Mthembeni Ndevu, better known by his stage name eMTee, is a South African rapper. He was born in Matatiele and grew up in Rockville, Soweto, where he was involved in talent shows. His career began at the age of 17 and his debut hit single, "Roll Up" was released in 2015 to critical acclaim. Emtee was signed to Ambitiouz Entertainment,[2] and released his debut album Avery (2015), which was commercially successful and was eventually certified platinum by Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA).[3][4]

Birth nameMthembeni Ndevu
Born (1992-09-17) September 17, 1992 (age 29)
Matatiele, Eastern Cape, South Africa[1]
OriginSoweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Rapper
  • record producer
  • singer-songwriter
  • actor
  • Vocals
Years active2010–present

The album was preceded by two singles: "Roll Up" and "Pearl Thusi". His second studio album Manando (2017), the title referring to his late brother. His third album DIY 2 was released in 2018. He established his own record label eMtee Records in partnership with African Trap Movement and released third studio album Logan (2021), debuted number 1 in South Africa.

Early lifeEdit

Mthembeni Ndevu was born to Phathiswa and Lumkile Ndevu[5] in the mid-sized town Matatiele, situated in the Eastern Cape, a coastal province in South Africa. He grew up in Rockville, Soweto, a major township in the Gauteng province.[6] In an interview on South African channel ANN7, Emtee said that he wanted to be a musician from first grade in primary school.[7] He performed on stage for the first time at the age of 9, at a Yeoville primary school talent show.[8]


Early careerEdit

Emtee kept working on his music throughout his late teen years, opting to not repeat his final year in school, although his pass was not good enough to enter him into the major universities in South Africa.[9]

In 2010, Emtee collaborated with South African rapper Maraza on a song titled "In It To Win It". They appeared on Channel O's show HeadRush.[10] Before his solo career, Emtee was part of the rap trio, African Trap Movement, alongside fellow South African rappers Sjava, Saudi and their producer Ruff before they were all signed by Ambitiouz Entertainment.[11]

2015-2019: AveryEdit

In early 2015, a friend of Emtee, his producer Ruff produced the beat for the song that would eventually become his debut single, "Roll Up". Emtee claimed that the entire track was recorded and finalized in two hours.[12] "Roll Up" received major radio play in Southern Africa and peaked at the top of DJ Speedsta's hip hop chart on YFM. Wizkid and South African rapper AKA 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.[13][14]

At the 22nd South African Music Awards, Emtee received five nominations, winning the awards for Rap Album of The Year for Avery and Song of the Year for "Roll Up". Emtee won his second award for Song of the Year at the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards, again for "Roll Up". "Roll Up" competed in a category where two South African gold selling artists, as well as Khuli Chana each made at least two appearances.[15]

On December 4, 2015, Emtee's debut album Avery was released on iTunes and to domestic music retailers. eMtee was the third most played South African hip hop artist in the latter part of 2015 (10th most played artist overall).[citation needed]

2018-2020: New label and upcoming musicEdit

In August 2019, Emtee announced that he was leaving his label Ambitiouz Entertainment,[16] amid controversy.[17] In September 2019, Emtee established his own record label, Emtee Records under his company African Trap Movement.[18] In November, the rapper said he would be releasing a new EP in 2020.[18]
On 21 January 2020, Emtee announced via Twitter the working on his fourth studio album, DIY 3, in 2020. The album will serve as a follow-up to his third album DIY 2.[19] On 8 May 2020, Emtee released a new single, titled "Johustleburg". "Johustleburg" was first teased during Emtee's "hit battle" with fellow rapper Nasty Cin April 2020. It marks the third single from Emtee in 2020, following "Wave" and "Brand New Day," which he released earlier in 2020.[20]

2021-present: LoganEdit

In early February 2021, his single "iThemba" was released.[21] The song debuted number one in South Africa.[22]

On April 9, 2021, his fourth studio album Logan was released in South Africa.[23] At the 2021 South African Hip Hop Awards, Logan received a nomination for Album of the Year and emtee was nominated for artist of the decade.[24]

Personal lifeEdit

Emtee has two sons. His first son, Avery was born in 2015, and Logan in 2018. His debut album was named after Avery.[25]


In October 2017, Emtee accidentally exposed his genitals on Instagram Live.[26]


Studio albumsEdit

Album Title Album Details
  • Released: 4 December 2015
  • Label: Ambitiouz Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, Digital download
  • Certification: Platinum
  • Released: 15 September 2017
  • Label: Ambitiouz Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, Digital download
  • Released: 21 September 2018
  • Label: Ambitiouz Entertainment
  • Formats: CD, Digital download
DIY 3[19]

