The Money Store // Death Grips

The album cover for Death Grips' The Money Store

Make your water break in the Apple Store.

Hit me in the face!

Alright, I don’t want to just talk about how Death Grips is abrasive, or how their music sounds like the garbage disposal. That’s all been said before. What I am going to do is the same thing Death Grips does on The Money Store: I’m just gonna fling a bunch of shit at you, like it or not.

There’s nothing quite like The Money Store. Yes, there’s loads of industrial hip-hop, heavy hitting, sample driven music with grit and grime. But, frankly? None of it is as good as this album. Even Death Grips’ own discography pales in comparison — Bottomless Pit is the only other album I’d even consider close to this one.

The Money Store is so mean. It hates you. But that’s not your fault — the album seems to hate everything. It shells you from the get go with “Get Got.”1 The song pulls you in with its hypnotic punches, and MC Ride’s voice is as relaxed as it gets until he just straight up starts screaming.

The formula of The Money Store is a lot like selling cocaine: give them a little bit, then hit them with a lot. “Blackjack” is a series of blasts and breaks, alien vibrations and steady drums ramming through the song. It’s aggressive without being annoying. So many other albums fail to make this distinction, and just try and attack the listener with noise. Not this one. At first, it’ll seem like an onslaught of sonic slaughter. But, given time, you realize that there’s a lot of finesse and fine-tuning going on behind the scenes. That combination makes The Money Store all the more enticing.

That, and the lyrics. It’s gratifying to be able to pick up anything that’s said in the album, but I think it’s even more fun to absolutely misinterpret the album’s lines. My personal favorite mistake is “She really wanna know Al Franken” in “Double Helix.” MC Ride’s frustration and apathy groan throughout the entire album, and the way he shouts at the beginning of “The Cage” is one of those moments that grins against all odds.

Picture of a hacker

Obviously, “I’ve Seen Footage” and “System Blower” are awesome. These songs inject feeling into the listener. What Death Grips does is shout a bunch of things at you and allows you to make interpretations for yourself. It’s very liberated music, driving down the highway at 100 MPH and tossing ideas out the window like rocks.

I’m not a huge fan of every song on the album. I think “Fuck That” and “Bitch Please” are relatively boring. Still good, but compared to the rest of the album? Forget about it. Fortunately, we don’t end on a sour note: we have “Hacker,” which vividly embeds itself in my mind just thinking about it. When I’m on a walk and this is the song comes on, that walk turns into a run. There is something so paranoid and aggressive about it. And holy shit, that guitar at 0:35 is unparalleled. I could listen to that come in forever. There’s so much to talk about with “Hacker,” but it’s been praised to death by people who know a lot more about music than I do2, so I won’t sink my teeth into it.

If you're ever feeling apathetic or down, try The Money Store. One shot can turn your whole day around. It’s energetic and focused. Honestly, I know I compared it to cocaine earlier, but I think it’s closer to musical adderall, and it’s a perfect study tool. Yeah, really.

1That’s a mess of a sentence.

2You know who I'm talking about