Audio

Emtee Releases His Highly-Anticipated Sophomore Album, 'Manando'

Emtee's new album is one of the most anticipated releases of the year in South African music—and it’s for the homies.

South African hip-hop artist Emtee has released his sophomore album, Manando, today.

The 20-track record is one of the most anticipated releases of the year in South African music, after his stellar debut, Avery, went platinum and earned him a number of awards including "Best Hip Hop Album of the Year" at the South African Music Awards.

Manando is named after of one of Emtee’s late homies, who the rapper says believed in him as a musician before everyone else did. The artist also pays homage to another one of his fallen friends on the song “R.I.P Swati.”

Manando takes off where Avery left us, with the same brilliant trap production courtesy of his main producer Ruff, as well as Lunatik and Tweezy, among a few others. Brace your ears for those thumping bass lines and 808s.

Emtee still mixes rapping and singing like it’s not a thing as he tells his story and celebrates his victories.

Features on the album include Tiwa Savage, and his label mates Sjava, Njabulo and Saudi. The album features the singles “Corner Store” and “Ghetto Hero.”

Listen to Manando below, buy it on iTunes, and check out the music video for "Me and You" underneath.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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