Gold Coast hip hop legends Emph N Treats have just dropped a killer new ‘tell it like it is’ jam which goes by the name of ‘Fools Gold’, backed by a jaw droppingly impressive video clip which they put together in collaboration with the Queensland Theatre Of Puppetry.
The collective’s core duo, MC’s Emphasise and Treats, have been partners in rhyme for well over a decade now, and after a two-year hiatus, they resurfaced with renewed vigour in late 2015 with the addition of Brisbane DJ, Jacko, and drummer, Fishy, as they go about spreading the word and moving bodies and minds with their lyrically enlightened approach and classic era hip hop vibes.
We recently had a chat with MC Treats to get the lowdown on ‘Fools Gold’ and the great work being done in the community by the Queensland Theatre Of Puppetry, as well as gaining an insight into their wicked new EP.
Congratulations on the killer new track, Fools Gold. In this day and age of rampant capitalism and rule by fools, do you feel that now, more than ever, that it’s important to use the medium of art (in your case music and video) to try and be a catalyst for social change?
Spot on! Absolutely! We think art has always been a medium for reflecting life and society, whether it’s paintings, performance, music or any form of expression. It is almost a duty of any artist to shine light on issues that we as humans face and need to overcome. Sometimes artists do this subliminally, sometimes it’s really in your face.
We are certainly in times of rampant capitalism, on possibly an unprecedented level. What have we become in the name of greed and profit? It is almost like a trance that people are under in their pursuit of wealth rather than their pursuit of happiness. We have been led to believe that wealth and happiness are synonyms and it’s perfectly sane to hoard vast amounts of wealth while your brothers and sisters scrape for crumbs. It’s a toxic mentality that really is the definition of fools gold. I mean, will your eulogy read many accounts of adventure and the size of your heart or the size of your bank account? “We killing each other for Fools gold”.
The use of the puppets in the video clip is very striking and creative. How did your collaboration with the Queensland Theatre of Puppetry come about?
Emphasize had the concept for this clip for a while and we reached out to the theatre to see if they would be interested. They were so excited to work on this project, it was really contagious! Their passion for puppetry matched our passion for music. We wanted to do something really different and we couldn’t have come up with a better way to portray the songs underlying message than through puppetry.
What was the role of Godspeed Productions in all of this?
They are a Byron Bay based production company who filmed and edited the clip. They were so easy to work with and did a brilliant job on taking Emph’s crazy idea and bringing it to life!
It must have been very inspiring collaborating with the Queensland Theatre of Puppetry, in lieu of all the great fundraising work that they do?
They are really inspiring people. Phil and June have been at the theatre for a long time and their passion for their craft is amazing! They are incredibly generous and happy people. They love bringing a smile to the faces of children – it is their concept of real wealth and they certainly aren’t chasing fools gold. For each show they put on, every cent they make goes into buying medical equipment for the children’s hospital. They do not donate the money, rather they find out what equipment is needed and then physically go out and buy it and deliver it to the hospital. They want to make sure every cent earnt goes to the children, not to any middle man. It is really inspiring and I would love to see the Gold Coast community really get behind the theatre and the amazing work they do!
Can you tell us a bit about the ‘The Speakeasy EP’, from which Fools Gold is taken?
The ‘Speakeasy EP’ is our latest release and came out in August. We worked with Gold Coast producer Reeceponse Beats to deliver a cruisey, jazzy/ soul influenced sound and we are really proud of this album! It is not your average hip hop release. We have had an amazing response to it and everyone has a different favourite song, which is such a compliment! There is a huge range of sounds and each track has a different style and delivery.
We bare our souls on the final track, ‘Another Step’ and also released a video with the first single ‘Message in the Sky’. You can find the album on ALL streaming services. ‘Animism’, featuring Gold Coast goddess Cali Jay is one of the standout songs. It’s a feel-good album that is perfect for a summer jam, you can put on and just let it play through.
What’s coming up on the horizon in 2020 in the world of Emph N Treats?
We are taking a bit of a break from performing in the next year to focus on creating. In the last few years we have performed and toured relentlessly and we are looking forward to working on some new tunes and having a little break from playing every week! We are hoping to get some big festival slots though and if you see us play this year it will be on a big stage! We create so much music that never sees the light of day, this has to change.
Find the guys on socials – @emphntreats and make sure you follow them on Spotify or your streaming service of choice. To check out more of the great work done by Queensland Theatre of Puppetry, visit qtop.org.au.
Check out Fools Gold below: