Die Antwoord

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“But Christos, I’ve already seen this video”. For those of you who haven’t; February 5th Friday night was Die Antwoord’s first gig since they exploded on computer screens around the planet. In the matter of a few days they went from being Waddy Jones and Yolandi Visser’s weird, barely understood Cape gangster hip hop project to a global pop phenomenon. There’s no arguing with over a million hits on Youtube. Die Antwoord’s cheesy rave beats, rof ska rhymes and zef so fresh has catapulted them to international fame, if not yet fortune. But it’s surely coming. And in retrospect it’s easy to see why. DJ Hi-Tek’s “next level beats” that Ninja frequently praises are essentially a post-ironic take on techno rave sounds. They seem to reference early 90s dance cheese like C+C Music Factory and Technotronic. It’s the same kind of electronic pop schlock that gets parties started from Warsaw to San Francisco – but the approach is a little sardonic.

Add to that Yolandi’s school girl sexuality, bowl cut fringe and trashy Afrikaans accented gutter mouth and you’ve got the ultimate hook. Then add a Ninja with Zef flows. Occupying the damaged persona of a bullied kid who grew up tough in the ghetto and came out on top. Riding his talent like a snake on those zef beats. “All up in here on the interwebs”. It’s an intoxicating mix. Say what you like about Waddy Jones but the man has presence, a eye magnet. He varies between being overly self-consciousness and then flips it with instinct. He’s a natural on the mic. It’s not a question of whether he believes in the persona. He is Ninja. Just like he says: “Ninja is poes cool, But don’t fuck with my game, boy or I’ll poes you”. and later: “This is not a game, boy
 Don’t play with me”. I love that everthing is “poes”, Afrikaans for “pussy”. I love the raunchy sexy stylings and i love the flows, it feels good, it’s a lot of fun.

It’s all there in that song, “Enter the Ninja” the anthemic track that pushes the whole crowd over the edge. It’s a track that has people going mental from Chiba, Japan to Buenos Aires, Argentina and the white boys in the front row are screaming every lyric straight back at the man as he delivers it. Those dudes are living proof of the viral seduction, they’ve literally sat with that song on repeat, playing it over and over until they know every one of those rapid fire rhymes by heart. It’s a moment that crystalises things. Maybe it’s just me but certain songs, at certain times, have a way of overwhelming, sweeping you along in their revolution. I know it won’t last, but right now, this is the shit on everyone’s high rotation.

And it’s almost like he’s addressing all the petty South African media hipsters who’ve made it a sport to diss Waddy’s projects.
“Fuck, this is like the coolest song I ever heard in my whole life

Fuck all of you who said I wouldn’t make it

Who said I was a loser

Said I was a no-one

Said I was a fuckin’ psycho

But look at me now

All up on the interweb

World-wide, 2009. futuristig”

That last line is almost prescient in it’s accuracy. And regardless what you think of the music, you got to give them kudos for their creation blowing up like this. Ad agencies spend millions of dollars each year trying to achieve the same kind of viral response as Die Antwoord, and fail. But even with all that recognition and the terrabytes of data flowing through the undersea cables that connect our electronic economy, the venue they ended up play brought a crowd of only 250, fifty short of full capacity.

But really it wasn’t about all the middle age hipsters, the guy tweeting on his iphone, the other dude emailing his story from the bonnet of the car parked out front, or the cool guy with the Canon 5D filming from the hip while bopping his head in the front row. This this is about drunk Afrikaans girls who get so loose they started throwing bottles at each other in the mosh pit, causing a fight, stumbling into cigarettes and spilling people’s drinks. It’s about the whole crowd coming together to catch Ninja as he launched himself headlong into a stage dive, and like some rof gam deity, they held him aloft and set him back down so he could continue the show. It’s about the grit in your eye and a dream on a wing. It’s about Yolandi and I, sitting on a branch over a lake, smoking a spliff. Did I just type that.

Now someone needs to go out there and make MUGEN characters out of Yolandi, Waddy ad Hi-Tek. Guilty Gears Style.

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Download: Die Antwoord – Fish Paste

Torrent: Search Die Antwoord on TPB

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