I fink u freek-ing boring…

I know it’s not the popular opinion. Just like I know I’m supposed to be stunned every time Lady Gaga dons another outrageous outfit, I know that I’m meant to be shocked and a little disgusted by every video Die Antwoord releases and every line of their lyrics.

Watch their latest video, then carry on reading my rant:

It’s a great video. Wonderfully styled, directed, conceptualised. It’s strangely beautiful. I’m not criticising the video, not really.

But, I’m afraid, I’m a little bored of Die Antwoord. No, I lie. I’m a lot bored by Die Antwoord. Like Gaga, they try so hard to live their “product” – which sure, takes a lot of dedication – but the problem with their product is that it’s unsustainable. Once they have milked their zef-ness to death – or the world becomes desensitized to their bizarre nature – Die Antwoord will be left with what I would guess is a small fan base. For their sake, I hope I’m wrong.

It is, I don’t hesitate to say, a pity. Ninja (Or, as he’s also known, Watkin “Waddy” Tudor Jones) has been part of some fascinating musical projects here in South Africa and Yo-Landi is bizarrely beautiful and exceptionally talented. Their move from the fascinating, heavy “hip hop-ness” of their earlier material (Enter the Ninja went viral for a reason) and into a slightly more club-inspired genre shows their versatility and their eagerness to reinvent. Their breakaway from Interscope Records displays their commitment to artistic control. I just wish they would be more “real” in more of their material.

This concerted effort to shock/awe/offend is wearing thin. Much like Gaga, their attempts to stand out from the crowd so consistently has become their normal: There is nothing new in the video for I Fink U Freeky. Which is a pity, ’cause it’s a helluva catchy song.

The black and white, we’ve done before with Enter the Ninja. Yo-Landi drapes herself in rats and dons her Pikachu outfit. Ninja cavorts in his tired boxer shorts, imitated by the other stars of the video. It makes them recognisable – but it’s a far cry from the WTF impact of Enter the Ninja and Zef Side.

I watched the video for I Fink U Freeky, I wrote a small article on it, I trawled for pictures, I set up a poll. But what struck me the hardest today were lyrics I saw typed out from So What? in an article in Rolling Stone South Africa – penned by a friend of Ninja and Yo-Landi. Stripped of the show and the pretence, they were all the more impactful – and I’ve thought of those lyrics more than the video I watched:

“Rapped for 20 years, never made a cent/Borrowed money from my mom to pay the rent/Now how’m I gonna get out of this mess/Yo- landi shows me two stripes on the fucking piss-test/Broke-ass Ninja gonna be a daddy/Little baby Ninja gonna need some nappies.”

To me, that “reality” is infinitely more fascinating than the construct that is Die Antwoord.

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Watch Die Antwoord’s Rich Bitch

I first posted this on iafrica.com this morning (hey, work comes first).

If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet over the past year, chances are you’ve heard of the South African band Die Antwoord. Anyway, they always cause a bit of a splash with their videos (Enter the Ninja, Evil Boy), and their new video is no different.

The only issue is… well… out here in the bush (Cape Town, South Africa) we can’t watch the “official” VEVO version of Rich Bitch. Because VEVO has “blocked it in your country on copyright grounds”. Ah, yes. Even though Yo-Landi sings about shopping at Shoprite and Woolworths, uses Julius Malema-themed toilet paper and is proudly displaying a groovy Mr Price popcorn bucket… South Africans have to use sneaky means to view the video.

And we are sneaky indeed. Massive props to the guys and gals who posted the video sans VEVO-block. Watch it below.