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Just before lunch (Yum! Lunch!), we received the following email:

Just got word, after circulating the link around my music publicity office, that Die Antwoord is basically Da Ali G of South Africa. All fake, skewering the movement of middle class kids with apartheid supporting parents becoming Afrikaner posers, basically.

And then, just after lunch (Remember lunch?! The best!) we got another email from another tipster that included a bunch of links to previous videos (which you can see for yourself after the jump) from the Die Antwoord guys in which they appear to basically be the Williamsburgs of South Africa or whatever. So, as quickly as they came into our lives, Die Antwoord appear to be on their way out, due to their being fake.

Except a) who cares, and b) what fake?

Nothing about Die Antwoord ever really suggested that they WEREN’T art school drop-outs with a half-finished thesis paper on post-Weimar Republic performance art. Dude was wearing Dark Side of the Moon boxers for goodness’ sake, and the girl had on a t-shirt that probably cost 599.419 South African Rand. If you looked at their website, which is beautiful and interesting, they give a shout out to their HAIR STYLIST. The “Ninja” video was a Keith Haring nightmare.

I am just saying: let us not turn our backs on Die Antwoord. Not now. I’m sure for some reason everyone would have liked it better if they were actually borderline mentally-retarded Poor Children from Ghettos covered in Generic Cheetoes Dust and Meth Crumbs or whatever, but none of these new revelations makes what they are doing any less great.

We all agreed that we should give them whatever they want, and I maintain that that is still the smart thing to do. It was always “give them whatever they want because what they are doing is great,” not “give them whatever they want unless I find out that they are not actually addicted to Jenkem in attempt to escape from their abject misery.” The joy that we felt at discovering them was unapproachable, and nothing can take that away from us.

This guy knows what I’m talking about:

Die Antwoord! Why? Because FOREVER!!!! (Thanks for the tips, Debbie and Adam. Haters photo via DailyWhat.)

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Comments (109)
  1. Die Antwoords business lunch meat lunch

  2. Prescient

  3. I’m going to put on my pajama jeans on and go hide in a yogurt cup now

  4. Gabe, You are totally missing the point of this Max”Normal” character. The people in the taxi video are real and they are playing “characters” in the above videos.

    Sometimes you scare me, Sir.

  5. My heart is next-level broken.

  6. Still, they are pretty good at rapping — you gotta give ‘em that! (No, you don’t.)

  7. Next we’re going to find out that Gummo wasn’t a documentary.

  8. what is fake and what is real? they amuse me.

  9. But they are still the answer (thats what Die Antwoord mean, as far as I know)!

  10. One man’s fake is another man’s GENIUS.

  11. Good point. I knew there was no way they were “real” with that high of a quality site and videos. Even if they were real they would most certainly be totally self-aware. Its not like all the rapping was done in between cooking up next-level meth, that’s just not how life works. Its all still very enjoyable.

  12. I had to look up the exchange rate for South African Rand to get your joke. $80 T-Shirt. TBS very funny.

  13. I actually feel hugely relieved. Those other videos gave me the same feeling I get from watching back to back episodes of Hoarders and Intervention–riveted but vaguely dirty. Now that I know they’re not on meth (probably) and their haircuts are art, I feel better! Also, dude can rock a sewing machine … helllloooo, Max Normal!

  14. This whole thing reminds me of someone: back in the day, I was friends with this uberhipster couple who only bought their clothes at vintage clothing stores and they hung out with this girl that…well…to this day I don’t know for sure whether she was trying way way too hard to be a hipster or if she was mentally retarded. Honest to goodness, not joking. I wanted to ask my friend but it was way way too embarrassing a question to ask. Die Antwoord is a lot like that. They may be fake, but the truth may be even more horrifying than the farce.

    This one thing I know for sure, I think we can all get down on our knees and thank Die Antwoord for the Pink Floyd Boxers Dance.

