“Blazar’s are super massive black holes that have collapsed on themselves and they blast out these beams of light that are a trillion times as bright as our sun,” explains G-Wiz3rd (Greg Goa), co-founder of Edmonton based hip-hop duo Kemo Treats, on the cosmic event that inspired their latest record, Nü Dawn.
Goa and partner Smoovie II Smoov (Karl Sharpe) will be releasing their third studio effort on October 14 and like a blazar, casting its light throughout the universe, Nü Dawn takes Kemo Treats in an explosive new direction.
Over their previous two releases, (2013’s The Essentials and 2010’s Straight Gold) Kemo Treats have earned a reputation for irreverent, often ridiculous, satirical hip-hop bangers extolling the virtues of everyday consumables such as pancakes, chips, wine and popcorn.
These albums, coupled with over-the-top sexed-out music videos, have landed Kemo Treats squarely in the company of acts like Andy Samberg’s Lonely Island and LMFAO.
In the three years since the release of The Essentials, both Goa and Sharpe found themselves staring down the barrel of increasing dissatisfaction in the rap-satire genre, and a collective discomfort in trading serious consideration for laughs.
“We were trying to make music for other people” says Sharpe.
A thought echoed by Goa. “After that album, personally, I was like screw this!”
The de-emphasis on commercial keystones, in favour of the pair’s legit weirdness, pays off in bulk on Nü Dawn. The album is an incredible success. Merging Goa’s and Sharpe’s combined interest in space documentaries, Dungeons & Dragons and other nerd-core trappings, Nü Dawn might be the first album to be classified as Fantasy Rap.
Songs like: “Space Ridin’,” “For My Blazar” and “Chillin’ in a Blimp” highlight a sense of renewed earnestness and excitement that can be felt across the entire record.
A fully illustrated “Zine” compendium produced by local artist Chelsey Campbell accompanies Nü Dawn, providing a full-page illustration for each of the albums 10 tracks. Campbell blends 1930s era Disney style animation with Goa’s and Sharpe’s lyrics, creating a product that is very unique. Imagine Mickey Mouse set in the world of 1980s heavy metal.
Nü Dawn is a romp through the solar system set to spacey beats that answer the question, what would a Snoop Dogg-Pink Floyd collaboration sound like? Despite the change in tone and generally darker feel, Nü Dawn does retain some of the humour and genre skewering qualities that first brought Kemo Treats success.
“We’re still doing things that rappers do,” Goa says.”Just we’re in a blimp that flies through space.”
Fri, Oct 14 (9 pm)
The Needle, $12 in advance, $15 at the door