Thursday, June 21, 2012

Die Antwoord - Artist Profile

"Who are these guys?" and "What did I just watch?" are common question people ask when they first discover the zef rap group Die Antwoord.  At first it's hard to understand what they are because they are so different from what we are accustomed to, at least in the US.  I have listened to their music, watched their videos, and researched their background to provide some insight on this group whose name translates into "The Answer."

Die Antwoord consists of the tough gangsta rap type guy by the name of Ninja, the cute yet hardcore girl named Yolandi, and their mysterious DJ, DJ Hi Tek.  They are from South Africa and have exploded onto the music scene with their shocking videos and unique style of music.  Their lyrics are mostly understood by English speakers, but they also use a lot of words and dialect native to South Africa.

I first heard about them a couple years back when they released the video for the song Enter the Ninja.  I thought it was pretty cool, but didn't really look much into it at the time.  Later they made a video for "I Fink U Freeky" which is a creepy video but none the less entertaining.  Again I dismissed it without much thought.  Finally they caught my attention with their latest video, "Baby's On Fire."  The video features a blond Ninja and Yolandi as brother and sister in their parent's house.  Yolandi keeps trying to sneek boys in the house while Ninja chases them out.  The video is very interesting to watch and the song is good too.

Die Antwoord - Enter the Ninja (Music video)

So who are these guys?  Is it an act?  Is this real?  From what I can tell, the group Die Antwoord is a bit of a performance act, but it is closely based on the real persona's of Ninja and Yolandi.  They have done other music projects in the past which were different than this so they have some range as far as characters go.  The ghetto/rich style of Die Antwoord seems to be a bit of a parody of the stereotypical rap image, yet they put their own spin on it.  They promote the idea of not caring what others think and just doing your own thing.  This is shown by their unconventional look and attitude during interviews and on stage performances.

An interview with Ninja about how they got their first break. 

Is their music the greatest thing ever? Not necessarily, but it is decent and with Die Antwoord, there is so much more to appreciate than just the music.  The image, the video, and the way of life can all be appreciated when you experience their work.  With so many people copying and doing the same stuff over and over in the music industry, it's refreshing to see an act that comes along and really is outside the box and doing their own thing.  This group is driven and they have earned the attention and support of many fans around the world.  I know I will be keeping an eye on them and highly anticipating whatever song or video they put out next.

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