Mad Rad
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Mad Rad

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Best of 2009"

Seattle Hiphop's "Third Wave"

You'll never go broke betting on Charles Mudede to say something contentious, but in this case his coinage—a grand unifying "wave" theory of Seattle hiphop that runs from Mix to Black Anger to Blue Scholars to Mad Rad—is solid like white gold. And the so-called third wave—typified by Obama-era postracial amity, a playful party-rocking attitude, and a fondness for concept albums and acts—got impressively busy this year, with scene-cementing releases and performances from the likes of THEESatisfaction, Helladope, Champagne Champagne, They Live!, Fresh Espresso (and the aforementioned Mad Rad), and more. Surf's up. EG

Mad Rad's Mad Antics

Speaking of the so-called third wave... no Best of 2009 wrap-up would be complete without a mention of Seattle's most scandalous music-scene fiasco of the year (sorry, Abodox art heist). Way back at the beginning of the year, members of Mad Rad got into a late-night tussle with Neumos security that ended in bloody blows (to the bouncers) and the arrests of Buffalo Madonna, DJ Darwin, and P Smoov. Mad Rad were not only swiftly banned from Neumos but blackballed at a cabal of Seattle clubs including the Showbox, the War Room, Chop Suey, and others. The members of Mad Rad were eventually found NOT GUILTY! and have since played the War Room (introduced by incoming mayor Mike McGinn no less!), although other clubs have been slower to welcome them back. Their average live performance is only slightly less scandalous. EG - The Stranger

"Mad Rad's Triumphant Return to Neumos"

I only caught a handful of songs of Mad Rad's return to Neumos last night, but it was enough to answer some of the questions voiced in my column this week. First of all, of course it's unfair to compare Mad Rad to Shabazz Palaces—that was never really the point of that column. The point is simply that, in the wake of Shabazz's debut, all the so-called "third wave" Seattle hip hop acts are going to have to step their games up in a major way. And, love 'em or hate 'em, Mad Rad really do look set to step things up mightily in 2010.

The show was sold-out by 9:30 (although—and last comparison here, for real—unlike Shabazz's sold-out show two weeks ago, this one was free), and people outside said they'd seen multiple people begging and even attempting to bribe Neumos security to be let in. Inside, it was packed but not uncomfortably so, the crowd composed not of familiar faces but rather of a lot of potential new fans, and there really was a triumphantly celebratory vibe in the air, and rightly so.

"My Product," maybe the best track of the band's debut White Gold, a big, thumping stupid-fun electro banger, sounded massive on the Neumos sound system, the whole crowd pogoing and clapping along, the floor bending under the weight. Concerning the line in my column about "no more ring-tone thin synths and freshman-grade party raps," let's be clear: P-Smoov's productions are super solid, and the guys' admittedly goofy party rapping at at least a senior-year (or highly motivated drop-out) level.

And the little bit of new material I heard bodes well for the band. A new song called "Strange Love" (for which Buffalo Madonna brought onstage and ascended a ladder) sounded almost like a Depeche Mode study, Buffalo singing/screaming morosely, Terry Radjaw rapping aggressively, P-Smoov playing a buzzing synth lead and singing robotic via a glassy vocoder. DJ Darwin was, as always, grinning and hyping the crowd and hamming it up with the other members, and the guys all look like they're having such a good time up there that it's really hard not to love. They did what I think was another new song, with Buffalo again screaming over a double time, scraping drum beat and some dour minor chords, culminating with a chant of "fuck you/that's how we do." They pulled Rik Rude out for a rousing rendition of the Fresh Espresso song "Laser Beams," Rik getting the crowd chanting "out for stardom!", P-Smoov back on that vocoder. (At some point around here, beer started getting thrown around in the crowd.) They did a slow jam about "when the lights go out" (a P-Smoov solo number, I think), sounding a little Boyz 2 Men about it, like a real stab at a pop group.

