A film about Northwest hip-hop from

The Youth Die Young

This is Seattle hip-hop group Mad Rad’s audacious sophomore effort, The Youth Die Young, from 2010. Who remembers this record? It’s odd to me that, ten years on, this polarizing local group is rarely mentioned in casual conversation. From 2007 thru 2011, Mad Rad was on hailed as Seattle hip-hop’s second coming: selling out Neumos and getting banned from other venues around town for their reckless and rowdy punk-inspired shows. They dominated headlines across the city: The Stranger’s Charles Mudede positioned them as flag bearers for “a new third wave of local hip-hop.” Seattle Weekly saw them as a “globally-dominant outfit… Generation Y’s new Beastie Boys.” One article described them as “the best Seattle hip-hop act since Sir Mix-A-Lot.” In a Spin magazine countdown, they beat out Shabazz Palaces as “Seattle’s Best Kept Hip-Hop Secret.” A supergroup of sorts, Mad Rad brought together pre-Iska Dhaaf’s Nate Quiroga, Fresh Espresso’s P Smoov, Terry Radjaw, DJ Darwin, and Trent Moorman. They released only two records: This one pictured, and their 2008 debut, White Gold. Some people really liked them a lot. Some others called them “a steaming pile of hipster bullshit.” Regardless, it seemed everyone once had a divided opinion on the group and hotly debated whether Mad Rad or Blue Scholars deserved Seattle’s turn-of-the-teens hip-hop crown. Then there’s a feisty Seattle Times article from 2010, by Andrew Matson titled, “Is Mad Rad still relevant?” (He concludes no.) But it’s a question I raise again today, some eight years later… What are your present-day thoughts on Mad Rad? Has your estimation of this music grown over the years?

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