Friday, 8 October 2010

Zef Side

Evil Boy is the latest track from Die Antwoord, a South African band of three friends (Yo-landi, Ninja and Waddy Jones (aka Max Normal)) creating their own brand of zef beats. iLike this group, questions of authenticity aside (see for a good, long discussion on this) but this video just sucks to the nth degree. Evil Boy sounds so much better when heard rather than seen, the excessive freakishness takes away from the valuable criticism the song had of circumcision, bling culture and sexual prudishness. Too much masculine penis envy and obsession with racial undertones agwan there, it's not even artistically gaudy, it doesn't work for me. 

As a general comment about Die Antwoord's music and videos, there is something to be said of their excesses as performances of race, gender, class, power and identity in post-Mandela, post-apartheid South Africa and they seem to be aware of what they are doing if you watch the second short video and the beginning of Enter the Ninja when Ninja says all identities are mixed up in him. But just how much are things mixed up in him that Die Antwoord's gangster attitude, imitation prison number tattoos and alleged gang connections can pass off as 'authentic' or is Ninja the mash-up the trajectory of whitesploitation consuming and producing itself in more radical and satirical ways over and over? Radical yes, but satirical - of what exactly? Die Antwoord are the edgy pop hip-hip embodiment of White working class angst fused with a 'discovered 'inner' Coloured' to use Rustum Kozain's phrase. Given this interesting fusion of working class identities, to what extent are they performing critique in their music and to what extent are they themselves the joke when they're speaking... BS?....Life is zef, china.

Their album drops 12 October and is available on iTunes.

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE'S PIEL from Die Antwoord on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

I don't like these guys coz they try so hard to be cool it's overkill, they're like wiggers. Swearing all over the place and Ninja is the worst, can't stand him. How can you like them?


KonWomyn said...

Hahaha STee

I know they're not your kinda band, but think of it as SA techno meets hip hip. The music was what got me at first, the vibe of Zef Side rather than Ninja acting out his penile fantasies - he needs some serious counselling. : )

Admittedly they're not the greatest thing to come out of SA but they're different and they're relevant - for White Afrikaners that's HUGE. And at least I can engage with the music on a deeper level than the next Keri Hilson or The Saturdays record - even Gaga whom iHate!, manages to provoke me into thought.