I had to split after that, but that's fine. I'd come to this show with one question on my mind: Are Mad Rad ready to elevate shit in 2010? Last night, it sure as hell looked like it. - The Stranger

"Seattle's Best Kept Secret"

The winner is a toss up: Party-starting hip-hop crew Mad Rad is a hipster boy band poised for breakout success. They closed out their Sunday main stage set by bringing up a 25-member chorus of local musicians to sing on "My Friends." Shabazz Palaces is the new project from former Digable Planet MC Ishmael Butler, a heady, beat-driven balance of spirituality and militancy. Expect big things from both acts in the near future. - Spin Magazine

"Mad Rad @ Sasquatch Festival"

In the past year or so Mad Rad have emerged on the Seattle hip hop scene as a divisive topic. In that time they’ve become not just locally famous, but infamous, for their wild shows, progressively wilder antics and various run-in’s with the authorities. Up until their noon set on day two of Sasquatch the word of mouth legends about their behavior had been less than positive and clouded much of my perception, yet the fact the people were constantly talking about this band meant I had to see and judge the spectacle for myself. I thought the larger than life setting of the Gorge would be the ideal opportunity.

Aptly arriving on stage sporting swollen heads, the MC trio of Terry Radjaw, P Smoov and Buffalo Madonna backed up by DJ Darwin wasted no time throwing those aside and working the crowd. Before the first song was done, in what I was to discover was typical fashion Buffalo Madonna had jumped the fence and stared me down nose-to-nose before moving onto more squeamish (and better looking) prey. After multiple forays into the crowd to surf and freak out, he decided to not only climb the stage pillars, but take his histrionics to the roof for the entirety of the final song.

Antics aside (which they rarely are in reference to this group), Mad Rad delivers on the key count of feeding the party. Jams like “Sexxy Bicycle” and “Crack That Blunt” offer borderline ridiculous rhymes over playful and danceable digital beats; one can’t help but smile and bump just a little. It’s understandable that one’s taste in hip hop or dance music might yearn for something other than crude topics, one has got to admire Mad Rad’s team delivery and their complete commitment to the performance. They’ve even got a synchronized hip hop robot dance for one song.

Whether you love ‘em, or love to hate ‘em, at Sasquatch Mad Rad lived up to the legend and certainly started day two off with a bang. I was ready to hate ‘em, but I couldn’t. They were often the topic of my conversations for the rest of that day. - Sound on the Sound

"White Gold CD Release"

Like every region of the country, Seattle hip hop has its own distinct flavor. Generally lo-fi and quasi- intellectual, Emerald City rappers emit a quality that makes them easily discernible form their Southern, East Coast or Cali brethren. Which is why I think the Seattle-based Mad Rad crew is so special. Their sound, which is basically creditable ghetto tech, or hip hop for club kids, is so fresh you'd expect it to be bumpin' out of London or New York, not good ol' Ballard. Most of the tunes off their debut release, White Gold (that's right, White Gold, wink) are too dirty for the radio. My personal fave "Donut Truck" is so full of blush-worthy metaphors I'll never look at a tasty Top Pot the same way again. But man, the tracks that are "clean" have a crossover quality that could play on every station (country excluded) from 89.9 to 107.7 and not sound out of place. This, coupled with an insatiably frenzied live show where rhymes are busted so cleverly and ridiculously fast you'll wonder how they can breathe, let alone dance, makes me want to shout: "Generation Y, here are your Beastie Boys"! -MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR - Seattle Weekly

"Mad Rad 08.08.08"

God bless the kids in Mad Rad! These phenomenal freaks have hooks so sick they need life support. Looking like Spank Rock's white trash hipster children and sounding like the sizzling hot moans of a Scissor Sisters/Mickey Avalon orgy, Terry Radjaw, Buffalo Madonna, P Smoov and Darwin make up a glamified ghettotech crew that epitomizes the phrase "doin' it for the kids." Even if you're well above drinking age, Mad Rad's music will give you the same naughty thrill you used to get hiding 2LiveCrew records from your parents back in the day. Seriously, these young gents ooze so much appeal they could very well be the biggest act without guitars to burst out of Seattle's sticky loins since Mix took his posse down Broadway. Check out the hot track "My Product" on Myspace if you don't believe me. Yowzers!
Fri., Aug. 8, 8 p.m., 2008

- Seattle Weekly

"Mad Rad Live in 3D"

"Yo, these three dudes are banging shit from here to next year. Mad Rad, three completely entertaining diabolical guys rap’n to grindalicious beats and synth sounds. Imagine a super group sounding like Subtle, Chromeo and Justin Timberlake. For instance they bought a bunch of 3 D glasses online, and had a MAD RAD IN 3D show were they handed out the glasses to everyone. Then came out in giant heads." - Renegade Magazine

"My Philosophy"

