Die Antwoord brings ‘Zef’ to SA

Casey Luna

The bizarre and eclectic South African hip-hop duo, Die Antwoord, exploded on to the scene and became an international phenomenon that sold out their shows across the world. With songs in almost every dance club across the nation and starring as fictionalized versions of themselves in the 2015 movie Chappie, the duo has established themselves as an unstoppable cultural force.

Last month, the duo broke national headlines with the release of their new album Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid, and the denial of a break-up scheduled for next September. This month, the group brought their strange mix of hip-hop, rave and performance art to San Antonio for the first time at the sold-out Aztec Theatre show on Oct. 4.

In a fog of smoke, strobe lights, hypnotic visuals and thunder-like bass that shook through the audience, Die Antwoord burst on to the stage with unparalleled energy to their new lead single “We Have Candy.” Yolandi Visser danced on top of an LED platform stage that projected a dazzling spectacle of colorful lights, African symbols, sexual images and references to their previous albums. Ninja moved wildly across the first floor of the stage, rapping with ever growing energy throughout the night and danced with backup dancers dressed in full leather body suits and onesie pajamas.

The group’s Zef-aesthetic was on full display with multiple costumes throughout the night. The duo first emerged in orange hoodies and sweatpants, and then quickly stripped them away to reveal large, oversized black t-shirts. Yolandi dressed in a full array of costumes such as a hoodie covered in banana graphics, tight clothes that displayed Ninja’s symbolic art and a wide range of booty shorts. Yolandi emphasized her albino, alien-like presence with white eyeliner make up and her iconic bleach-white mullet. Ninja’s costume changes were more simple, ranging from different pants and a few different t-shirts.

For the majority of the concert, Ninja was shirtless. His lack of major costume changes was not a detriment; in fact, his tattoo-covered torso has become synonymous with the band’s aesthetic. Ninja’s hard swaggering presence plays perfectly off of Yolandi’s beautifully weird appearance.

If audience were expecting a wild show full of Die Antwoord’s hit songs and rave beats, they were not disappointed. Hit after hit, the duo drove the audience wild with new songs like “Banana Brain”, “Daddy,” and “Gucci Coochie.”  The audience couldn’t help but sing along to the group’s older hits like “Ugly Boy” and “Cookie Thumper.” The night was not without its surprises, taking advantage of one of the slower moments in the show Ninja shushed the crowd and began to sing an accapella version of “Raging Zef Boner” and then lead the crowd in a chorus singing along with him.

Die Antwoord proved themselves to be performers. The duo are indescribable characters that put on a show with indescribable amounts of energy. Visually and acoustically, the duo definitely put on a performance that San Antonio will remember for a long time.