I've seen a lot of this stuff pop up before on this sub but I haven't been able to find a post that contains all of this information together. I'm just kind of bored and wanted to highlight the origins/locations/details of all of the album covers used in the band's discography.
As a disclaimer, nearly all of this stuff has been discovered and even posted on this subreddit before, so I'm not taking any credit for most of the stuff here. I would like to give credit where it is due, but given the large number of people and non-redditors that have found the same things, I wouldn't even know where to begin on some of these. I simply dug out as much info as I could find and conglomerated this all into a single post. Also, if I'm incorrect about anything here or if there is anything else that you can add, please comment. That being said, here it is...
Death Grips (EP) Album Cover
The album cover for Death Grips's original project is actually just a negative image of a distorted looking screenshot from the first few seconds of this
music video for Full Moon (Death Classic). Here
. It begins with a short video clip of a man speaking while a crow pecks at the dead carcass of what looks to be another crow. Although I've tried looking I cannot find the origins of the video.
Exmilitary Album Cover
As stated from these posts (1) (2)
the cover for the Exmilitary mixtape appears to be a old photograph folded and unfolded into quarters from a book called The Dark Australians
by Douglass Baglin and David R. Moore. As u/ebbsey
While i feel like i am spoiling the end of a movie...... here goes. The photograph was taken in 1968 at or around what was then know as Oenpelli Mission, today it's called Gunbalanya. The photographer was Douglass Baglin, he published a series of books primarily on Australian heritage throughout the 1970s with a few devoted to Aboriginal themes, his photographs also appeared in other Australian publications used like stock photos. In regards to the identity of the Aboriginal man, Baglin, like many photographers at the time never recorded who he was and simply called him "bearded man at Oenpelli".
The photos: (1) (2)
The Money Store Album Cover
The Cover is a rendition of a photo
taken at the Folsom Street Fair in San Fancisco in 2007 painted by artist Sua Yoo, who is also the girl on the cover of Fashion Week
. The entire collection of photos can be found here
(Warning: VERY NSFW). According to this Pitchfork article
, Death Grips describes the cover as follows: "On the cover you have an androgynous masochist on the leash of a feminist sadist who's smoking. The sadist has carved Death Grips into her bitch's chest. There is an overly confident quality to the woman smoking and a calmness to the androgynous masochist."
No Love Deep Web Album Cover
As most of you already know, this controversial cover is a photo of Zach Hill's erect penis with the album title written across it in black marker. It was taken in a bathroom at the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles, which the band stayed in for an entire two months leading to the leak of the album on their website, which resulted in their dropping from Epic Records. The album cover was met with much controversy, and they were forced to censor the image on their website, YouTube, and SoundCloud, covering the penis with a black bar
. On some music platforms, the penis is censored via pixelation
Wikipedia says: In an interview with Spin Magazine, Ride responded to the interest by saying, "If you look at that and all you see is a dick, I don't really have anything to say, pretty much. I looked at it and said, 'This is a great photo, and I'd love for this to be the album cover.'" Hill further explained, "It was difficult to do, honestly, in general, it was very difficult. It's difficult even telling people that's the source of it; it feels sacrificial in a sense. That idea existed long before, by the way. This is going to sound funny to other people, but we saw it as tribal, as spiritual, as primal. Also, it comes from a place of being a band that is perceived as...such an aggressive, male-based, by some, misogynistic-seeming band... It's a display of embracing homosexuality, not that either of us are homosexual. Am I making sense? People are still going to think that it's macho, but that's not the source of where it comes from." In a separate interview with Pitchfork, Hill expounded, "It's also a spiritual thing; it's fearlessness...it represents pushing past everything that makes people slaves without even knowing it."
There is also an alternate
cover featuring Ride wearing mismatched dress shoes with white socks that say "SUCK MY DICK."
Government Plates Album Cover
This is a really simple cover that features what looks to be a slightly tilted 3D model or photo of a California Exempt (for official vehicles exempt from registration fees) license plate that says "DEATH" over a black background. While this is just speculation on my part, California exempt license plates can only have a maximum of six characters, which could possibly be the reason why the license plate says "DEATH" and not "DEATH GRIPS" like some of their other album covers. As u/mutesirens
discovered in this post
, when viewed on an iPod Classic, the license plate appears completely flat, which is kind of creepy (in a good way).
On Record Store Day 2014, 900 new vinyl copies of Government Plates
were released with new artwork
showing some of the 3D models from the music videos over the original cover. These records also came with a physical replica of the license plate on the cover.
N***as on the Moon Album Cover
The cover features a blurry, black and white photo of Ride walking through what is believed to be Sacramento City Cemetery. This Cemetery is located in Ride and Zach's hometown and is right off of Broadway. In the song Up My Sleeves
(the first song from this album), Ride mentions a "Broadway Cemetery" multiple times. It also appears to be the same cemetery from Black Google,
the I've Seen Footage
video, and the infamous moth photo.
Although this is nothing but speculation, and most people believe "Jenny Death" refers to Marilyn Monroe, there is also a grave in this cemetery for a "Baby Jenny," who was an African American infant who died of worms in 1853. One user on imgur used this info to try and pinpoint the exact location where the album cover was taken here
. Although this is very cool, the mausoleum (tomb building thing) from the google Earth view looks to be in a different spot than the one from the album cover, as there is a road directly in front of it. Using the cemetery's website
, I found a plot map and grave directory to use with Google maps to try and find the spot myself. Unfortunately, it is a massive cemetery that is covered in trees, and there were no street view photos of the areas I was trying to look in. The plot map is also from 1975 and appears to be slightly out of date, and there may have been some renovations or plant growth since 2014 when the album released. I found it impossible to find a location that looked similar to the one taken for the album cover.
