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At 3:00 a.m. on January 11, three members of local "hipster-hop" crew Mad Rad were arrested outside of Neumos following an alleged drunken brawl with security. The police report states that when officers arrived, Ty Finnan (DJ Darwin) and Nathan Quiroga (Buffalo Madonna) were pinned to the ground by security after being ejected from the club and repeatedly attempting to reenter. Finnan and Quiroga allegedly attacked a security guard, drawing blood with a blow to the face. Peter Robinson (P Smoov) allegedly refused to leave, was "extremely intoxicated," and was arrested for trespassing. Finnan and Quiroga were charged with assault; Robinson apparently entered a pretrial diversion program to avoid charges. All three spent a night in jail.

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Hearing about the incident afterward, it sounded kind of like a bad parody, a pale imitation of the previous weekend's fatally real violence at Chop Suey. Love them or hate them—and I tend to lean just slightly toward the former—Mad Rad are a sharp, ambitious crew. But what kind of sharp, ambitious rap crew picks a fight at a club at this particular moment in Seattle? And with club security, no less—security who must be at their most heightened levels of no-bullshit vigilance in the wake of the Chop Suey shooting.

Following the incident, Mad Rad have been banned from Neumos, Chop Suey, the War Room, King Cobra, Havana, and the Saint, and sources say they may be banned from the Showbox as well.

The question now is this: Just how tight is this crew? Quiroga and Finnan will be unwelcome at some of Seattle's most reputable venues, but Terry Radjaw, who apparently wasn't involved in the Neumos incident, and P Smoov, who at least isn't alleged to have assaulted any security and has avoided charges thus far, could conceivably go on without them in some form or another (and P Smoov has his other production work to fall back on). Might this incident lead to some new, leaner-and-meaner Mad Rad?

Mad Rad wouldn't comment, due to "pending legal issues and the privacy of the individuals involved." But they said they "look forward to getting past this in a timely, sophisticated manner. We also look forward to staying progressive in the music that we make, the art that we create, and the shows that we perform at."

This past Friday night at Lo_Fi—one of the few clubs that will still have them—the crew seemed tight enough in their commitment to get past the incident. The place was packed, the energy was high, and Mad Rad just briefly announced that they had no further comments before commencing to own the place, performing with more fire than I've ever seen from them. Buffalo Madonna was soaked in sweat and literally climbing the walls. P Smoov kept smoking imaginary joints. Darwin screamed along over the turntables to every chorus.

This incident may not hurt the band's already considerable hype (any publicity being good publicity and all), but it's cost them access to some of the city's best midsize venues. And without those stages to play, Mad Rad are going to have a hell of a time trying to further build their buzz. Looks like that "third wave of Seattle hiphop" might be over before it even began. recommended