Ever heard the song "Shackles on My Feet" by RJ’s Latest Arrival? There’s a famous line in that song that goes, “I wanna hit the DJ with a baseball bat.” The truth is, we’ve all been there, we’ve all at some point or another, maybe even for just a millisecond expressed similar sentiments towards a loathsome music selector. Every once in a leap year the very opposite happens-- something new raises my hair, slaps me upside the head and forces me to pay attention. It’s tough to be original when everything has already been done. I’m so thankful DJ is what I write on the line next to the question, “What do you do for a living?” It’s completely unrestricting; I’m the driver of this ship, I can explore whatever I want. Recently, like an hour ago, I discovered Die Antwoord. Are you familiar? Let me just tell you the story gets tricky somewhere in the middle, but basically the Ali G of South Africa started a group with some of his cronies, and, as you can probably imagine, it’s brilliant, like sucking on a lollipop and finally making it to the gooey center.
Die Antwoord is a “white-trash” personified, 90’s coat tailing, self proclaimed “zef” rap trio consisting of Front man Ninja aka Max Normal, DJ Hi-Tek and then there’s Yo-landi Vi$$er. If Peaches and Bjork married and had a little blonde rapping baby girl, Yo-landi Vi$$er would be it. Together the ‘three-piece rap-rave’ is like The Three Stooges meets Napoleon Dynamite meets Dirt Nasty. It’s good, damn good, but...there’s always a but: “Amy Winehouse can sing and write, but…” “R Kelly is one of the greatest R&B producers of our generation, but…” and the list goes on and on. Die Antwoord is one big walking farce and folks don’t really know how to take to it. I say to that, it’s not Calculus people. Just look at the success of already establish tongue-in-cheek groups like Lonely Island and Flight of The Concords, Genius! If there’s one thing we’ve learned as a culture in the history of everything, it’s that good things always come with an abundance of haters.
I’ve read some comments on blogs implicating the eradication of Die Antwoord in the near future, saying things like ‘they’re done before they even got started cause it’s a joke’. Really, haters? I like my music to be all encompassing, to uphold all the elements that separate good music from great music. There’s music for the sake of making music, for the sake of art, forget the image and the accolades, i.e., Cody Chestnut. Then there’s music that incorporates it all, tantalizing ever nerve in your body from head to toe, from the image to the persona, from the visuals to the message, and of course, from the lyrics to production. Die Antwoord is the ambassador for all encompassing and satire only plays in their favor, especially in a world, in an over-saturated industry plenty lacking in that department. Let them be silly dilly till the cows come home, seems pretty authentic to me. Isn’t that what we all want, a little reality? Sorry to get all Bob Lefsetz on you, but I’d believe that to be false if companies like 51 Minds and Bunim Murray weren’t so successful, but even they have their niche, they’ve carved a lane so wide, so deep for themselves you can see it from outer space. Hell, even the Home & Garden channel has reality shows, in this day and age it’s suicidal not to. But I digress; Die Antwoord is the Truth. So, let the parody unfold, we could all use a good laugh. Henry Miller said Genius was dead, who in the world ever said comedy was? So, tap into your inner zef and embrace it if you know what’s good for ya! If you want to see more, check out what happened when Die Antwoord visited the Hollywood Amoeba store and showed us some of what they were buying right here! Till next time…