It’s a fundamental known that popular music has been a driving force in the clubbing scene since the dawn of Madonna’s early reign in the pop world. Pop music these days is a bit more bass heavy with a little rap influence – a hybrid between R&B, rap, and dance music. Twenty years ago, hip hop was being played in more secluded venues. Now every song has elements of hip hop in it. So to pigeon-hole music into a type of genre would be catatonically lazy and not only that but extremely confiding to the artist.
Based in Seattle, Mad Rad is a collective of MC’s, consisting of group members: Buffalo Madonna, P Smoov, Terry Radjaw, and DJ Darwin, who with each their own eclectic styles and sounds, were pretty much able to embrace what everyone brought to the table. You would think harnessing their distinctive voices would be a major undertaking, but according to Smith, it was always “an effortless thing.” They describe this eclectic blend of style and sounds as “hover music,” which became an apt parallel to what this band of MC’s is all about.
“It’s kind of like we don’t have a genre,” said Gregory Smith aka Terry Radjaw of Mad Rad. “We’re not trying to make hip hop, we’re not trying to make rap, we’re not trying to make electronic, we’re not trying to make dance – we’re just making music and people kept calling it something. Or this isn’t hip hop enough or this isn’t dance enough. Well, we’re not trying; we’re just making songs, which just kind of floats over the genres a bit which is where we fit.”
For Mad Rad, being pigeon-holed into the whole clubbing scene would definitely expose them to a wider circuit. But like Smith said: it wasn’t a matter of confiding their music to any specific genre, it’s more a matter of what sounds good, having fun, and that whole scene.
“Yeah, it was just vibe out. Meet up and have fun. Smoke, drink some beers, vibe out, and keep it happening.”
While clubbing is one conduit that the fellows from Mad Rad could follow, their performance at the 2011 Sasquatch Music Festival has definitely put them on the year’s tastemaker radar. With a specific emphasis towards making sure every single note, every single drop, and every little thing that they rehearsed will go right, this sort of perfectionism has made them viable contenders for the biggest names out there.
When a band’s attitude towards performing and their music-making process is so closely construed, it’s what they are bringing to the table next that will determine the course of their genre-bending altitudes.
“We got the Capitol Hill Block Party and Bumbershoot coming up. Playing the Northwest Music Festival, getting some interest from Europe – hopefully trying to set up something out there, and having a remix project with Hugo Fuster from Exec Records coming out this summer. So that should be fun,” said Smith, in regards to the bands’ poseur towards work.
The Youth Die Young, Mad Rad’s sophomore record, released in October the previous year is a worthy album to begin sampling the group’s growing style and mesh of eclectic sounds. Named one of the 10 Best Bands of Seattle’s Block Party in Spin Magazine, make sure you catch Mad Rad live or on one of their albums.