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Die Antwoord

April 14, 2015

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THE BAND:

Watkin Tudor Jones is not higher than a meter 60, but her crazy voice, her eccentric and wild style are fascinating. Anri Du Toit, her boyfriend, is impressive thanks to his grimaces, sometimes funny, sometimes scary. These are the main singers of the band but they are also the emblematic spokesmen of the ZEF (anti African culture). For South Africans “Zef'” evokes  the Zephyr Ford, a luxurious car in the 50s but now out of trend. Associated with misery but also extravaganza this car gave its name to the parallel culture “white trash” opposed to the traditional white culture they knew during Apartheid.

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One of their particularities is the aim to shock, vulgarity, fake jewels, dirty animals, drugs,… everything is done to realize the most strange and extravagant video clips! Here is a list of some of them that need to be seen:  « I FINK U FREEKY », “Ugly boy”, “Pitbull Terrier”,…

Ugly Boy

Ugly Boy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uee_mcxvrw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMK0prafzw0

THEIR STYLE:

Die Antwoord is known for its musical originality. Their style could be defined as ” alternative hip-hop”, rave and zef. But the real springboard in their career is the hit “zef side” , which was such a success that the website which hosted the song was saturated in a few days. The “zef style” is composed of modern music, trash one and old-fashioned passages. Their lyrics are in Afrikaans, Xhosa and English. “Whites, mixed-race, English, Afrikaans, Xhosas, Zulus, Watookal, I am all these people at the same time”, that is what Ninja says in the introduction of their song “Enter the Ninja”. Indeed, Die Antwoord is above all a group which pushes people to open their minds.

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THE RIVALRY BETWEEN THE GROUP AND LADY GAGA 

Lately, Lady Gaga asked Die Antwoord to open for her on her last tour in South Africa, an offer they declined. The star got disappointed, and did not understand someone could refuse “such an honor”. After a Lady Gaga despising tweet against the group: ”   “I fink u freaky but you don’t have a hit. Hundred thousand tickets sold in SA. #thatmyshit“, they started feuding back and forth on Twitter. The band replied: ” lady… even tho u r ‘larger’ than us… we still cooler than u… plus we don’t have prawns in our private parts.”

DIELADYGAGA

The South African band published a wild spread video clip (Fatty boom boom; cf link beneath), staging Lady Gaga on a bus, in a urban safari in a South African town. Dressed with her famous meat dress, the mega star is eaten by a lion at the end. The clip, like most of the group’s work, “is outré (at least for American sensibilities), featuring colorful crotch-grabbing, naughty hyenas, prawn-birthing, and some demented LaChappellian krumpiness”. This publication emphasizes the rivalry between the two stars and especially between Yo Landi and her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIXUgtNC4Kc

After these burning exchanges, it came out that The Queen of Pop would be afraid to be put in their shadow. She is still angry at the band and afraid of their ascension.

Will the Queen of Pop be outdated by a brand new team in her domain?

OPENING OF MINDS

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They grew up in South Africa where the memory of apartheid is still very present and remains a traumatism. That is why they convey a message of peace and tolerance. Even is the “zef style” concerns more white people from the poor suburb of South Africa, and even if they apply themselves to transgress the code, it is poles apart from a racist extreme right. For instance, a native of Soweto, one of the most important townships in South Africa, named Lebo organized a youth hotel in which he often played Die Antwoord. In “Evil Boy”, the band sings with Wanga, a black rapper who denounces the ancestral ritual of circumcision. The question of language and identity is very present in Die Antwoord’s songs. Indeed, South Africa has been torn between different ethnic groups and different cultures. For example, today in the country, a quarter of the newspapers is published in Afrikaan, dialect of the old Dutch colonists. In Afrikaan, the band’s name, Die Antwoord means : The Answer. But the answer to what? Maybe to the malaise felt by this generation of young South Afrikaaners, who evolve in a country where there is still a lot of violence, racism, political corruption and poverty.

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Léa and Céleste

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Zizke permalink
    August 17, 2015 2:30 pm

    You got their names switched in your opening paragraph!?

  2. Nico permalink
    August 10, 2016 5:18 pm

    Hahaha…right. They are just as manufactured as everyone else. And as for preaching peace and tolerance…where?

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