Essential Stories from the Front Lines

Make Yourself Uncomfortable

South African Hiphop Artist Emile YX?

Make Yourself Uncomfortable

Emile YX? is often considered to be one of the Pioneers or Godfathers of South African Hip Hop and is a founding member of the legendary South African Hip Hop Group, Black Noise. He is best known for developmental work and community outreach projects like the Heal the Hood Project ( and hosting events like African Hip Hop Indaba, Battle of the Year, Shut Up Just Dance, African Battle Cry, Cape Flats Uprising, Surf Day, Up The Rock and Freestyle Session.

Emile YX? is also known for his work on eTVs reality TV series called “Step Up or Step Out”, but he has helped to raised money for and sent 203 young people to travel to and perform at international events globally. He has recorded and released 12 albums with Black Noise, 8 solo Emile YX? Albums, 1 Afrikaaps soundtrack, 9 compilation albums, 7 Heal the Hood compilation albums and helped 6 local artists release their solo albums. Emile started South Africa’s first Hip Hop magazine “Da Juice” and wrote 3 books.

He also helped graffiti artists Falko and Mak1 to release their own magazines and 2 compilations of Rhymes, Articles, Poetry, Short Stories and Sketches R.A.P.S.S. He also created 4 plays. Emile has thus far helped to raise money and send 189 youth artists to international events, toured and taught Hip Hop and anti-racism in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Ireland, Belgium, Holland, England, Italy, USA, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Australia, India, Brazil and Korea.