I guess you’d have had to be dead or locked away somewhere not to have heard of Die Antwoord, the zef-rave crew from the northern ‘burbs in Slaapstad. They’ve basically taken over the interweb airspace, particularly in the last few weeks, as the full glare of national and international focus has turned on them. They’re big, uploads and views of their zef stylee such as “Enter the Ninja” now mushrooming over the million and a half mark, and they’re getting bigger with international tours etc upcoming.
And they seriously funny, with a huge bulge of ironic tongue in cheek. And they rock out – this is the band we introduced to the masses at Al and Claire’s wedding last year and got the floor heaving.
There’s a weird thing going around with a lot of dignified Afrikaans journos taking up their case and bemoaning the fact that a lot of us English-speaking peeps are suddenly converts (not caring that some of them have recently just twigged while we’ve been listening and watching since they first popped up early 2009 and made most of their album available on the website wat kyk jy) – and dissing them for liking, and “looking down” on their zef shenanigans. OK, OK, broad generalisation I know…Die Antwoord are not without their critics – check out Koos Kombuis writing about them here. And there’s an interesting balanced dig into their supposed zef-ness here.
I think the coolest thing is that it’s got people seriously talking, and seriously paying attention, speaking about the Afrikaans and identity debate raging on, and opinion split between them being awesomely cool media wranglers and zeitgeist monitors or flash in the pan hucksters. The jury’s out – all we know is that are a wicked brew of intentional deflection and arch interweb-savvy manipulation. And they cool, and they kak funny. And if they got the Durban crew suddenly listening to Afrikaans-infested rap and gooing a bit of their own taal, then that’s a good thing.
Are they truly die antwoord? Mebbe. Mebbe not. Like Bunny says: “wat was die vragie?”
As a last word, check this out – this is one of Waddy and Yolandi’s previous incarnations as MaxNormal.TV – if this video doesn’t give some indication of where they’re about to go (this made in 2008) then I dunno. In many ways, a brilliant song.