seems to be directed towards haters and critics of the band, to which the band merely responds by saying "eh".
    • "Disappointed" seems to be venting about the band constantly being judged by others.
  • Take That Us: Once described themselves as "V E R Y SHALLOW LISTENING" circa Bottomless Pit - this may be a Take That! to critics who deem them as inferior to B L A C K I E, dalek, and other experimental hip-hop groups in terms of content.
    • When tweeting out a phone number for fans to access music from Bottomless Pit before it came out, the band instructed to "press 1 for trash", with "trash" referring to their music (specifically, the song "Trash").
  • Taking You with Me: "Come Up and Get Me" has Ride intending to do this to the people he thinks are hunting him.
  • Textless Album Cover: Fashion Week, Bottomless Pit, Steroids, Year of the Snitch, and Gmail and the Restraining Orders.
    • The Money Store, if the "DEATH GRIPS" carved onto the masochist's chest doesn't count. There is, however, a "clean" (so to speak) version of the cover where the album's title is shown in a white text box that censors the masochist's breasts.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: NO LOVE DEEP WEB is kind of like their version of this. The majority of the sounds are produced from basic synthesizers and 808 drums, and there are comparatively few instances of what can be identified as samples. Hill has, for the most part, traded his drumkit in for some electronic drumpads.
    • Government Plates can be argued to be even more stripped down.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Used frequently by Ride, usually molded into his famous "BEEYOTCH."
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: Applies to the band's discography as a whole, but really gets explored on Exmilitary.
    • "No Love" is apparently about a psychotic breakdown and beatdown, while "Come Up And Get Me" has Ride trapped at the top of an abandoned building hallucinating that people are coming to kill him.
  • Title Scream:
    • The chorus of "Takyon". Good grief.
    • "Spread Eagle Cross the Block" starts with Ride shouting the song title three times. The same sound clip is reused later in the song.
    • The beginning portion of "I Break Mirrors With My Face in the United States" features Ride doing nothing but repeatedly shouting the song title.
    • At least half of it: "NO LOVE!"
    • "Black Paint" has MC Ride repeating the titular phrase after almost every line.
    • "Hahaha" and "Shitshow" off of ''Year of the Snitch' qualify.
  • Title Track: Their self-titled debut EP, No Love Deep Web, Government Plates, The Powers That B, and Bottomless Pit all have one. Well, NLDW is a bit unique, in the sense that there are two tracks named "No Love" and "Deep Web."
  • Tranquil Fury: Ride's vocal delivery in "Linda's in Custody" comes across as this.
  • Trope Codifier: For industrial rap. While groups like The Disposible Heroes of Hiphoprisy had been combining industrial elements with rap and hip-hop since as far back as the late 1980s, Death Grips' sound has come to define the style since their inception.
  • Uncommon Time:
  • The vocal part of "Big House" is in 6/8.
  • "Hunger Games" is a subversion. It's in 4/4 time, but the rhythm is... uh.... batshit insane...
  • Death Grips don't generally use a lot of strange time signatures, but they do use extensive syncopation and other strange musical features.
    • The main riff of "Come Up and Get Me" gets insanely syncopated around the middle before abruptly coming back at the end.
    • "Full Moon (Death Classic)" is crazily offbeat, having some parts where Ride ignores the rhythm entirely (i.e. the "buck buck buck buck" bit).
    • The first verse and last hook of "You Might Think..." both seem to kind of ignore the rhythm behind them. Additionally, it's in 6/8.
    • The notes that the guitar plays in the verses and choruses in "Birds" are of incredibly uneven and unnatural lengths, as are the synths in the second section of "Bootleg (Don't Need Your Help)".
    • Ride's sampled vocals on "Whatever I Want (Fuck Who's Watching)" are weirdly syncopated.
    • "Anne Bonny", "Two Heavens", "Feels Like A Wheel", "Big House", and "Bootleg (Don't Need Your Help)" all include abrupt tempo changes at some point in their duration.
  • Visual Pun: The upload of "Black Paint" on the official Death Grips YouTube channel features an image of someone dressed as the Grim Reaper holding a can of black paint. Death grips black paint.
  • Vulgar Humor: While most perceive the album cover of NO LOVE DEEP WEB as this, the alternate cover goes a step further by showing socks with "SUCK MY DICK" embroidered on.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Ride, more often than not.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Andy Morin was missing from October 2012 until SXSW 2013, and it has yet to be addressed or explained.

Please stay legend.