Die Antwoord – What was the question?

By Odé Oosthuysen

Whenever people hear the words Afrikaans and music next to one another, it leads to the inevitable snicker…and images of khaki’s and sokkie. Add to that the fact that for the most part I enjoy Afrikaans music I am normally subjected to an endless degree of mocking by my peers.

Afrikaans music however has progressed from a more or less definitive genre in itself, to a variety of genres in Afrikaans. The arrival of Polisiekar, Straatligkinders and die Heuwels Fantasties ensured for the broadening and development of the Afrikaans influence in music.  Rocking it out in Afrikaans is apparently not half as bad as going to a Mandjie dance and sokkie-ing the night away, go figure.

As proud as I am of my language and my culture and the talents that have come to light, I must admit, when I first heard Die Antwoord I was repelled. My friend introduced me to it more than a year ago, she played the track Doos dronk of the $O$ album.  Luckily she warned me that I wouldn’t like it (I was still ill-prepared), but she thinks it is awesome.  I still wonder why.

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Die Antwoord soared to popularity via the internet and were signed to Interscope Records. The pupularity mostly due to DJ Hi-Tek’s fusion of rap and rave (or electro) which is almost the only possitive thing I can say about the album.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what about them I don’t like. Rap master Ninja’s  use of language is explicitly offensive, not to mention the lyrics. The idea of making Zef cool is about as ridiculous as saying incest is the game the whole family can play, so lets?!

Offensive tracks combined with Jolandi Vi$$er’s bleating voice is as inviting as nails on a black board; turns out that Doos Dronk was the most listenable track on the album, probably because of the collaboration with Jack Parow and Polisiekar

It could be their fame is due to the fact that they are tugging at, what they see as, the constraints and prejudices of society – which might I suppose have some appeal. The only other alternative I can see for liking /Die Antwoord/ is because you can identify with what they are saying, or how they go about saying it.  This alternative I find disturbing.

To use the words from their track Wat kyk jy ‘Is it just me or does everything suck…’

http://www.dieantwoord.com/

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