Die Antwoord’s $O$

SA’s rap trio Die Antwoord have become one of the country’s most talked about musical exports. Their in-your-face style of music etched in dirty lyrics have placed them firmly on the global music scene and with the release of their album $O$, it’s sure to only increase. Chia Kougianos finds out more…

Die Antwoord members Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek make up the Zef rap entity which it seems is now fondly referred to as the the love-child of many diverse cultures, black, white, coloured and alien which is all pumped into one wild and crazy journey down the crooked path to enlightenment. Yo-Landi Vi$$ser believes that “there are two kinds of people in the world, those who know about Die Antwoord, and those who are about to find out” she says.  Love them or hate them, they’re loud. They’re proud. And they are here to stay.

Image: Marcello Maffeis

It has been nearly a year of globe-trotting, underground gigs and local performances and now the Zef rap-rave crew have finally returned with the release of their debut album $O$. It has since landed a No. 109 position on the national album chart and cracking the United Kingdom top 10 with the single “Evil Boy.”

The album was released in South Africa through Rhythm Records and internationally through Interscope Records, which is also home to Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Dr. Dre and 50 Cent. The $0$ album cover features a deadly calm Yo-Landi seated on a throne wearing nothing but two small dead furry creatures hanging over her bare shoulders. Through all this I am still however met with the concept of deciding which is worst- her deadly calm expression and pale complexion adorned with the furry creatures or the middle-of-nowhere length bowl-cut fringe with a matching stare… Ninja is standing to her left and has a hessian-like sack placed over his head with an eerie matching monk-like tunic.

Their latest video entitled Evil Boy was speedily removed from You Tube and features generous amounts of male parts amongst their usual offering of deliciously dark tracks and vocal skits. Ninja told the New York Times earlier this month that the album, $O$, is a very personal one and that ‘It’s about people stuck in a bad situation, people with no hope and no idea how to get themselves out of there…” he says.

Their world-wide tour saw the zany trio have coffee with David Lynch, mull over film projects with District 9’s Neill Blomkamp and discuss their terms and conditions on agreeing to shoot a short film with writer-director Harmony Korine in Nashville.

Speaking of which, Yo-Landi Vi$$er, the bowl-cut blonde Zef queen of Die Antwoord, was reportedly offered the chance to portray Lisbeth Salander in director David Fincher’s (The Social Network) remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”. She has since declined the offer. It seems the rap-trio have other plans for Hollywood and have been in talks to release their own movie showcasing the band’s creation, in what is to be titled “The Answer”, possibly as soon as next year.

Love them or hate them it’s clear Die Antwoord are here to stay and the one question that remains on everyone’s lips is if the Zef-rap group from Cape Town are for real? Or are they as some have said, slowly punking the world over à la Ali G style?

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