Emtee. Picture: Supplied
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 announcement 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.

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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.

Emtee. Picture: Supplied

“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.”