If you have been active on music-related social media within the past year, you have no doubt come across the cryptic phrase, “Jenny death when?”. The three-word question refers to the unreleased second half of the supposedly final album from the California experimental hip-hop trio, Death Grips. Their double album, The Powers That b, is incomplete without the publication of Jenny Death, and considering that Death Grips broke up last July, fans of the band have been anxiously wondering if the album will ever drop. Thankfully, Jenny Death has finally been given a March 31 release date, and the enigmatic rap collective keeps their clamoring fanbase satiated by dropping tracks and information via Facebook and unverified Twitter accounts.
“Inanimate Sensation” was the first of Jenny Death’s track list to be revealed; the six-minute song is also accompanied by an official video. Death Grips’ approach to hip hop is laden with experimental influences, such as noise, glitch, and industrial, and these facets are amplified in “Inanimate Sensation”. The song starts with an ear-piercing chorus of whining screams, emulating a vocal siren with its intensity. Drummer Zach Hill (of noise rock band Hella) contributes some giant live drums that provide the foundation to member Flatlander’s idiosyncratic beats. This makes the entire instrumental backing perfectly chaotic for MC Ride to shout, whisper, and bellow over. If you can discern the lyrics from Ride’s gruff delivery, one can interpolate themes of technological dependency, consumerism, and musical criticism.
With “Inanimate Sensation” as the first audio introduction to Jenny Death, fans of Death Grips should be very excited about what is to come. Jenny Death drops on March 31 via Harvest Records.