"TOP-NOTCH when the blocks hot/Blow up like soda and Pop Rocks/Flow nonstop/Real street but it sounds pop...."

There's a war going on that no one is safe from. It's the culture war between "real hiphop" and "hipster hop," and it's getting uglier every day; thing is, what do any of these made-up labels really signify, besides the user's aversion to real analysis? "Is Lil Wayne considered hipster hop? I would think so," says Mark Gajadhar—also known as DJ Gajamagic—the production third of one of Seattle's most exciting new crews, Champagne Champagne.

"To me the term can apply to anything," he continues. Many would say "anything" includes Champagne's own potent vintage. Yet the most distinguishing features of the groups that people apply that reviled label to are a certain exploitive insincerity and a glaring lack of credentials; a thing quite alien to the quite-official boys of the 'Pagne. MC Pearl Dragon has been steady rocking shows since at least '02, and his bearded foil, Sir Thomas Gray, is a fixture of Seattle's hiphop scene. Both grew up on "real hiphop," and both also know how to turn a scenester party out at the drop of a hat.

So how did Gajadhar, heretofore best known as the drummer for bombastic post-hardcore outfit the Blood Brothers, end up making oxygen-deprived beats for a pop hiphop group? "I guess you can also ask the question how the fuck did I end up playing in a hardcore band for 10 years," he laughs. "Ever since I was 14, I've been making drum machine-based music." Okay, so not exactly the usual mash-up, DJ-needs-paycheck story.

Far from some dookie-rope, neon pants, art-student jack-off rap, Champagne's music is never trendy; it's genuinely, artfully weird. Less Spank Rock than it is Cannibal Ox—albeit with a dust joint, macking young tenders at the afterhours.

"If people just call us hipster hop to put us into a category of music they will never give a chance to," Gajamagic explains, "then I say it's too bad that they'll never get to experience the Champagne."