I did however, look through photos that tourists had taken and posted online, and found this photo
, which shows a mausoleum eerily similar to the one used on the cover, having the same size, shape, door, immediate surroundings, and even similar shadows. According to the grave directory, it should be located at plot 31, which should be well within viewing distance on plot 19, however I still couldn't see anything well from Google maps. Hopefully a fan in Sacramento can one day visit the cemetery and try and find it and post some better photos.
Fashion Week Album Cover
is located in the Silver Legacy Resort Casino in Reno, Nevada. It sits on the second floor in the hotel lobby and has evidently changed upholstery color since 2015. The girl is Sua Yoo, who also painted the artwork for The Money Store.
Jenny Death Album Cover
The glass mural of Marilyn Monroe
can be found in the Cheetah's Club on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Many people speculate that the name "Jenny Death" comes from Monroe's real name: Norma Jeane Mortenson. Jeane = Jenny, Mortenson = Morte = Death. Many elements of the album also revolve around themes of fame and how destructive it can be, which was perfectly illustrated with the later years of the actress's life. Thanks u/Arthurlurk1
for posting the photos.
The Powers That B Album Cover
The artwork actually made its first appearance in 2012 in some of the music videos for The Money Store.
In the Blackjack music video
, the outer rim of the circle appears blackened and sits in the center of the screen rotating while videos play on the inside. In the I've Seen Footage video
, it appears in full view at one point and shows up again slightly edited out a few more times, something that was pointed out in this post
It's basically just a blue ground light with some condensation on the inside. Here's
someone else's post with a similar one they found. I can't find exactly where this particular light is located, but in the Inanimate Sensation music video
, it can be seen from multiple angles next to Zach while he's laying down on a sidewalk next to a tree smoking a cigarette.
The scratching on the light that says "Death Grips" is not real. You can tell because of the way that the scratching goes off onto the pavement on the left and because there's no apparent dip around the edges. It looks nearly identical to the scratching on the bitch's chest from the cover of The Money Store
Interview 2016 Album Cover
This one's easy. It's just a screen grab of Matthew Hoffman from the Interview 2016
video. You can see it at the 12:10 mark.
Bottomless Pit Album Cover
The mouth on the cover belongs to Liz Liles Brown
, confirmed by her own Instagram post. She is also believed by many to be the voice of "Mexican Girl" from Lord of the Game
, but nobody has confirmed nor denied this. It is not confirmed where the cover was taken nor do we know exactly what we're looking at, but Liz did post this photo
of herself on Twitter in late 2014, where it looks like she is wearing huge lit-up balloon eye balls where her head is positioned in the middle like on the album cover. Link for both photos
. Given Death Grips's history of quietly working with people for years and photographing album covers well before the release date, it could very well be possible that the photo was taken in late 2014. It could also be possible that the Twitter photo was something completely different, and the group instead used large balloons like the ones found at teamLab Planet Tokyo
A video loop version
of the album cover appears on YouTube for each of the tracks on Bottomless Pit
, showing Liz rapidly flipping her tongue between the big balloon things while saliva drips down her chin.
There have been a few theories floating around as to what the album cover means, with some saying that it looks like sexual imagery for cunnilingus, which may be supported by the videos on YouTube. The most supported theory is that the balloons are supposed to represent giant eyeballs like the annoying fan in the Inanimate Sensation music video
, which sees Ride with giant googly eyes kind of like the Bottomless Pit
cover. The photo of Liz in 2014 also definitely looks like giant eyeballs since they have black circles on the balloons. The lyrics for the title track Bottomless Pit
mention "Gagballs drooling pools," which could explain the saliva and tongue flipping from the YouTube videos as well.
My guess is that the album is supposed to be about rabid fans personified by a drooling creature, who were given "Bad Ideas" from the band and are falling down a "bottomless pit," making their eyes pop out of their head, eternally getting "fucked in half" by new content from the band.
Steroids (Crouching Tiger Hidden Gabber Megamix) Album Cover
The dragon mural
can be found hanging on the wall at Simon's Bar & Cafe in Sacramento. The glowing red eyes are actually real and weren't edited in.
In the music video
. the dragon is shown flashing different colors rapidly
In 2019, the EP was printed on vinyl and shipped with a slightly altered cover
that included a white border, the band name, and a parental advisory badge. The vinyl release also included the songs More Than the Fairy
and Electronic Drum Solo,
using the artwork
for the former on the back cover.
Year of the Snitch Album Cover
If you look closely at the cover, you can figure out that it's a (plastic?) patio table, with someone (probably Zach) sticking their lips and tongue out through the umbrella hole in the center of the table. The mouth was then copied and pasted to other areas of the table at various rotations and sizes, while another shot of the mouth wide open was enlarged and pasted on the table by itself. The hand of the person under the table is gripping the edge of the table for balance on the top left, and you can see part of a patio chair on the top right. You can a closeup of the mouth moving at the 0:33 mark in the Year of the Snitch tracklist video
. The location of the patio table is unknown.
The album and accompanying media that was released on YouTube features a lot of themes about snitching (obviously) as well as cults. The one large open mouth may represent a cult leader speaking while the other tongue-out mouths could be followers. Maybe the tongue-out mouths represent members of a group/cult while the large open mouth is snitch talking. Or I may just be interpreting it all wrong.
Let me know if I missed anything!
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