Death Grips dropped by Epic Records

The ongoing rift between band and label has ended with Epic dissolving the relationship

Death Grips have been dropped by their label, Epic Records.

The US hip-hop group made their second album available for free download after a disagreement with their label over release dates. The leak was presented along with a deliberately controversial album sleeve showing the album title scribbled on an erect penis.

Yesterday (October 31), the rift deepened when the band published a purportedly official email from the label asking them to remove their self-leaked ‘No Love, Deep Web’ album from the internet.

In a statement, via Pitchfork, the label announced they are now ending their relationship with the group:

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.

A leaked email was published on Death Grips’ Facebook and Twitter sites yesterday. The message, dated October 1 and apparently sent to Death Grips’ manager Pete Katsis by Heath Kudler, Epic’s Senior VP of Business and Legal, asks that the band both remove all links to the album from their website and that they return the master tapes to Epic. The label chief explains that he is “extremely upset and disappointed” with the band and their actions.

There has been speculation that the leaking of the album was an elaborate marketing stunt. Death Grips published the email with the caption, “Got sick of hearing about this marketing shit, annoying”, and added, ‘HAHAHA NOW FUCK OFF’.

A second email was also published, in which Death Grips’ manager explains that he is happy to return the master tapes but that all future correspondence should be sent to the band’s attorney.

Earlier this year, Death Grips pulled a string of UK live shows in order to focus their attention into writing and recording ‘No Love, Deep Web’. The Sacramento-based industrial rap trio cancelled a number of festival appearances including London’s I’ll Be Your Mirror and Field Day.

The group will be in the UK for three shows next week, however, playing live dates in Bristol, Manchester and London. Dates can be found below:

Death Grips will play:

Bristol The Fleece (November 5)
Manchester Sound Control (6)
London Electric Ballroom (7)

To check the availability of Death Grips tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.