  15. Did anyone else see Max Normal MOVE THAT GLASS OF WATER WITH HIS MIND? Please tell me I’m not the only one who saw that.

  16. That little guy is still really has progeria, and is aging super fast, its real life and its forever

  17. I don’t even know how I feel about these guys. So many emotions. So much confusion. All I know [I think] is that this guy has rapey eyes and he makes me feel very uncomfortable.

  18. The lady of Die Antwoord is like if Bjork and Buffalo Bill had a baby and it was stolen by elves. I, for one, am glad our long national nightmare is over.

  19. So now its just purposely awesome. Ok.

  20. I knew this was fake. U`all so gullible. But I did go to art school, so maybe that’s why.

  21. In many ways, this makes me like them more. Thank you Gabe, for bringing these individuals into my life and, like tonetta777 before them, giving my roommate and I a new Zodiac-esque obsession.

  22. I feel like my whole life has been a lie up to this point.

  23. “Jacob Zuma taught me how to talk shit” = how it’s done, son!

  24. I do not care what their back story is. What they are doing is next level awesome and I support it. It is okay for performers to perform is it not? Is anyone upset that Jack and Meg White are not really brother and sister or that the Ramones were not all brothers? Just let them be great!

  25. whatever. her bangs are REAL and are GROSS.

  26. But. How “fake crazy” can you really be, if that is your REAL haircut? Unless that is a wig, these people are for real nutso.

  27. looks fake and gay

  28. Everything is post-modern and sponsored by Brawndo, doesn’t mean we can’t like it! Also, you reminded me of

    .

  29. so i shouldn’t have gotten that neck tattoo yesterday?

  30. Yeah I don’t see the problem here? They’re like the Ali G of South Africa? Ali G is fucking awesome. Seriously though about her bangs, yikers.

  31. “Is this real life?” (A new phrase for 2010, applied to this situation© with Die Antwoord)

  32. alls i know is that i want those stuffed animals

  33. Where’s DJ Arctic?

  34. I want that John Cena tank top.

  35. Next you’ll tell me Donnie Dumphy is fake.

  36. It’s like, what if you found out Tommy Wiseau’s deal was all just an act? What would that make him? Only the most brilliant comedian who ever walked the face of the universe! Same concept applies here.

  37. “Please come to my show. It’s going to be cool i promise.” Is now going on every promotional flyer I make ever.

  38. Die Antwoord are wholly representitive of a South African mindset. Whilst they are all established musicians in the South African scene – many of their fans are not in on their joke, many of their fans think they are for real. And the joke is on those fans.

  39. by the way… if you’re not from SA, you can’t understand, ever. so sit back and enjoy. these jokes are far too layered. and some of it is on all of us.

  40. For CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!!!!! When was the last time you heard music that wasn’t “fake”? You just pick the fake music you like best until you hear fake music that’s better. I think Die Antwoord is fresh. Like… a breath of fresh air. If they are an art-school master stroke, SO WHAT?! Not only that, but how many musicians/artists actually find success on their first attempt.
    Lighten the f*ck up people!!!

    • Most popular music is at least somewhat fake. Musicians often pose in unrealistic situations for album covers and magazines. Die Antwoord are just taking it to another level with that next level shit.

      The realest thing about Die Antwoord is how open they are about their creative process. Many performers put on a public persona. They often want to hide or deny that the public personas are different than their private personas. Die Antwoord, in contrast, are honest about their artificiality, and that honesty strengthens their integrity.

      On a purely musical level, Die Antwoord wouldn’t work. They are more of a performance piece, when Ninja’s tattoos and Yolandi Visser’s haircut are included. But they don’t claim otherwise, so this does not undermine their integrity. Also, Ninja’s tattoos are of South African gang symbols, which could be putting him in real danger. Why does he do this? you ask me. Because his style is so motherfuckin’ nasty.

      And DJ Hi-Tek’s beats on “Jou ma se Poes in n Fishpaste Jar” are great.

