Mad Rad - "Donut Truck"

While hip hop has a tradition in political activism and low riding alike, there has always been a subculture in hip hop that refuses to take itself seriously.  From the Beastie Boys (with the exception of a few choice tracks off of To The 5 Boroughs) to old-school Busta Rhymes and Ol' Dirty Bastard (check the classic ODB assisted Woo Hah Remix video) to the Bay Area hyphy movement (R.I.P.Mac Dre).  These groups aren't as much concerned with proving how "hard" they are or changing the world with song as they are about just having fun with their music (a quality which is admirable in and of itself).

Enter Mad Rad, a trio from Seattle that represents an evolution in the hip hop of the Emerald City.  Up until the last couple years, the resurgence of hip hop in the Seattle-area had been dominated by conscious-minded artists such as Blue Scholars and Common Market, but as of late several subcultures of emcees have begun to diversify the Seattle hip hop scene.  Artists like D. Black and Fatal Lucciano have helped to develop a gangster rap subculture in the upper left (though these two artists aren't particularly great examples as MCs) and groups like The Saturday Knights, Mad Rad, and Fresh Espresso have helped evolve more of a party rap sound, while groups like Dyme Def remain unclassifiable.

Mad Rad is composed of emcees Terry Radjaw and Buffalo Madonna and singer/songwriter/emcee/producer/wonderboy P Smoov.  Their lyrics are goofy and not meant to be taken seriously while P Smoov's production, which draws influence from neo-jazz, rock, techno, and hip hop, is absolutely amazing.  P Smoov's production at times borders on being too good as it often overpowers and overshadows the lyrics on the group's debut 2008 LP White Gold.

Personally, I prefer P. Smoov's other group Fresh Espresso as MC Rik Rude is better able to match the production with his lyrics.  But that may also be due to P Smoov's evolution as an artist (Fresh Espresso's debut Glamour was released after the latest Mad Rad LP).  Mad Rad is still worth checking out though and White Gold is a more than worthwhile album (the intro track "Superdope!" alone makes me happy with the purchase).  After hearing this song I don't think I'll ever be able to look at a donut the same way again.

1 comment:

  1. i love mad rad! i saw them at a basement show in eugene, and have spread the word ever since. they have a lot of charisma on stage, and fucking rap my socks off