Truly great band/label drama takes you behind the curtain of the music biz, and there was hardly a juicier battle this year than the one between Epic Records and Death Grips. After Epic signed the hugely hyped Sacto hip-hop trio in February and issued its debut record in April, the label delayed the late 2012 release of Grips' NO LOVE DEEP WEB until 2013 — at which point the band decided to stir the hell out of the pot. In October, Grips engaged in acts of public defiance: leaking the record, publishing private correspondence with the label, and mocking said correspondence. All of which culminated with Epic dropping the group on Nov. 1. The beef gets tastier when you consider that Grips' bizarre, mega-confrontational music had no business being on a major in the first place. Machinery-gone-haywire beats set an apocalyptic scene, while frontman MC Ride barks and raves so viciously that NO LOVE should come with a "Beware of Dog" sticker. Total doom has rarely felt so palpable.