Sacramento-based experimental hip-hop trio Death Grips prematurely leaked its own third album (and second of 2012) NO LOVE DEEP WEB on its own website, allegedly without the consent of its label Epic Records. The band’s site offers multiple downloads for the digital full-length, as well as a full Soundcloud stream and complete lyrics sheet. Stream it here:

The NSFW album cover gained the band some attention, featuring an erect penis with NO LOVE DEEP WEB written across it in Sharpie. The real controversy, though, is whether or not Epic Records actually had anything to do with the leak. On September 30th, Death Grips (anxiously waiting for a release date from Epic) announced via Twitter that they would release the album on their own:

Shortly after the album leaked the following day, with Death Grips flooding their social media pages with an endless string of promotions, the group’s website was temporarily “shut down.” Drummer Zach Hill told the press that their site was shut down by Epic, and the band again brought their anger to Twitter:

Epic denied that it was behind the site takedown, however the label has not offered any further comment. While the press have had a field day spinning the incident as “the ballsiest move the music industry has seen in quite some time,” or whatever, fans and bloggers are more skeptical. LA-based multimedia blog posted a thought-provoking opinion piece on the issue, suggesting that the facts don’t add up.

Some may form the opinion that Epic Records was either in on it the whole time, or isn’t as pissed off as Death Grips would like to have us believe. If the whole thing is just a marketing tactic, it definitely succeeded in generating enough hype, press coverage, and listeners to drive Death Grips into the spotlight.

Either way, we have a new Death Grips album to enjoy. Pitchfork recently gave the release a score of 8.2, tagging the single “Deep Web” with a BNM. Death Grips vocalist Stefan Burnett, a.k.a. MC Ride, gives a macabre nod to the Bay Area in the lyrics for “Stockton” with the line, “caved in my ribs drug out fucked out Samhain skid off Bay Bridge.” My personal favorites are “No Love” and “Bass rattle stars out the sky”.

While you might recall Death Grips canceling their previous tour to record the album, they recently announced a new string of tour dates. West Coast dates have been promised, but not yet confirmed. Follow @DeathGripz on Twitter for more information.