Crashed cars, unpaid bills, home evictions and more drama – Emtee shares his side of the story.
Crashed cars, unpaid bills, home evictions and more drama Emtee shares his side of the story
“I started my year on a bad note.” Those were the words of Emtee describing his life, after a series of seemingly bad luck.
He was thrown out of a stylish home he lived in after falling behind on rent, he crashed two high class cars in a space of two weeks and in both cases allegedly disappeared from the scenes of the accidents.
A local publication caught up with him to get a bite into the drama, from the horse’s mouth. Emtee set the record straight. He conceeded that it was true that he moved out of his Midrand mansion and that he banged up a car but there’s something more.
Emtee (26) accompanied by his partner, Nicole Chinsamy ( 23) came from their new upmarket apartment in Kyalami to DRUM’s offices in Auckland Park, using a lift.
The rapper has been traveling using lifts or other public transport for nine months now, since he crashed the Mercedes- Benz he’d been driving. On the crash day, he was returning home from a studio session accompanied by two friends at around 4am that morning, he recalled;
“I don’t know how it happened. Maybe I was tired, but I crashed. I remember hitting my chest on the steering wheel and blacking out. I was in and out of consciousness.”
He claimed to have had been sober when he got behind the steering wheel, but can not remember much.
“I just remember the petrol attendants at a nearby petrol station who knew me, trying to help me, and my friends were calling the office to tell them what had happened. Then I woke up at the hospital,” he said.
He insisted that he did not flee from the accident scene after the crash, neither did he abandon the luxury vehicle.
The car had been loaned to him by his record label, Ambitiouz Entertainment.
“My friends tell me we had to leave the car at the scene because I kept blacking out and they needed to get me to a doctor,” he explained.
Emtee, who was given two weeks off from work said he was shocked when he saw reports alleging he disappeared from the accident scene. “I never fled the scene. I needed to see a doctor,” he said.
The crash worsened his already soured relationship with his record label boss, Kgosi Mahumapelo.
“By then our relationship wasn’t great and the car crash made it worse,” he admitted.
KGOSI was angry, Emtee said. “Instead of the CEO checking if I was okay, he told me I needed to pay like R700 000. That’s crazy.”
Emtee was shocked to learn that the car which he thought had been bought for him was not his. “I found out after the accident the car I thought was bought for me by the CEO was not in my name.
“How I got the car was shady from the beginning. I was called to go to the Mercedes-Benz dealership. When I got there, I found a car with a red ribbon and my name on it. So I assumed it was mine.
“Maybe I was being naïve. I thought the money for the car came from the money I had been making for the label.
“But as time went by, I asked Kgosi for the papers of the car and I was told to shut up,” he narrated.
The Ghetto Hero rapper had to resort to help from friends for transportation. “I made plans to take my kids to school. I used Uber or called friends.”
When he recovered from the injuries he went back to the recording studio, but the reception was not that good.
Ambitiouz was renting a three-bedroom double storey in Midrand for Emtee and his family, thus; him, Nicole, and their two children, Avery (3) and Logan (19 months).
“We started receiving notices saying our rent wasn’t up to date. I had also been complaining to the label about the maintenance of the house and nothing was being done. So, when the notices came, I wasn’t surprised at all,” he said.
Nicole had to get in touch with the homeowners for clarity. “They told her the problem was not with us, the occupants. They loved us. Their issue was the people paying the rent,” he explained.
Tabloids reported that Emtee just hurriedly left the house in a bad state.
“They said I burnt the floors and wrecked the place and that’s not true.
“I had been begging the record company to fix the broken sink and cupboards, but they wouldn’t take me seriously. The house was in a state because it wasn’t being maintained. It was a safety hazard,” he said.
As a result, Emtee shifted his family to Nicole’s parents’ home in Orange Grove.
“We left the furniture they bought and everything there as it was. That was the last straw.
“I’d had enough of being mistreated by that label and decided I’m walking away,” he added.
He chronicled how he was unhappy with the label.
“Whenever I suggested anything, I was told, ‘Oh there you go again, acting crazy, it’s all the weed you smoke’, or this and that,” Emtee said.
He once got nominated for a BET award in 2016, but his bosses denied him the opportunity to attend the star-studded ceremony in the US.
“They said my visa application wasn’t approved because they had been watching my social media.
“The lame excuse was I can’t go because I smoke weed and I was going to smoke in America and get into trouble,” he narrated.
He had been with Ambitiouz four years now; “To this day I still don’t have brand association.
“I tried getting brands on board and endorsements but there was always a brick wall. The brands were told I was making demands, which I never made,” he continued.
Emtee said he doesn’t owe them anything, and added that in future he would take great attention before signing any contract. He said he has learnt a lesson, and that next time he would consult a lawyer.
“I won’t lie, I just glanced through the stack of pages and signed each one hoping I wouldn’t be another statistic to be exploited by a record company.
