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Die Antwoord prompts a big question

The rave-rap trio including Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er has fast-growing popularity. But some wonder if it's punking the world à la Ali G?

October 25, 2010|By Chris Lee, Los Angeles Times

"Have you seen 'Buffalo 66'? It's not going to be exactly like that, but the pace is," Ninja explained. "One scene takes place at the end of a rave. There's this acid dealer, the Elf, who thinks he's from 'Lord of the Rings.' He tries to warn Yo-Landi how powerful this acid is, and Yo-Landi tries to show off by taking a lot."

Reached a day after the "Zef Side" Guggenheim event, Metelerkamp recalled the group members' meager expectations for the no-budget interview/performance clip aimed at explaining Zef — tacky, Afrikaner brand ostentation that can be seen as a kind of triumphal, new millennial ghettofabulousness — to the world. He went on to present his take on Die Antwoord's process of self-mythologizing to clear up the "is this a joke or not?" debate.

"I don't think it's a joke," Meterlerkamp said. "It is fair to call it an art project. Waddy, he's a nice guy. Very different than the character, very sure of what he wants. When I met him, he had Ninja in his head. But he needed someone to bring Ninja to life visually."

The director continued: "Ninja and Yo-Landi are very serious about what they are doing. It's real in their own minds."

For its part, Die Antwoord dismisses Meterlerkamp's contributions. "We don't even like the guy that did that video!" Ninja exclaimed. "We didn't even mean for that to be on the Internet," added Vi$$er.

Their plan is to release no more than five albums before disbanding. It prompts the question, what if there's still demand for Die Antwoord? Ninja paused before replying in typically magniloquent, Antwoordian fashion: "When Michael Jordan retired, he was a god. But he came back as a man."

chris.lee@latimes.com

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