Kemo Treats keeps it steady with bumping bass and danceable flow. It’s a little D12 meets Lonely Island. Effective when listeners can latch on to lyrics especially those that are culturally highlighting passages. Candy and snacks don’t really lend themselves to rap concepts, but that’s just what The Essentials is all about. They Take fun relatable topics, skip the complex and embrace the easy, then own that beats machine. Kemo Treats is basically a satirical hip-hop group for those that don’t take the genre seriously.
G-Wizard & Smoovie II Smoov are two gangster characters created by founding members, Greg Goa & Karl Sharpe based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Kemo Treats really hits their stride when they team up with rock and punk elements. To their credit, they closed for the Edmonton International Film Festival recently and had the dance floor at capacity. The audience demographic? Mostly over 50-year olds. Interesting. There may be more to this group then meets the eye. Or not. Who cares?
“2 Guys, 1 Tub” is a perfect opener. It’s got auto tune, backing crass conversation; everything hinting at the comic content laced within fat beats and quick delivery rhymes.
“Textin’ On The Dance Floor” is an ode to that guy we all know. Stuck on his phone instead of getting busy with the options around him. “Chips In The Hot Tub” is pretty much saying, no need to take this song too seriously. Crack open a bag and laugh along. In fact, this suggestion applies to the whole album, let’s be honest. We have songs about whose shit is hotter, songs that glorify the pancake, songs about wine. Who doesn’t want to hear a song about wine obsession? Hung-over and broke? Let big flat carb Frisbees fix all your problems. The food theme runs steady right alongside the usual fodder of rap. One track in particular has a slower funk feel like mid-90’s hip-hop. I’m talking about “These Guys Mean Business” Complete with female backups, this one bring memories of Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy.” The wub wub sound of dubstep is the crutch on “VIP.” Angry, affected, and bottom-end distorted vocals meets Middle Eastern jingles.
The Essentials is a great concept album for just a couple of fresh rappers who blew up on Canada’s Got Talent. Maybe not surprising, is that their colorful language got them sanctioned from the finals. But regardless, they have a brand of off the cuff humor that goes well with scratch the surface integrity so don’t expect these guys to change things up anytime soon. After all, genius is very appealing when inspired through comedy. When it comes to hip-hop we all want to bounce so when we can laugh at the same time, it’s damn near perfection.
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