Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Die Antwoord – Enter the Ninja

It’s “If The Wind Changes, Your Face Will Stay That Way” Tuesday!…


Ian Mathers: The endless, predictable, hilarious cycle of backlash/anti-backlash around these guys > the fact that Ninja and Yo-Landi are basically the antithesis of the two from the Knife >>>>>> the articles about Die Antwoord as cultural statement, performance art, etc >>> Ninja’s tattoos, if they’re real, because that is what you call commitment to a joke > Leon Botha coming on like a real life Aphex Twin visual effect in the video for this song > the predictably swelling yet still kind of great rave synths >>>>> the rest of the video >>> Ninja’s rapping >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> the way this video will continue to circulate via email, Facebook, etc, accompanied by “OMG ISN’T THIS SO RANDOM,” for years to come > the way Yo-Landi pronounces “protection” during the chorus.

Edward Okulicz: Perhaps the worst record that will ever be made by anyone, ever. I cannot honestly think of any way of reading this (let’s not say “listening” lest trauma overcome us all) that doesn’t show it to be lacking in some way – it’s not tough, it’s not funny, it’s got no life whatsoever. While it’s perhaps not fair to judge some cheap Internet lols on the same standard as expertly-crafted pop, I assume someone’s making some money out of this, so this will be a mere albeit deserved pin-prick.

Chuck Eddy: xklawenx (10 hours ago) To all the IDIOTS that believe this is comedy, I know it looks like it, but I ASSURE you it’s not. I know, your thoughts must be “what the fuck? it has to be!” but no, it’s not. ZEF* SIDE 4 LYF! (*From Wikipedia: “Die Antwoord performs ‘Zef’ music, Zef being an Afrikaans term which loosely translates to the American equivalent of Redneck. Their lyrics are performed in both Afrikaans and English.”)

Michaelangelo Matos: “This is not a game, boy” in this fluttering-synth context translates, effectively, to “This is not a GameBoy,” to which the only response is, “Oh yeah?”

Martin Kavka: You will read lots of stuff in the upcoming months about how important this band is. Some of that stuff may even invoke bad readings of Nietzsche’s “On Truth And Lie In An Extra-Moral Sense,” asking whether Die Antwoord are real or fake, and whether their being signed to Interscope helps to decide the issue. All that stuff will be dumb. The aesthetic — Eminem meets Tool meets happy hardcore meets Ali G meets the Jerry Lewis Telethon — makes you pay attention simply because of its uniquely skeevy recombination of its source material. But the aesthetic seems to exist for no other reason than to be noted, or to be linked to in the blogosphere: listening to them is just as compelling and just as shameful as looking at a car wreck. This doesn’t make them fake, but it does make them something worse: callous.

John Seroff: In the past two months since Die Antwoord exploded all up on the interweb, the big question has been “Are they for real?” The answer appears to be “Kind of.” Yo-Landi and Ninja (a real-life couple, btw) have already taken a few stabs at fame in different and less abrasive personae, but to accuse them of posing is to miss the point entirely. When your South African hiphop/electro/theatrical crew is comprised of a near-albino, hi-banged tweetybird; a hyperactive pigeon-beaked and pigeon-chested rapper/performance artist fronting magic-marker jailhouse tattoos and a progeria-afflicted painter/hype-man dancing to Crazy-Frog-meets-Miami-Bass-beats on a set that’s equal parts Joel-Peter Witkin and Keith Haring, “real” is open to interpretation. The leak of $0$, the band’s debut LP, wears a tad thin under heavy listening but a few tracks (‘Beat Boys’, ‘I Don’t Need You’, ‘Very Fancy’) stay fresh. ‘Enter the Ninja’ is the first salvo and still the freshest, a reminder that Antwoord are something more than a VICE viral or a Sacha Cohen put-on. You’d think by now I would have stopped finding joy in the moment when everydork W.T. Jones stops the song to bask and preen with his now notorious pronouncement “this is like… the coolest song I ever heard in my whole life”, but the truth is that I still pretty much agree with him.