"My man P Smoov recently put Mad Rad's new LP White Gold in my hands—in addition to Smoov, the Mad Rad movement is made up of Terry Radjaw and Buffalo Madonna. By now most of y'all are either hip to these cats bugged-the-fuck-outta-here steez, or you've seen their name on a wall, flyer, or sidewalk near you. This shit is a quite deliberate stab at hipsterfied neon-jeans rap, and not my cup of tea—the "put that pussy on display" raps all tend toward a sneering, novelty-level crassness that come off. But I can't front, P Smoov got beats like a mug—his raved-up synth madness is quick to morph into some skitzo grime shit or bass-heavy screw music, with seizure-inducing chopped vocal hooks (watch out, JoJo Hailey!)." - The Stranger

"Bounce to the Ounce"

"Mad Rad was the best show I’ve seen since Chromeo! Three dudes with punk souls and hyphy minds. They were better than I’d hoped. Sweaty and not giving a fuck. When a mic didn’t work, someone in the crowd handed them a megaphone to use. Crowd Surfing, and synchronized dance routines and big bad bass. Jumping dancing wiggling.

Damn! I can’t remember the last time I was afraid for my life at a show, but last night I was. Breakfast Mountain and Mad Rad were playing at the Hush (the place above the tube) and I’d spent the last week listening to Mad Rad getting hyped and excited. Breakfast Mountain was a bassy collective of jams and beats that felt like a ceremony. Ty, one of the founders of Boy Guerilla Records was one of the members and took his tamborining so serious he actually broke it two! I don’t even want to know what he’d do to a kazoo.

This is on the third floor of the building and looks across to the Union Gospel neon sign which is a glowing red backdrop through the huge windows at the back of the stage. Also my fellow blogger Swan Lewis ran into a friend of his who lived in the room below the stage. He grabbed Swan and made him hold a huge pipe to support the floor, which was coming down slowly, while he ran out to get another pipe. Now I was upstairs to the side of the stage and the floor was bouncing more than any floor I’d felt, but I didn’t think that much about it.

Right before Mad Rad comes on Swan grabs me and tells me to watch out, that the floor might cave in, seriously. Then Mad Rad explode all over the place which leads to spastic bouncing, the kind that makes me look around to see what I can hang onto or the sound of cracking wood." - Renegade Magazine


Mad Rad - The Youth Die Young
LP Release date December 7th 2010

Mad Rad - White Gold
LP Released October 16th 2008



Formed in late 2007, Mad Rad quickly took Seattle by storm with energetic live performances and onstage antics that often bordered on controlled chaos. The release of their first record, White Gold, brought accolades from both critics and fans, and proved to naysayers that the group is more than just a party waiting to happen.

Mad Rad started out as an energetic duo, with Terry Radjaw and Buffalo Madonna sharing the stage and trading rhymes about girls, donuts, bicycles, and more girls. Their initial offerings were primitive at best — neither had much in the way of technical knowledge, and rough songs were recorded on analog 4 tracks and outdated home computers.

Enter producer/composer P Smoov, who happened across a live performance one fateful evening and had his mind blown by what he saw. He invited Radjaw and Buffalo over to his studio, and an immediate kinship was formed. The three shared a lot of common musical ground, an intense desire to create, and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor that often made folks wonder if they were actually joking.

The writing was on the proverbial wall. Mad Rad was Out For Stardom. There was no looking back.

To categorize Mad Rad as a hip hop group would be a mistake. While they are definitely firmly planted in that genre, they continue to expand their horizons with lush soundscapes and gritty overdrive synth work. Their live show is unparalleled in its energy, and rarely do they play to a less than sold out room.

The past year has been a big one for Mad Rad. They’ve appeared on the cover of Seattle Weekly, played at the legendary Gorge Amphitheatre, and partied until the break of dawn on numerous occasions. Late 2009 finds them concentrating on songwriting and studio time, while playing a handful of shows.

2010 marked a time where Mad Rad elevated their live performance with sold out shows throughout the Northwest including Capitol Hill Block Party and Homeskillet Festival in Alaska. SPIN magazine has coined them "Seattle's Best Kept Secret." They have performed along the sides of Kid Cudi, Ninjasonik, Datarock, & 2 Live Crew, all the while stealing the show from their bigger headliners. With sold out shows in their hometown, Mad Rad is more than ready to show the rest of the world their music, live show, and personalities.

Mad Rad is releasing their second full length album entitled "The Youth Die Young" on December 7th, 2010. They are planning a west coast tour with Champagne Champagne in November and are poised for a big push with the release of their new record. The songs have shown a growth in their music, as well as their individual growth as men.