Die Antwoord consider themselves to be a “futuristic rap-rave crew from South Africa who represent a fresh new style called ZEF.”
The first time I watched a Die Antwoord video was their video for “Evil Boy“. Like probably everyone who watches anything Die Antwoord-related for the first time, I had absolutely no idea what to think or say (which is rare in the day and age).
Pure astonishment and shock resonated for minutes, hours: I didn’t know whether to be frightened, excited, applaud their commitment to performance, or never watch anything on the internet ever again.
Yes, they are seriously weird as shit, as most of their music videos come off as multiple scenes from nightmares spanning your entire life. You can’t tell if they are seriously talented freaks who are performance geniuses, or they’re going to murder us and wear our skins as coats to their next show. But isn’t that part of the fun?!
Ninja, the rapper in the group, had this to say in a Spin magazine interview about the is-it-real aspect that surrounds Die Antwoord:
“This American reporter was telling us that reality TV makes Americans care about if things are real or not. But you watch reality TV and you get a dull feeling in your balls. You watch us and it’s thrilling. There’s a sweet analogy for how musicians can think about this: People are unconscious and you have to use your art as a shock machine to wake them up. Some people are too far gone. They’ll just keep asking, “Is it real? Is it real?” That’s dwanky. That’s a word we have in South Africa, “dwanky.” It’s like lame. “Is it real?” Dwanky. You have to be futuristic and carry on. You gotta be a good guide to help people get away from dull experience. Don’t be rude to the people who don’t get it. It’s better to be nice to those retards.”
Ninja is right. They are genuinely the only group I’ve ever seen that if I saw them in public, I’d be equal parts mesmerized and scared as fuck. Exhilarating.
They even turned down a million dollar guarantee from Interscope records concerning their newly released album Ten$ion. They explain what went down:
“So anyway… Interscope offered us a bunch of money again to release our new album TEN$ION. But this time, they also tried to get involved with our music, to try and make us sound like everyone else out there at the moment. So we said: ‘U know what, rather hang on to your money, buy yourself something nice…we gonna do our own thing. Bye bye’.”
Their latest album Ten$ion was released on their own independent label ZEF Recordz. Die Antwoord even performed on David Letterman.
Check out their latest video off of Ten$ion for their song ” I Fink U Freeky”. You may be scared, but get over it.
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