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"!
Thu., Oct. 16, 9 p.m., 2008