Rapper floating on air after single premieres in US

History was made this week when an East London rapper’s song premiered on one of the top radio stations in New York, Power 105.1 FM.

AMERICAN HIT: Mdantsane- born Arteast’s single features US rap star Mike West. Picture: RANDELL ROSKRUGE

Mdantsane rapper Arteast’s latest single, Top Down, which features US rapper Mike West, was played by DJ Prostyle on his afternoon drive show on Tuesday.

WWPR-FM (105.1 MHz), better known by its branding slogan Power 105.1, is a mainstream urban radio station located in New York City.

Arteast, whose real name is Athenkosi Matebese, is signed under East London-based label Asanda Empires.

Asanda Empires, which has a licensing partnership with Universal Music, was founded by Asanda Mabengwana in May last year.

Matebese’s feature with Mike West came after Mabengwana, together with a team from Universal Music, went to the US last year to build relationships with some of the labels.

West is part of US label 300 Entertainment/ Hazardous Records, which is the home of well-known rappers such as Yung Thug, Fatty Wap, Rich The Kid and Migos.

Matebese said he still could not believe that his song was first released on an international radio station.

“That was a moment for me. We were sitting in a backroom streaming and it came after Kendrick Lamar’s Humble.

“It is still unreal for me, I can’t believe this,” he said, adding that working on the song with West had been challenging.

“I recorded the chorus of the song and sent it to him and he recorded his verse. It took a while for me to work on my verse because I wanted to make it right and match their standard. After struggling to put it together, I just decided to be myself and do what I do best and the song came out nicely,” he said.

The song was co-produced by Avile Mfaxa, who has been working with Matebese since 2012.

The young rapper is to go to Johannesburg next week, where Universal Music is expected to release and promote the song here in South Africa before he goes to the US. The song is available at all digital stores. — poliswap@dispatch.co.za

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