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Why Death Grips' Split Isn't Shocking: A Brief Timeline

by Joey DeGroot   Jul 3, 2014 11:45 AM EDT

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The sudden split of experimental hip-hop band Death Grips should come as no surprise to anyone who's been following the band for the past few years. Here's a brief timeline of some of the band's confounding antics.

May 2012 - Death Grips cancels its entire thirty-date tour to complete its second studio album, despite the fact that the band had already released an album in 2012, The Money Store.

Early October 2012 - Death Grips leaks its own album No Love Deep Web through various torrent services because its label, Epic Records, refuses to officially release it until sometime in 2013. The original album cover (VERY NSFW) features a photograph of an erect penis, possibly that of drummer Zach Hill, with the album's title written across it. As this cover becomes predictably controversial, an alternate cover is released, featuring a photograph of a man wearing socks with the phrase, "SUCK MY D**K" written on them.

Late October 2012 - Death Grips releases screenshots via Facebook of confidential emails sent to the band by Epic Record's senior vice president of business and legal concerning the intentional leak of No Love Deep Web. The emails demand that the band give the album masters to Epic and insist that the album "will not count towards (Death Grips') Recording Commitment." As a result of the controversy surrounding No Love Deep Web and these emails, Epic drops Death Grips from its roster.

March 2013 - At a show during South By Southwest, Zach Hill performs drums via Skype rather than being physically present.

August 2013 - For a Lollapalooza-related event at the Bottom Lounge in Chicago, the onstage backdrop is a Gmail screenshot of a fan's suicide note. Death Grips fails to actually show up, which results in the audience destroying the band's equipment, including the drum kit. It's later revealed that the drum kit was actually a child's starter kid, and that the band never planned on showing up at all. As a result, Death Grips' slot at Lollapalooza is cancelled, as well as several dates afterwards.

November 2013 - Death Grips releases its third studio album Government Plates through its website, though the band states that it's not an "official" release, and no physical format is issued.

July 2014 - Despite the fact that the band is scheduled to open for Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden this summer and has yet to release the second half of its double album The Powers That B, Death Grips announces it break up via Facebook with a photograph of a note written on a napkin. The note states that Death Grips is "now at (its) best" and was always more of a "conceptual art exhibition anchored by sound" rather than a band. 

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