      Gwar were fake too, but the metal heads still liked them. It will be interesting to see how the music scene responds to Die Antwoord. The music is real, regardless of the characters it’s based on, and if they have to do extra work to create the aspects of Die Antwoord that aren’t part of their everyday experience, I thank them for it.

      “Tell the people from the UK it was real, man. Or if not, say that we’re funky holograms
      designed by Neill Blomkamp.” – Ninja, in a Social Stereotype article by Tim Noakes. Read it at
      socialstereotype.com (which I just now found out about after writing this post. This is not a plug
      for a site).

  41. yeah, it would make me feel dirty if they were real. it would be like wesley willis or daniel johnston. and it’s not like that guy from ‘wrong eyed jesus’ or whatever. it’s the kind of seeming exploitation that really isnt exploitation at all b/c as far as i can tell [though, i am not south african or even from the continent] there’s no real victims. unlike “wrong eyed jesus” which was nothing more than a mixture of exploitation and fantasy disingenuity. that was a joke of a documentary and that guy is a joke of a musician [and, probably a human being]. these guys seem like a clever re-formulation of norms/commentary.

  42. Love this band so much! POES COOL songs Ninja and Yo-landi! Found a fokken cool fansite with lots of extra info @ http://www.dieantwoordzeflings !!! Tsjekkit out zeflings! Nice photos, news, articles, agenda, tour and more! Keep it up Die Antwoord!!!

  43. Stefani Germanotta plays a character called ‘Lady Gaga’.

    ‘Die Antwoord’ (Ninja and Yo-landi) are doing the same thing. Nothing wrong with that.

    Their music is fun.

    I would not call them “fake”.

  44. Try and find the album Watkin Tudor Jones Jnr. – Memoirs of a clone. I believe it is his first album from back in 2001. I still believe that was on of the best albums to ever come out of .za. Just a warning – it is very very different from Die Antwoord. Every song sounds completely different.

    I just found this ancient review: http://www.hiphop.co.za/flipside/reviews/watkin_tudor_jones-memoirs_of_a_clone.html

    Nostalgia… Listening to it now and loving it all over again :)

  45. Geez and I was just starting to like them. OH! the deception!

  46. Nope they are real.

  47. Fake or not (whatever ‘fake’ means), they’re fantastic.

  48. Tip: DIE ANTWOORD OFFICIAL FANSITE for all Die Antwoord lovers all over the interwebs right here: http://www.dieantwoordzeflings.com VUILGEBOOST! :)

  49. What about this video then ?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUh2pT0flDE&feature=player_embedded

    Look at Marilyn Manson for example, he changed his image with every album and band, so did Die Antwoord. They created an image for the new band, they aint fake just finding there niche

  50. Who cares if they are fake? Something truly revolutionary and subversive should come from people with brains. They are artists, they are musicians exploiting kitsch and, really, bringing out the best of hip hop that not even many “real” hip hop artists have been able to do for the past 10 years. It’s like punk; it took a pissed out man with brains and a sense of art to make it happen and it’s happening again with Die Antwoord and M.I.A. And what makes me more glad is that these aren’t American artists which to me is fantastic because it means that we are being informed of more “wordly” experiences. Sorry but Michael Jackson died and, symbolically at least, with him died all the American music industry. While Lady Gaga wears meat just to get attention, Die Antwoord are creating a revolution in the basement of their home and that’s the way it should be: music for the people. Let me rewrite that: music for the people OF THE WORLD from the people OF THE WORLD.

  51. they are artists 100%. they use what they need to in order to express themselves. Andy Warhol used soup cans and people called his work shit and not “Real ART”.. Die Antwoord embraced hip hop, a popular culture form of communication and used it to attract people so they could be heard. how is that fake in any way? plus they got mad skills. I just streamed the whole maxnormal.tv album “good morning south africa” on the new lofi dot com and one listen will make you a believer. this shit is the answer.

    http://thenewlofi.com/2010/10/maxnormal-tv/

  52. if their not real. how are the playing concerts all over the world??? Ther are real. look out for their world tour. there hitting NZ in feb!