Extended playsEdit

Album Title Album Details


  • "Roll Up" (2015)
  • "Pearl Thusi" (2015)
  • "Roll Up (Re-Up) feat. Wizkid & AKA" (2015)
  • "Couldn't" (A-Reece featuring Emtee) (2016)
  • "Amamenemene" (2016)
  • "My People" (2016)
  • "Ngeke feat. Fifi Cooper" (2016)
  • "We Up" (2016)
  • "Winning feat. Nasty C" (2017)
  • "Ghetto Hero" (2017)
  • "Corner Store" (2017)
  • "My Way feat. Sims" (2017)
  • "Me and You feat. Tiwa Savage" (2017)
  • "My Enemies" (2017)
  • "Manando" (2017)
  • "Plug" (2018)
  • "Thank You" (2018)
  • "Lesson" (2018)
  • "Smogolo" ft Snaayman (2019)
  • "Wave" (2020)
  • "Brand New Day" ft Lolli (2020)
  • "Real In The State" ft Rich The Kid (TBA)
  • "Johustleburg" (2020)[29]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Ceremony Prize Recipient/Nominated work Result
2015 South African Hip Hop Awards 2015 Song of The Year "Roll Up" Won
2016 Metro FM Music Awards[30] Best Music Video[31] Won
Best Remix Won
Best Hip Hop Album Avery Won
Best New Artist Himself Nominated
Listeners Choice Award Won
22nd South African Music Awards Album of the Year Avery Nominated
Male Artist of the Year Himself Nominated
Newcomer of the Year Nominated
Best Rap Album Avery Won
Amstel Record of the Year "Roll Up" Won
2016 BET Awards Viewers’ Choice Best New International Act Himself Nominated
2017 AFRIMA Awards Best male artiste in South Africa[32] Himself Nominated
2019 SAMA Awards Best Hip Hop Album DIY 2 Nominated
2022 Global Music Awards Africa Hip Hop artist Himself Won[33][34]


  1. ^ "Emtee Biography". Retrieved 26 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Emtee Confirms His Departure From Ambitiouz Entertainment". Hiphopza. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  3. ^ "eMTee's debut album 'Avery' has reached platinum". Yomzansi. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  4. ^ "EMTEE" (PDF). Ambitiouz Entertainment. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Emtee's mother and mother-in-law in catfight". The Sowetan. 16 June 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  6. ^ Nandipha Pantsi (23 December 2015). "Emtee is earning his stripes". The Citizen. Archived from the original on 24 December 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  7. ^ Emtee talks about his single 'Roll up, 22 April 2015, retrieved 18 January 2016
  8. ^ "Emtee is earning his stripes". The Citizen. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  9. ^ "Rolling with Emtee". DRUM. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  10. ^ "eMtee just keeps getting better". CityPress. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  11. ^ Sekgothe, Malcolm (5 November 2019). "Finding Your Niche: Emtee". Mail & Guardian. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  12. ^ Emtee talks about his single 'Roll up, 22 April 2015, retrieved 18 January 2016
  13. ^ "Emtee is earning his stripes". The Citizen. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Rapper Emtee talks Roll Up, HHP controversial line". Sowetan LIVE. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  15. ^ "Roll Up's success wraps up blazing year for eMtee". Times LIVE. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  16. ^ Joyce, Liam Karabo (8 October 2019). "Emtee wants his awards back from Ambitiouz Entertainment | IOL Entertainment". IOL. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  17. ^ Dzimbili, Siyabonga (15 November 2019). "Emtee on his plans for next year – 'In 2020 I'm doing what I've been doing twice as much'". Media24. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  18. ^ a b Birjalal, Ayssia (16 September 2019). "Emtee launches his own record label, 'Emtee Records' | IOL Entertainment". IOL. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  19. ^ a b Manjo, Theo (21 January 2020). "@Emteethehustla_ Hints On New Album #DIY3". SlikourOnLife. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  20. ^ Mkhabela, Sabelo (8 May 2020). "Emtee Finally Releases Long-Awaited single 'Johustleburg'". OkayAfrica. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  21. ^ Shabangu, Nobantu (3 February 2021). "Emtee Shares Latest Single 'iThemba' Ahead of Upcoming Album". OkayAfrica. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  22. ^ "Emtee Tops The Charts". 1 February 2021. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  23. ^ Shabangu, Nobantu. "Emtee Finally Releases His New Album - OkayAfrica". OkayAfrica. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  24. ^ Bukola. "Full list of 2021 SA Hip Hop Awards nominees | Fakaza News". Fakaza News. Retrieved 2 November 2021.
  25. ^ "eMTee releases his debut album 'AVERY' | YoMzansi | Have a Sip!". YoMzansi™ BLOG | HIGHEST GRADE SOURCE of SA Entertainment News. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  26. ^ "Emtee accidentally live-streams his penis on Instagram". Channel24. 30 October 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Emtee Finally Drops Debut Album | HYPE Magazine". Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  28. ^ "Emtee Logan Album". iminathi. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  29. ^ @emteethehustla_ (8 May 2020). "#Johustleburg Produced by @Ruff_atm" (Tweet). Retrieved 8 May 2020 – via Twitter.
  30. ^ SundayWorld. "15th Metro FM Music Awards nominees (Full list) – SundayWorld". Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  31. ^ Nigerianinfobox. "Emtee Biography – History, Age, Net Worth & Songs – Nigerian Info Box". Archived from the original on 6 January 2017. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  32. ^ "AFRIMA 2017: The list of winners". Loliby.
  33. ^ "Emtee bags huge award for the year at Global Music Awards | Fakaza". South Africa: Fakaza. 20 April 2022. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
  34. ^ Mphande, Joy (21 April 2022). "Emtee celebrates 'Hip Hop Artist of the Year' win at Global Music Awards Africa 2022". TimesLIVE. Retrieved 30 April 2022.