Emtee was born in Matatiele, a small town in the Eastern Cape. Mthembeni Ndevu aka “Emtee Da Hustla” to his fans, is a pure talent that has taken South Africa by storm. Mthembeni grew up in Rockville, Soweto, a major township in the Gauteng Province. This is where he discovered and embraced his love for music. In an interview on South African channel ANN7, eMTee claims that he wanted to be a musician from first grade in primary school. The 24-year-old rapper discovered his passion for spitting catchy rhymes at the age of 9 at Yeoville Primary School during a talent show in 2001. He participated in musical activities, – from joining the choir to taking part in school plays. Emtee completed matric at Barnato Park High School in Berea, Johannesburg where he became the youngest choir conductor. This earned him awards and first income at 17 years old and at provincial competitions for his school’s Marimba band.
Emtee kept working on his music throughout his late teen years, opting to not repeat his final year although his pass was not good enough to enter him into the major universities in South Africa.
2008 was a year where Emtee pushed mixtapes amongst his peers and gained street-cred. In 2010 Emtee met rapper Maraza, whom he collaborated with on a song titled ‘In it to win it’. They appeared on Channel O’s show “HeadRush”. This helped build his name. They started a group called ‘4front’, specializing in electro, dub step and rap. 2013 saw the group split to focus on solo careers. Emtee released an EP called “Do it yourself” (DIY).
In 2015 Emtee signed a music and management contract with Ambitiouz Entertainment. Within 4 months of signing the contract, the gritty rapper released a hit single with his producer “Ruff” titled Roll-Up. Emtee claimed that the entire track was recorded and finalized in two hours.
The single, “Roll Up”, received overwhelming response and has since become one of the most popular songs in South Africa and it peaked at the top of DJ Speedsta’s hip hop chart on YFM. Whiz Kid and South African rapper AKA approached him for a remake and featured on the official re-release of his single, which eMTee called Roll Up Re-Up. He said that “Roll Up” was recorded within a tight schedule, because he and his team were finalizing his debut album.
Following the successful hit single, Emtee surprised the country and dropped his debut album with one single in the market. The album is named after his son “ Avery” who was born in 2015. The musical 18-track album allowed Emtee to combine his favourite things: rapping, singing and producing. It was released on the 04th December 2015 on iTunes and to domestic music retailers. It is still one of the best-selling Hip-hop albums in South Africa. Avery sold Platinum (more than 50 000) in about 6 months of release. Emtee was soon after selected by Tropica to partake in the Tropical Island paradise in the Seychelles.
Full of surprises, post album release, Emtee started 2016 with a catchy club banger titled “Pearl Thusi”. Another unexpected hit with a twist… The hit single and the video debuted within the same week across the country receiving an overwhelming response.
Emtee has also featured on other hit tracks such as DJ Citi Lyts hit “Washa”, A Reece debut single “ I couldn’t” and currently Emtee features on Ms Pru new hit single “Ugesi”. He has also featured on Nigeria’s Tribute song “Mandela song remix” by Harrysong. He then went on to feature on Fifi Cooper’s hit single Kuse Kuze where he landed another great hook.
Currently the most accomplished hip-hop artist in SA, Emtee continues to share his talent as he has now shared hooks that have led to over 8 million views on YouTube. The more achievements and rewards Emtee receives, the more he hustles! Emtee is also spending time in studio, which will bring more unexpected surprises in the following years.