Review: Emtee’s third studio album highlights what matters most

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LOGAN, EmteeThe third full-length album, counts as his first offering since his foray into independence, following his departure from Ambitiouz Entertainment in 2019 and the subsequent formation of his own imprint, Emtee Records.

LOGAN continues Emtee’s long-standing tradition of naming his albums after people he loves. Her debut album, released in 2015, was named Avery after his eldest son. His second album, Manando (2017), was named after an OG who died from his hood, which protected and guided him through the day. The current album is named after her second son, Logan. The only deviation from this tradition was the nomination of his EPs DIY (2015) and DIY 2 (2018). Even then, he still managed to have a silhouette of himself and his two sons on the cover of DIY 2.

Since her debut in 2015 with the hit “Roll Up”, Emtee (real name Mthembini Devu) has had a decorated but tumultuous career. As a renowned artist for then-emerging record company Ambitiouz Entertainment, he was poised for greatness given his talent and star power.


Although he has achieved considerable success, racking up praise in the process, his career has nonetheless been marred by controversy. From his unceremonious departure from Ambitiouz to the sordid personal scandals spilling into public space – accidentally showing his private parts on Instagram in 2017, as well as revealing that he lost both his car and his house in 2019. He So it’s no surprise that his latest album sounded deeply thoughtful, wiser and more in tune with his true self, in light of everything he’s been through.

Acceptance, appreciation and gratitude

The very first words Emtee says on the opening song of the album “Revolutionary” are:

“Say no to depression, yeah. No more stress, yeah.
Living is a blessing, yeah. Gave me a lesson, yeah … ”

These lines serve as the perfect thesis statement for the feelings expressed on the album. They encompass the state of mind that Emtee is in. By acknowledging depression as a real problem, he exemplifies an acceptance of the hardships and suffering in life that can lead to the condition, even though he assumes that we should say no and try to overcome it by just not stressing out. He shares the same feelings on “Wave”, where he sings, “This life is not easy mate, sometimes iyikh’iphi mate.” Proclaiming that while everything is as bad as it was before, being alive is a blessing in itself.


Emtee feat. Lolli – Brand New Day (official clip)

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On “Revolutionary” he goes on to say “First of all, I would like to thank the Almighty for my sons (two boys)… you know, I had to do it for Logan this time around”, expressing gratitude which is certainly one of the lessons life has taught him. This feeling goes well with the title song. Like most fathers, Emtee wishes only the best for his son, giving him advice on how to live.

“Long Way” is in the same vein of expressing his gratitude, and he finds Emtee talking to his wife, speaking candidly, saying:

“I can’t lie girl I looked at you you walked into my life when I thought to approach you I made up a lie just to get closer to you
I don’t regret it, I’m proud of myself …
I fuck with you on the long way
I have you all day, you bring me peace after a long day… ”

The song shows growth and tells the listener where Emtee and her partner are currently located. In 2020, he claimed to have suffered abuse from his longtime partner Nicole Kendall Ndevu (née Chinsamy) who was then estranged from him. Emtee recently told Apple Music, “I’ve come to a point where I need to focus and see who has my best interests at heart, and I haven’t looked too far because of the love I get at home. . ”

The darkest song on the album is “Family”. In it, Emtee pours out his heart, thanking his family for being with him through thick and thin. He’s at his most heartfelt on a touching Young2unnBeats instrumental that can’t help but pull on the chords.

Self-awareness

Emtee appears to have a strong sense of self as the music he makes reflects where he is in his real life. The subjects and themes that occupy most of the album show a direct connection to what happened in his life. Life hasn’t been a big party for Emtee since breaking into the music industry.

Two of the most outstanding songs in the form of “Wave” and “iThemba” show an individual who recognizes himself, his faults and is able to come to terms with them. He has no divine complex. Instead, he acknowledges his fallibility and, instead of moping and pitying himself, he gets up and is determined to start over, living up to that epithet “Da Hustler”.

On “iThemba” he said,

“They throw dirt on my name, laugh at my pain, try to make me lame, yes, yes, yes look at me strangely, I made mistakes, yes I’m not a saint , I was on them thank you everyday, trying to ease the pain… I ‘my boss not a farmer, I took this L as a lesson. Still in the studio session, becoming a legend, save me a place in paradise … “

His vision and his response to adversity are visceral; the listener will appreciate that he is true to himself in the way he incorporates everything that has happened in his life and that he takes it with gusto. There is nothing overtly out of character in the way he writes his words and expresses them, no matter how serious the subject.

When he expresses regret there is a sense of reserve in his voice and even when he puffs up he is not overly optimistic. Instead, he’s his normal self, which adds to the credibility. Even though he fully understands the cards that have been dealt to him, he works out his game plan without losing an ounce of composure.

On “Pressure” he said;

“Since I was young, I have been on a mission,
I’m a leader, I have tunnel vision
Still standing after what they did to me… “

Not all Doom and Gloom

However, not everything is dark, dark and heavy on this album. At 16 songs, Emtee manages to add a few bangers on an otherwise mellow album.

“Slide” is one of those songs. Highlighted by a punchy bass and aggressive 808s and complemented by his loose flow, it’s proof that he still packs a medium punch when it comes to creating bops that will guarantee a great start to any party. and will burn down any club dance floor.

“Johustleburg”, which is one of the few songs on the album to be released in some time, perfectly complements the long list of obligatory, often awesome Joburg odes, that virtually any artist residing in the city has. fact, from “8-3-1 (I Love You) by Cashless Society”, “Joburg City” by L-Tido, “Run Jozi” by AKA and many more.

Deeper into the second half of the album, songs such as “Brand New Day”, “Where I’m At” and “Saam Sokol ‘” are all upbeat, adding color and balance to a premiere. half rather heavy.

On “Saam Sokol ‘”, Emtee teams up with rapper Moozlie. The highlight of the song being producer Ruff’s sampling of kwaito legend M’Du’s “Bab’uGovernment”, as well as the clever interpolation of a line from Zola’s “Umdlwembe”, when he says, “Uyangizwa bhade lami, hlale wazi yamadoda ayipheli…”

“Laqasha” seems a bit out of place in the album because it is the most raw song of LOGAN, with rape lines from Emtee like, “I’m on some other shit, I can’t chase a bitch, I’m trying to get rich…” “Come Closer” suffers the same fate.

In all, LOGAN is a solid addition to Emtee’s rich discography. That’s a feat in itself, considering this is her first independent album. For an artist strongly supported by a major, he has proven that, more than anything, it is his talent that counts above the machine.

Although quite dark and heavy, this is by no means a whiny album. Rather, it truly reflects where the artist who created it was at the time was and, at the very least, it should be seen as a triumph of honest performance in music.

Flux LOGAN on Apple Music and Spotify.

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