“It’s always important to remember your roots”

12 02 2010

The name “Die Antwoord” has been making barely-visible tremors on the landscape of my facebook news feeds for a few days now. I decided to check out some of the videos posted by my facebook mates and do a bit o’ web-diggin’.

What I’ve found so far has got me seriously excited. Die Antwoord are a South African rap crew made up of Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and the man behind the beats, DJ Hi-Tek (not to be mistaken with the mighty DJ Hi-Tek, American hip-hop producer, one half of Reflection Eternal with Talib Kweli).

With no exaggeration, they are unlike anything I’ve ever come across. While they’re certainly one of the most bizarre-looking ensembles to recently grace the online music sphere (check out Ninja’s tattoos and high-top, Yo-Landi’s sky-high fringe, dyed blonde by professionals because according to her, “it’s always important to remember your roots”, Hi-Tek’s way of, errr, just looking like a fat lazy guy dreaming about a double cheeseburger), there’s no doubt that they’re causing a stir…

The main rapper, Ninja, drops insolent flows in a thick South African accent, while the catchy hooks, sung in Yo-Landi’s genuinely high-pitched voice, stick around in your head even hours after listening. DJ Hi-Tek has provided the goods in a profound way. I defy anyone to sit still without at least bumping their heads if not more to these tracks.

There’s much to be learned from Die Antwoord. Least of all, the meaning of Zef, which is explained by the two vocalists of the group here. Click and watch it. It’s actually hilarious!

Beyond that, there’s a fierce, almost violent loyalty to the varied and diverse influences that make up South African culture, adn ultimately, that make them them. Die Antwoord embrace their Cape Town heritage and are determined to bring it forth for the whole world to see.

Now I urge you to head to their website and check out their album $o$ which will be on sale soon I believe. Read their “20 Fund Facts about Die Antwoord” too. And then try to decypher their Cape Town slang.

Here are some more videos:

This review at Tilt Magazine is also pretty good.

There’s loads more to be seen and heard on the ‘interwebs’. Just google ‘ em and watch the next 3 hours disappear in a haze of Die Antwoord oblivion.

It’s some next-level shit.

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