Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Next Level Beats in Cape Town
So when I got a note telling me to check out this messed up slab of white South African trailer park rap by an act called Die Antwoord, I was intrigued. Hip hop is one of the few music genres that lends itself to regional accents, so I was curious to hear how those strangled Afrikaans vowels would bend themselves round some slick rhymes. I wasn't, however, prepared for this...
A gangly mohawked geezer with poor prison tattooes spat out staccato machine-gun syllables, interspersed with sharp and disturbing playground chants from a troublingly young and slightly freaky looking schoolie. And every once in a while, from the shadows, a strange goblin-like figure emerged. The song got stuck in my head immediately and I needed to know more!
Cape Town artist called Leon Botha, who suffers from the premature aging disorder Progeria. I immediately felt bad for thinking weird of him - but then twigged that this was probably the reaction Die Antwoord were after. Make sure you check out some of his fab art after you finish reading this.
I tracked down a few more tracks and videos, including the enlightening Zef Side (Zef being a kind of South African equivilent of Redneck), complete with its mini-interview segments. But something didn't sit right. It all looked too well filmed, knowing and slightly acted...
Watkin Tudor Jones, a man with a history of concept rap projects. Indeed, in one of his previous incarnations, Max Normal, he appeared to be a beardy art school hippie trying his hand at cool beats.
But then I got over myself and realised that it didn't really matter how this stuff got there and how authentic it may be - it sounded great and looked even better, and that's all that really matters I suppose. How is this any less authentic is this than a Californian rapper sleazing for his video in a Hummer full of oiled up bootyfied chicks in bikinis?
So, I'm not sure what the question actually is, but Die Antwoord are The Answer.
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