Insiders say the rapper has no option but to stay at Ambitiouz Entertainment because he owes millions to the label
Rapper Emtee has been going through a tough time lately, but he is holding his head up.
“When my enemy comes, I hit back with my weapon – music. For every situation I go through, I express my emotions through a song,” he told City Press last week.
Emtee, real name Mthembeni Ndevu (26), maintains that contrary to recent media reports he is still working with controversial music label Ambitiouz Entertainment and that his followers should expect more hits from him.
The soft-spoken rapper adds that he has written more than 300 songs and he is still writing more because music is therapy to him.
Two Ambitiouz insiders told City Press that when the label signed the Roll Up hitmaker in 2015 he was young and made poor business decisions.
Music pundits have often questioned how responsible it is of record labels to give young artists large advances when they sign them.
An advance is generally a once-off payment used to lure artists, but can take other forms.
The money ultimately has to be paid back to the label from the artist’s earnings.
City Press has reliably learnt that one of the reasons it might be difficult for Ambitiouz to free the rapper is because he owes them millions for money the label advanced to him for cars.
“Two years ago, he approached the record label to buy him an expensive Mercedes-Benz sports car worth more than R1 million because he couldn’t afford to buy it cash and had no credit record. His wish was granted,” said an Ambitiouz insider.
Another insider added that the company gave him another luxury Mercedes-Benz, which he crashed in less than three weeks.
In his defence, Emtee explains: “I did post on social media that I was involved in a car accident. The car is in the panel beaters right now. It is not true that it was repossessed.”
He refused to talk about the second car.
Ambitiouz insiders alleged that Emtee has always been the favourite at the label. One claimed that in April the rapper signed another contract, where he indicated that he would like to extend and record another two albums with Ambitiouz to recoup the millions he owes to the stable.
“As for the contract, whether I signed it or not [is] a private [and] confidential matter between me and the company,” the rapper told City Press.
A source said: “The record label will go the extra mile for Emtee. They have always treated him like a baby.”
Emtee said his focus is currently on making music and spending more time with his two sons.
“I live in the studio. I don’t think there is anyone who can mix music like me in the music industry right now,” boasted the star.
It was recently reported that Ambitiouz, owned by Kgosi Mahumapelo, stripped Emtee of a house and cars because he wanted to leave the label.
Mahumapelo told City Press last week that Emtee never left Ambitiouz, saying only that: “He is back in studio doing what he loves.”
He quashed rumours that Emtee was planning on leaving the record label when he posted #FreeEmtee on Twitter: “Artists are creative beings and express their creativity on different platforms, social media included.”
When we asked what triggered him to post the hash tag, the rapper said social media was important to him and he always takes advantage of the platform to communicate what he feels with his fans.
“My parents have been very worried about what is happening in my life right now, but I told them that everything is going to be fine.”
Emtee was seen signing new contracts at the Ambitiouz offices in Midrand last week.
When asked if he had made peace with the label, the rapper said the company made him and therefore he was not going to entertain controversy about his rumoured departure.
“Sometimes you work with people you disagree or agree with and it’s okay. Business is business. I am not going to let people take advantage of the situation.”
The rapper doesn’t have any regrets: “Everything happens for a reason. Whatever is happening right now in my life was meant to happen. I am confident that one hit song can change everything. I will keep the ball rolling. I am going to bounce back.”