“I just wanted the break. But things went south. I signed that contract because of passion and hunger. I was poor. I went in ignorantly.
“But I don’t regret doing that because they helped to establish my name,” he said.
Emtee met Kgosi through rapper and producer Tabure Thabo “JR” Bogopa. “Back then I was hustling and getting small gigs. A few weeks later Kgosi asked to meet me in Midrand where he offered me a record deal.
“When we first met, he was super cool and understanding. He was starting at Ambitiouz and I trusted him. I shared my life story and my pain of growing up poor without food and no shoes to go to school. I let my guard down with him,” he added.
Emtee stood by his record boss when Ambitiouz lost leading artists Fifi Cooper, A- Reece and B3nchMarQ. “I hoped things could get better,” he said.
“But we were all complaining about the same bad treatment. Can you believe all the artists at Ambitiouz get a standard salary, as if we work a regular nine to-five?” he complained.
Emtee’s salary fluctuated between R20 000 and R80 000.
“In the last few months I wasn’t getting a cent,” he claimed. “Even if you perform 100 shows a month you still got the same amount of money at the end of every month. I thought that was how things were done but people tell me I’m supposed to get a percentage from every performance, which I never did.
“The more I complained about issues, the more my salary would go down,” Emtee added.
When he stopped getting a salary a few months ago, then calls from debt collectors started coming in. “My life cover and bills weren’t being paid. I almost got blacklisted. That’s when I decided I needed to leave this mess of a company and focus on myself, my family, my music, and work on getting my own gigs.
“For a long time I believed I was the one with the problem. I was made to feel like I ask for too much and I complain a lot, but I realised it was them. Kgosi would often remind me I come from nothing and that when we met I was a poor nobody,” he narrated his alleged ordeal.
However, Emtee is not cross.
“I’m not mad at all. Homie did what he had to. I did my part and that was to make good music. I was the one going to five and sometimes eight shows a day, getting tired and falling off stage from exhaustion. I served my time. Now it’s time for me to fly solo,” he said.
Though he recently announced he was leaving the stable, his lawyers are still working on the modalities.
“Yes, I was stupid for taking the car, the house and signing the contract without proper legal representation, but I don’t owe them a cent and they can take that to the court if they want,” he claimed.
It’s been a rough year, but for him, it has been a learning curve.
“It’s a dog-eat-dog industry and you need to be vigilant and seek legal advice,” he added.
Meanwhile, Kgosi told DRUM magazine that Emtee was not being honest and accused him of telling lies in order to get public sympathy. He said all his claims that his cars were repossessed are not true. He added that the claim that the label stopped him from attending the BETs in America was also misleading. Kgosi said instead, it was the US embassy that had rejected his visa applications on more than one occasion.
“This is the behaviour of an individual willing to say anything to damage the reputation of others to divert attention from taking responsibility,” he slammed.
Emtee hasn’t honoured his contract, Kgosi said. “The number of albums committed to by him in the contracts exceed the albums he released. On 24 April 2019 he further entered into an additional recording and publishing contract, which extends the initial agreement with a further 36 months ending in October 2022,” he added.
With regards to the crash, Kgosi said members of the Ambitiouz team rushed to the scene only to find Emtee and his passengers gone.
“The car was towed to an approved panel beater in Sandton, who gave a quote of R706 787 after three days of inspecting the car,” he said.
Kgosi said they arranged for transport for Emtee to go home after his hospital stay and contributed to his medical bills.
“Ambitiouz’s management went to visit him on the day in hospital and requested that he make a statement to the police to assist with insurance claims, which he refused. The reasons for his refusal are only known to him.
“He requested the label undertake to repair the car, the cost of which he has signed an acknowledgement of debt.
“Two weeks later Emtee crashed another vehicle, an A45 AMG Mercedes Benz, which was towed to a panel beater and the repair costs amount to R244 370. These damages are listed on an insurance statement Emtee completed,” he went on.
Talking about the house, Kgosi said no damage was recorded on the house during a pre-inspection; “After he left there was damages in the house, including a burnt room.
“Emtee moved out after the city of Johannesburg sent a notice of termination for services due to an unpaid water bill which wasn’t paid for more than a year.
Paying water was his responsibility not the label’s,” he added.
Kgosi added that checks on Emtee’s social media postings contradict the claims that he was not being paid. “He informed the public that due to his album selling platinum he was able to buy his father a double- cab bakkie. The claim he wasn’t paid what was due to him is contradicted by his publicly demonstrated expensive lifestyle.”
Emtee, however, maintains the record company didn’t pay his medical bills or the rent for the house he lived in.
He admits to crashing two cars, but “I can’t say too much about them because my lawyer is handling the situation,” he said.
Asked if he is ready to repair his relationship with the rapper, Kgosi had this to say; “We would like Emtee to honour his contract that he willingly entered into with Ambitiouz.”