An old University friend returned from an extended stay in Europe once and told me he had a music video for me – I had to see it.
I could tell there was going to be something of interest here because he couldn’t even really explain anything about it – he was kind of gobsmacked by the whole thing.
So, after watching a really bizarre (albeit interesting and fascinating) little film about a rampaging murderous discarded tire (it’s called “Rubber” – I actually recommend it if you’re quirky like that) – my friend introduced me to Die Antwoord.
The song was Baby’s On Fire – the music video was definitely a trip, and I was equally as intrigued as I was amused. Eventually I would go on to watch interviews and actively seek information about this bizarre South African duo named Ninja and Yolandi. I discovered that there may actually be a very smart plan at work here.
Die Antwoord performs in both English and Afrikaans. Yolandi’s voice is childlike and ethereal, it counterbalances Ninja’s brashness perfectly. Music videos produced by the couple can be somewhat disturbing – so fair warning if you’re not a purveyor of stranger things.
Ninja and Yolandi are champions of the Zef movement, fresh from the streets of Cape Town. Zef is all about elevating sexy, trashy, bougie elements to a higher art form – or not. Zef is also about poverty and class systems and how you can be positioned in the lowest places in society – yet still be sexy and very “extra”. Die Antwoord takes gold and excess and everything in this world that is extra – places it in a blender, adds the right beat and tosses it all back at society to see if it will stick.
Sample it yourself – some of it definitely sticks.