What do Death Grips, Thirdworlds.net and Epic Records have to do with Free Software?

What do Death Grips, Epic Records and Thirdworlds.net all have in common?

My monday evening was just coming to an end when I received a very strange email.  The sender was urgently requesting that I respond with information on my affiliation to Death Grips, Thirdworlds.net and Epic Records.   I was intrigued so I decided to do a bit of investigation before deleting the email.

Who or what are Death Grips?

Well, apparently, I’m out of it – because Death Grips is a musical group from Sacramento, California consisting of vocalist Stefan “MC Ride” Burnett and production team Zach Hill & Andy Morin. Death Grips live performance setup consists of Burnett on vocals, Morin on keyboards/samples and Hill on drums.

Death Grips sophomore release, The Money Store actually made it to Billboard’s top 200 climbing to 130 early in 2012.

Ok so Death Grips are a band on the Epic label… now we understand some of this… but what’s thirdworlds.net all about?

Turns out that’s Death Grip’s web site.

So What’s This Got to Do with Free Software or Mobile Redirection?

For some odd reason, when I browsed on over to thirdworlds.net, I some something very familiar.  
Apparently, whoever authored the thirdworlds.net site is using one of my scripts.  A script I wrote in a tutorial on my blog which was intended to demonstrate how a web site author can redirect incoming visitors to different web pages based on the type of browser or device the visitor is using to view the site.  Here’s a link to the original article.

For more information on exactly what redirection means as it relates to the web, see this link.

So who cares… and why would someone take the time to email me about this?

Well it turns out that Death Grips and Epic Records had some disagreement on how and when their new album should be released… The band tweeted that their label wouldn’t confirm a release date until “some time next year.”

The band later tweeted “The label will be hearing the album for the first time with you”

And so they released it on various channels including Sound Cloud, Youtube and Pitchfork.

Shortly, thereafter, the band tweeted that their site had been taken down… “our sight just got shut down- BASIC AS FUCK”. And this is where a I come in. I’d love to say that I’m this hired gun that Epic reached out to in order to stop the band from further media outburst by wresting the site from the internet… but that’s simply not the case.

Whoever shut the site down, simply configured the web server to stop interpreting the web site’s code and simply display it as plain text. So when you visit thirdworlds.net instead of getting access to the band’s site in full color, you merely get the code in plain text. This effectively stops you from viewing the material that the band had intended you to see but unfortunately, shows the dirty secret the band’s webmaster was using to redirect incoming users to the appropriate version of the site based on the viewers browser. So there for the world to see, in all it’s glory is my silly mobile redirection script, complete with my email address and a link to the original article where the code was published.

To the average Joe viewing the site, it may appear that I have had something to do with downing the site… I can assure, I have nothing to do with downing their site.  This is simply a case of a web site being pantsed revealing all its dirty secrets like the code their leveraging to redirect users to the correct version of their site.

Mystery solved

Whether you choose to believe that this is all contrived bullshit designed to attract attention on the part of the label, or if it was truly the case of a truly badass group of musicians taking control of their music release channel, you have to admit it certainly makes for an interesting story.

So now we know what Death Grips, Epic Records, and thirdworlds.net all have in common… no matter how punk-ass they may be, they still want to be sure that when you’re viewing their content on the web, you’re getting the best possible viewing experience based on your browser or device type… all thanks to a free set of scripts put together by yours truly.


Here’s some of the Death Grips new album for your listening pleasure.

Death Grips – Deep Web by deathgrips


So now that we’ve cleared that up… what do you think???

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.