When Die Antwoord posted their first video to YouTube last month, viewers weren't sure if this trio of Afrikaans rappers, with a penchant for dressing in neon, was some kind of made-for-the-net joke. Was it real? Was it faked for the cameras?
When Die Antwoord posted their first video to YouTube last month, viewers weren’t sure if this trio of Afrikaans rappers, with a penchant for dressing in neon, was some kind of made-for-the-net joke. Was it real? Was it faked for the cameras?
That question is moot now, as this group is very, very real. This weekend, they signed a contract with Interscope Records (home of our faves, FM). And their next video is rumored to come under the direction of District 9‘s Neill Blomkamp. They’re likely performing at Coachella, touring Europe…
Where once they were poking fun at bling-sporting, moneyed rappers, now they’ve nearly become them.
But still, we’re tempted to ask the question: real or fake? The trio was started by Watkin Tudor Jones, a rapper who is known for adopting different personas depending on his group — a sort of performance-art-slash-rap endeavor. In this group Die Antwoord, he’s The Ninja — a muscly, violent take-no-prisoners bro. And the other characters in the trio – Yo-Landi and Vi$$er — are personas too, modeling their look off the South African concept of “Zef,” the stylings and sways of the country’s lowest class (this would be known in the States as “redneck culture).
But it doesn’t matter that these guys are “faking” it for the cameras — that they’ve created “personas.” After all, isn’t that what every rapper and rockstar is so great at doing? (I think Oprah is faker than James Frey; and Beyonce’s as fake as Alice Cooper.)
The decision of a fat cat label like Interscope to sign these upstart jokesters may surprise. But, explained Jones (The Ninja), of their meeting with the label: ”When we did the big meeting with Interscope, Jimmy Iovine was telling me all about how badly their business has been harmed by the internet… I can understand that but I said, ‘Jimmy, I want to give you a piece of samurai advice: Become the enemy.”
Anyway, listen to their debut album, $O$, which is streaming on their website for free.
Photo Credit: MTV Iggy