Government Plates

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Government Plates
Studio album by
Released November 13, 2013 (2013-11-13)
Genre Experimental hip hop
Length 35:37
Producer Death Grips
Death Grips chronology
No Love Deep Web
Government Plates
Fashion Week
Death Grips studio album chronology
No Love Deep Web
Government Plates
The Powers That B
Singles from Government Plates
  1. "Birds"
    Released: August 21, 2013
Alternative Record Store Day vinyl cover
Alternate vinyl artwork for Government Plates by Death Grips.png

Government Plates is the third studio album by experimental hip hop group Death Grips. It was released for free download on November 13, 2013, following the release of the single "Birds" in August 2013. It was also uploaded by the band to multiple file sharing sites. Accompanying the album are eleven music videos, which were uploaded to the band's YouTube page. On January 14, 2014, Government Plates was made available for purchase through iTunes. The album has sold 13,000 copies as of March 2015.[1]


On May 10, 2013, it was announced that drummer Zach Hill was working on writing, directing, and soundtracking a feature film. This same announcement stated that he was also working on a third Death Grips studio album.[2] On July 8, it was announced that Death Grips launched their new label, Third Worlds. The label was created through "a unique relationship with Harvest/Capitol" to be distributed by Caroline Records. A 2014 release for their third studio album was also announced.[3] On August 21, 2013, a track titled "Birds" was posted to YouTube, and made available for free download.[4]


On November 13, 2013, Death Grips posted Government Plates on several websites for free download without any forewarning.[5][6][7] Subsequently, they released music videos for all eleven tracks on YouTube and streamed the full album on SoundCloud.[8][9][10][11] The album was released exactly 13 months, 13 days, and 13 hours after their previous album, No Love Deep Web. The album was released to iTunes and Spotify on January 14, 2014.

On November 28, 2014, 900 vinyl copies of Government Plates were released for Record Store Day Black Friday, containing new artwork and a physical replica of the license plate on the cover.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 75/100[12]
Review scores
Source Rating
Consequence of Sound 2.5/5 stars[13]
DIY 4/5 stars[14]
Drowned in Sound 8/10[15]
Fact 3.5/5[16]
NME 8/10[17]
Pitchfork 8.4/10[18]
PopMatters 8/10[19]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[20]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[21]
Spin 8/10[22]

Upon its release, Government Plates was met with generally positive reviews. At Metacritic the album received an average score of 75, which indicates "generally favorable", based on 18 reviews.[12] Ian Cohen of Pitchfork awarded the album "Best New Music", writing: "Government Plates loudly reestablishes Death Grips as a group freed by having no ideals whatsoever, making music without a past about a present with no future."[18] Chase Woodruff of Slant Magazine gave the album a positive review, stating: "Government Plates doesn't budge an inch from the vulgar, militant nihilism of 2012's The Money Store or its follow-up, No Love Deep Web."[21] Joe Price of This Is Fake DIY referred to the album as "a sloppy lobotomy of hip-hop focused on provoking fear and intrigue."[14]

The album was placed at 43 on Spin's 50 Best Albums of 2013 list.[23]

However, some critics criticized "the lack of vocals" in the album. Consequence of Sound senior staff writer Dan Caffrey stated: "Although MC Ride’s presence is definitely felt, it’s more in repeated phrases and abstract vocalizations than the nasty stream-of-consciousness rhymes from other Death Grips releases."[13]

In other media

"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" was featured in a 2014 commercial for the Intersport shoe line.[24]

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. "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" 2:41
2. "Anne Bonny" 3:27
3. "Two Heavens" 3:02
4. "This Is Violence Now (Don't Get Me Wrong)" 2:38
5. "Birds" 4:38
6. "Feels Like a Wheel" 2:22
7. "I'm Overflow" 3:09
8. "Big House" 2:19
9. "Government Plates" 2:42
10. "Bootleg (Don't Need Your Help)" 2:06
11. "Whatever I Want (Fuck Who's Watching)" 6:38
Total length: 35:37


Death Grips
  • MC Ride – vocals, production
  • Zach Hill – production, drums
  • Andy Morin – production, keyboards, programming
Additional musicians


  1. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on March 21, 2015. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  2. ^ Pelly, Jenn (May 10, 2013). "Death Grips to Soundtrack Feature Film Directed and Written by Zach Hill, Working on New Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  3. ^ Pelly, Jenn (November 15, 2013). "Death Grips Launch New Label Thirdworlds". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Battan, Carrie (August 22, 2013). "New Death Grips: "Birds"". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  5. ^ Grow, Kory (November 13, 2013). "Death Grips Give Away Their New Album 'Government Plates'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  6. ^ Obenschain, Philip (November 13, 2013). "Death Grips release surprise new album, 'Government Plates,' as free download". Alternative Press. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "Death Grips give away surprise album 'Government Plates' for free - listen". NME. November 13, 2013. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  8. ^ "Youtube Playlist: Government Plates". November 13, 2013. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  9. ^ Pelly, Jenn (November 13, 2013). "Death Grips Release Free Album Government Plates". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  10. ^ Martins, Chris (November 13, 2013). "Oh, Here's Death Grips' New Free Album 'Government Plates'". Spin. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  11. ^ November 15, 2013. "Stream/download: Death Grips' new album, Government Plates". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Reviews for Government Plates by Death Grips". Metacritic. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
  13. ^ a b Caffrey, Dan; Levy, Pat; Pfleegor, Dan (November 19, 2013). "Album Review: Death Grips – Government Plates". Consequence of Sound. Archived from the original on November 24, 2013. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  14. ^ a b Price, Joe (November 18, 2013). "Death Grips – Government Plates". DIY. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  15. ^ Bass, George (November 27, 2013). "Album Review: Death Grips – Government Plates". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  16. ^ Calvert, John (November 26, 2013). "Government Plates". Fact. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  17. ^ Cooper, Leonie (December 13, 2013). "Death Grips – 'Government Plates'". NME. Archived from the original on August 13, 2016. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  18. ^ a b Cohen, Ian (November 19, 2013). "Death Grips: Government Plates". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  19. ^ Stevens, Nathan (November 26, 2013). "Death Grips: Government Plates". PopMatters. Retrieved November 26, 2013.
  20. ^ Hermes, Will (December 2, 2013). "Government Plates". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  21. ^ a b Woodruff, Chase (November 17, 2013). "Death Grips: Government Plates". Slant Magazine. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  22. ^ Currin, Grayson (November 26, 2013). "Death Grips Are Through Being Polite on the Manic, Defiant 'Government Plates'". Spin. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
  23. ^
  24. ^ Rettig, James (September 2, 2014). "Death Grips Soundtrack Adidas Commercial". Stereogum. Retrieved January 25, 2019.

External links

  • Official website
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