  53. I enjoy a true artist. I knew from the moment I saw their show that they were not serious. Something more interesting to me than a “I wanna be a singer when I grow up”… I think that it’s more difficult to make it with their concept vs someone line Kanye West.

  54. yeah,the antwoord are awesome,fake or not…let’s not get into elitistic shit like that..they’re what they are and that’s that

  55. What? “Fake”, ha, ha, ha, ha! Oh no! Now that I am taking things more seriously I am worried that Gene Simmons might not REALLY be a demon from hell. Or the landscape painting (art) might not REALLY be a landscape at all. Wait, this messes up everything- what if Ronnie James Dio doesn’t REALLY battle hordes of towering demons like he implies in his songs and album covers.

    Whatever, this stuff is incredibly well done, wildly creative, very, very different and now I love it.
    Your pal, Rex Edhlund at http://www.popularnaughty.com/

  56. dude, I LOVE DIEANTWOORD,

    They the best band ever!

    dieantwoord ROCKS !!!

  57. sat·ire/ˈsaˌtī(ə)r/
    Noun:
    1. The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of…
    2. A play, novel, film, or other work that uses satire.
    DIE ANTWOORD = FOKKEN BRILLIANT!! We just saw them last night in Seattle. They put on an amazing show. I appreciate anyone who stretches the boundaries of art….keep it up!!

  58. Went to their show a couple nights ago and it was sold out so if that’s being on the way out I don’t think they will mind.

  59. I don’t get what anyone would think they were fake, I mean what is so hard to believe. They are from one of the shittiest countries, South Africa, and they have a unique and fucking awesome style.

    Their music, especially the new album Ten$ion, is a very good album, and one of the only albums in recent memory that I can put on and listen to from start to finish without gagging.

    They make boasts and talk about sick shit, which is hardly new for rappers, but they have the beats and tracks to set them apart from other bullshit rapgroups.

    In conclusion, fuck you.

  60. Julle ma’s se poese. Rich of you to attack the (possible) affluence of someone’s parents in the same breath as mocking the poverty of their currency. Calling a generation who democratically voted Apartheid out of power Weimar-Republicans is ludicrous, as is the assumption a “shitty country” (thank you for that gem, Bayley Tippins) cannot produce anything whatsoever. It’s not even remotely the norm for successful North American acts to write, create or even inform their work, yet someone goes the whole hog in Africa: it must be fake if their white/not destitute/have had other jobs/come from a non-shitty country. If you cannot accept African products unless it conforms to your idea of Africa-as-shit, you are keeping Africa shit.

    This kind of discussion board will be in a museum one day reminding the world why everyone was only too happy to embrace China as the sole superpower.

  61. South Africa is not a shitty country at all!!!

    Die Antwoord fuckin`rocked Germany tonight and we all had a great fakefree time.
    Many thanks for that!!!

  62. Check out my latest vid from Die Antwoord’s gig in Brooklyn.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez_trWxvlXo

  63. 599.41 South African Rand is a bit expensive for one shirt, for the average South African. Would you consider 65 US dollar cheap for a shirt?

  64. Ha ha ha old news, Max Normal was Watkin’s project 12 years ago.

  65. his satire of south african youth culture has taught alot of people about his country for better or for worse -it is authentic in the sense hes taking something he knows and using it ……lets remind ourselves this man has been doing hip-hop since the early 90s-he knows the archetypes,imagery,etc – i say south africa is truly progressing if die-artwoords art is being accepted – south africas laughing at itself,and m.r jones s openly exploiting the west ignorance , giving them an exotic export….. did u know that dude is 40yrs old btw O.O Thats dedication or something !!!

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