Die Antwoord: Huh?

pic courtesy of Consequence of Sound

A heady brew converged upon Nightclub 9:30 (for more on the history and identity of the 930 Club, see here) last night to see the Zef movement’s crown jewel, Die Antwoord. Emerging from total obscurity in 2010, this hip-hop outfit crept onto the scene with a bizarre mix of rap, electronica, and world music. The band is a bit of an enigma – are they for real, or are they adeptly self-aware and the joke’s on us, a la Borat? The recent release of their second album doesn’t give us any answers.

For those unfamiliar, Die Antwoord consists of two fronters – Ninja and Yolandi, and a DJ who goes by Hi Tek. Ninja, never one to wear a shirt onstage, is proudly covered in crude tats reminiscent of the dude from Memento and wears little more than a pair of Pink Floyd gym shorts. Yolandi is a spunky, high pitched petite blonde with a crew cut mullet and a prominently displayed set of abs, and Hi Tek provides the beats. Got it?
Antwoord’s stop in our nation’s capital, in support of their 2nd album Ten$ion, was a crowd pleasing cavalcade of bass-thumping showmanship. Sure, their transparent efforts to shock comes off as cheap, but the DC crowd ate it up as Ninja and Yolandi spit out mad rhymes fresher than Speed Stick while jumping around on stage like a couple of crazed lunatics. Standout tracks include favorites Enter the Ninja, Fink You Freeky, and Fatty Boom Boom.
Once the hype dies down, the band will probably have to resort to playing The Gathering of the Juggalos, but for now, who cares. Fun time, great show.  Check out their new single here.
Written by Joel Church.

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