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Die Antwoord take it to the next level

Jumping on the bandwagon, so to speak, BizLounge thought we should get in on a little of Die Antwoord hype and action (and Google hits) and do our own little story on the interesting phenomena of the Cape Town zef rap-rave crew that is Die Antwoord. There is no denying that the trio; Ninja, Yo-landi and DJ Hi-Tek, that make up Die Antwoord have recently exploded over the net and have taken not just SA by storm but have also caused quite the stir internationally with their combination of 80's techno beats and dirty Afrikaans rap. With something like 1000 new Facebook fans a day and a site that crashed by the deluge of visitors after a few recent reviews were posted, Die Antwoord does really seem to be “the answer”. But the answer to what is the million dollar question.
And that is what is so brilliant about Ninja and Yo-landi's approach, they offer no explanations (as such), refuse to talk about their past projects and have blurred the lines of reality between the act and the person that one never really knows what or how much to believe.

It seems Ninja would try to “kick sand in your face” if any of his past projects were mentioned and would prefer Die Antwoord to stand alone and not be seen in the context of “the latest project” but for me, knowing of and finding out more of the background of Ninja makes Die Antwoord all that much more interesting.

On a personal level the first time I heard of the man was back in high school when he was called Max Normal and would rap and perform at the then Jam, he was pretty big amongst my class mates and was pretty unique at the time for his style of rapping. I recently dusted off one of his old Max Normal albums and was reminded just how good he is. After Max Normal there were many different groups and incarnations, too many to really get into and to be honest I get a little confused on how many there were and what came when. But the next time I encountered him was at art school and he was then called Watkin Tudor Jones and was moving into the realm of fine art. Some of our class helped curate his exhibition “The Fantastic Kill” , titled after his then current album, which consisted of an exhibition of the scariest and cutest little stuffed animal creatures all with interesting personalities and stories, video art (one being of Miss Yo-landi giving birth to their child) and with a great performance-type party afterwards. As one of her curating duties my friend had to purchase his white Y-fronts that he characteristically wore for his performances at that time. She bought medium and small, which size he wore remains a mystery. “The Fantastic Kill” exhibition was scary, manic and utterly brilliant.

Fast-forward a few years to 2010 and Die Antwoord fever is sweeping the cyber world. A calculated marketing strategy by the trio cashing in on the Afrikaans Culture coolness (and common) phenomena or have they just discovered their true calling? Who knows and I would not be surprised at all if once Die Antwoord hype hits breaking point that Ninja and his gang might not morph into a an entirely new entity. For if one thing can be said about Ninja / Watkin Tudor Jones / Waddy Jones / Max Normal is that the guy clearly doesn't like to be pigeon-holed and get stuck into one sound or look and likes to keep things evolving.

About Ruth Cooper

Ruth is the production manager at Bizcommunity, as well as a editor of the Lifestyle section. moc.ytinummoczib@htur
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