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Enter the Ninja

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. 


3 responses to “Enter the Ninja

  1. Greg

    Hi Bob

    Just wanted to pop past to thank you for the hat-tip to my recent Antwoord post in yours here.

    Whilst the jury is still out on this one, and I will continue to play their tracks, I am beginning to wonder just how far they will go. Waddy Jones does have a history of disbanding things when they get a little too commercially successful for his creative-self.

    I love the irony of the Afrikaans-speakers rallying against the English fans too. Just who is being taken the mickey of in all of this? The humour, wit and plain cleverness of Die Antwoord are undeniable.

    Take the title of the “Enter The Ninja” video for example – I challenge anyone to find a version that is not the “Dirty Version”!

    • uglibob ⋅

      Hey Greg – no probs, man! Thought you had a great post.

      Ja – will be interesting to see how far they go, and indeed how far they can push it – commercially, surely they just about to get really really big, so we’ll all keep em peeled. Also very curious to see creatively how far it can go – “Doosdronk”, “Enter the Ninja”, “Wat pomp julle” etc all date back to early last year…and I’m not entirely convinced about other newer stuff like “Beat Boy” or “Jou Mas se Poes”. “Doosdronk”, for eg, just knocked me over last year…it was HUGE. So…we’ll see. Still keep playing them too, of course…but there’s that old 2nd album conundrum…

  2. jurgen ⋅

    thought waddy himself was taking the heat for faking the afrikaans accent, not being “authentic”. the criticism seems to me to fall into the same category as the mahala article that quizzed grassy park residents about their impression of this whitey hijacking “their culture”, whether they had heard of DA etc. although the question is legitimate, i disagree with the basic premise, and take the joke to be on whiteys without identity rather than taking a swipe at flats style. why on earth afrikaans okes get their nickers in a knot over english people digging the taal….that is just dumb. but we’re known for it.

    doos dronk as an example is so loaded with “cultural” references it is a thing of great beauty and humour. like good art should it takes something based in brutal reality, holding it up to the light for scrutiny. and although the thing itself (mainly the abuse of alcohol and related violence) is atrocious, it’s done in a way that we can laugh at our own shame. and i hope like fuck, learn from it.

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