Em­tee strikes gold to se­cure his to­mor­row

The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT -

ON THE pe­ri­odic ta­ble, AU stands for gold. No stranger to the sta­tus when it comes to sales, South African rap­per Em­tee re­cently an­nounced that he is a share­holder of AU Gold vodka, which is man­u­fac­tured in Mzansi.

This an­nouncemnt comes on the heels of a few rap play­ers an­nounc­ing that they’ve been be­stowed with gold plaques – we see you, Speed­sta, you’re killin’ them son. Plus others, like Kwesta, have gone on to cel­e­brate their plat­inum plaques in a cli­mate where piracy is still high and it’s still rare to see a phys­i­cal copy of a South African rap al­bum in some­one’s home. Twit­pic it so we know it’s real.

Any­way, the point is, even the Amer­i­cans that are so copied on other shores have long ago fig­ured out that the sales money is good but it’s not as good as it has been in the past. The bulk of rev­enue comes in be­cause of live per­for­mances and sell­ing mer­chan­dise but even that isn’t enough to sus­tain some of the most skilled MCs.

Plus, with age and rel­e­vance be­ing a fac­tor, live gigs will not al­ways be the goose that lays the golden egg for ev­ery­one. There are ex­cep­tions to this, ob­vi­ously, but for the ma­jor­ity money needs to be made in other ways, ways that ac­tu­ally have noth­ing to do with rap.

That’s why it makes sense that Em­tee Tha Hustler, as he is also known, has de­cided to go into the liquor game. It worked for P. Diddy and Ciroc and DeLeon. It worked for Jay Z and Ar­mand de Brignac and Dusse. Even Bo­nang has been as­so­ci­ated with Ciroc and, most re­cently, Cour­voisier.

But, it has not al­ways been pub­li­cised whether th­ese fa­mous faces ac­tu­ally have eq­uity in thes com­pa­nies. Em­tee sought to change that. With his son, Avery – Mzansi’s own Asahd – wear­ing a for­mal suit and rest­ing in Em­tee’s arms, the rap­per ex­plained his new ven­ture.

“It’s not a ru­mour. I am a part owner of AU Gold. This is re­ally great be­cause I grew up see­ing a lot of my favourite rap­pers do things like this. Fifty. Diddy,” he went on to list his faves. Then he looked down at Avery and said: “All of this is mostly for my guy here. He’s my best friend.”

Sure, Em­tee wants to make sure his fam­ily is well taken care of even long af­ter he has hung up the mic, but it seems very im­por­tant to him to prove that he did it through his gift of rhyme. He ex­plained: “Grow­ing up, peo­ple al­ways told me hip hop won’t sell. Even when I was at the bot­tom, I had a plan. I had some long-term goals. I hope now my par­ents and other par­ents will start tak­ing hip hop se­ri­ously. Us rap­pers do a lot of things but in the back of my mind, there’s al­ways that para­noia about what to­mor­row holds. I al­ways make moves that are go­ing to se­cure my to­mor­row.”

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