Born in Matatiele, Eastern Cape, South Africa, Mthembeni Ndevu, better known by his stage name EmTee has been in the South African scene for less than a year now. Roll Up was his debut single and won song of the year at the South African Hip Hop Awards in 2015.
Many people did not foresee this song winning song of the year. Similar to America this song is not loved for it’s lyrical content but it it is catchy. The beat is similar to what they produce in America. The video is like a carbon copy of what artists do in America. Scenes with big booty women standing in random places, gun hand gestures, and double styrofoam cups with a huge group of men behind him with him in the middle walking back and forth rapping. The fashion is surprisingly similar, if not the same, to that of artists in the United States.
The content of this song is pretty similar to any other mainstream media song. Referring to women as bitches his friends as niggas, rolling blunts, and sipping lean.
One of the most confusing lines that I have ever heard is “She used to ride me like a rodeo/Till she heard me on the radio.” I would have assumed that it was the other way around. Maybe he went mainstream and changed on her. Only EmTee knows what it means.
EmTee incorporates Zulu in the second verse. While it’s admirable that he includes some of his culture translating it was a bit of a let down even though it goes with the song. Some examples are “Ulal’ ekhishin nama kokorosh/Wenzi’imal uthand ivoroso/this roughly translates to “She’s sleeping in the kitchen with cockroaches/She’s making money and loves/likes the sausage.
Again lyric wise this song isn’t very good, but who listens to the lyrics anymore?