Cape Town, South Africa
Basement Jaxx, Dizzee Rascal, Eminem
Whether you believe them to be the future of Hip Hop or nothing more than a viral flash-in-the-pan, It is hard to deny that Die Antwoord have positioned themselves well to make a big splash in the music industry in 2010. With tens of millions of hits on their website without officially releasing their first album, the so-called “zef” (Afrikaans slang for “redneck”) trio from Cape Town have become a full-fledged phenomenon. And during the breakdown in their first single, “Enter the Ninja”, when lead rapper, Ninja, states “This is, like, the coolest song I ever heard in my whole life.”, it is difficult to disagree.
An oddball veteran of the South African hip hop scene, Ninja joined with female rapper, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek to form Die Antwoord in 2009. Their debut album, $O$, was made available as a free download on their website, but did not garner much attention until months later, when the video for “Enter the Ninja” made its rounds on the internet. The video, a sort of meth-induced visual nightmare, became a huge hit due to its oddly sexual, freakshow-esque vibe and the potent lyrical ability of Ninja. With their video approaching 4 million Youtube views, and their streaming album getting over 15 million hits in February, they arrived in the States. After a couple of sets at smaller venues, the trio had their break-out moment when they played a show-stopping set at Coachella in April. Capitalizing on their unexpected success, the trio has just recently inked a deal with Interscope Records, who will release the full version of $O$ later this year. In addition, director Neil Blomkamp of District 9 fame plans on directing their next video and a documentary is in the works.