Iain Mew: The flow, all twists and hard edges, is as refreshingly appealing as it is harsh to begin with, but by the time he gets to the inevitable “big in Japan” it’s becoming all too familiar. The main issue, however, is that chorus: offensive on so many levels, not least musical.

Kat Stevens: It’s tempting to write this lot off as the South African N-Dubz, but they at least are 63% more annoying and 1500% more terrifying than Dappy & co. The grimness and bile that rapper Ninja spews forth is really rather unpleasant and the tiny mosquito girl’s chorus hook is the stuff of horror films set in mental asylums, but at least their contributions are memorable, unlike the rent-a-beat going on behind it.

Alex Macpherson: I’m suspicious of anything “taking the internet by storm”, but Die Antwoord going viral is just baffling – what on earth is notable about a slightly more haggard, South African version of N-Dubz? Unless everyone’s just LOLing at the Afrikaans accent – in which case, as you were, internet, I continue to hate you.

Additional Scores

Briony Edwards: [2]
Martin Skidmore: [2]

22 Responses to “Die Antwoord – Enter the Ninja”

  1. i hold a special place in my heart for “butterfly” because it’s one of the easiest DDR5 songs to dance to on hard mode. i feel like die antwoord might have been better served sampling the hook rather than trying to reproduce it because it’s obvious the girl singer hasn’t got the pipes to hit the high notes (although it’s to her credit that she doesn’t embarrass herself trying). it makes me happy to see this song polarize opinions so thoroughly (except mr. mathers’) because it’s obviously intended to, and i would have thought there’d be a lot more eye-rolling “i’m not playing your game, 5/10” comments.

  2. having played some hundred hours of DDR, I’m kinda surprised I didn’t make the connection (need ya protection) there, but it certainly helps explain part of what’s hooking me in!

  3. Wow, I really need to update the Controversy Index.

  4. Ha, this song tied Vampire Weekend’s “Giving Up the Gun” for 3rd place with the exact same score (11 ratings, Controversy Score 2.33).

    The Knife still in a hard-to-beat lead, followed by Jonsi, VW & Die Antwoord (tie), Ke$ha f. 3OH!3, Train, Corrine Bailey Rae (“I’d Do It All Again), Alicia Keys (“Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart”), Owen Pallet, and Wiley f. Emeli Sande.

    Very low scores overall — our second place Controversy Score would have barely made the Top 20 last year. We really need to stop agreeing so much.

  5. I don’t think we need to stop agreeing at all!

  6. YOU’RE WRONG. (See, it feels right.)

  7. I really should have reviewed that stupid Erykah Badu record. (Actually, I’m not sure I’d dislike it — haven’t listened to it yet — but she tends to make me cranky, and I think I could have easily taken one for the team.)

  8. Chuck that is what the kids call an #epichaterfail or something like that.

  9. Even I liked that Erykah Badu record and I generally think she’s preposterously overrated.

    This is still a load of balls.

  10. Dammit Edwardo now there’s someone else on my list of “can never be friends with due to insufficient Badu worship.” To be fair, my wife is also on that list.

  11. “Insufficient Badu worship” is an offense punishable by death imo.

  12. My girlfriend is on that list as well. Then again, so is virtually everyone I know whom I don’t converse with on the Internet, minus Chuck.

  13. Can I get your wife’s number, Matt?

  14. I think we’re getting into a weird area here.

  15. ^^^ one of my favorite Tootsie lines.

  16. My favorite!

  17. Bill Murray’s probably a better supporting actor than he is a leading man, although Groundhog Day handily erases that hypothesis. But between Kingpin, Ed Wood, and Rushmore there’s a case to be made that he needs to be in smaller roles in order to stand out. Groundhog Day is an exception because it’s essentially a one-man show.

  18. She needs his production. What’s this talk of protection?

  19. I still found it polarizing, owen – I had the exact same blurb with a 0 and then a 10 appended to it, before I decided to split the difference.

  20. i like to pretend that that’s owen pallet with that comment.

  21. Is there any particular reason why this just entered the UK Top 40?

  22. I don’t know why it shouldn’t…