Die Antwoord: "What's in my bag" video at Amoeba Records, Hollywood

yola.jpg A few months back, the kind folks at Amoeba Music in Hollywood invited me to come in and do a "What's in My Bag" video where I pick stuff I love that I find in their store. Well, Die Antwoord recently breezed through town, and Amoeba kidnapped them briefly to shoot this very funny and revealing "What's in My Bag." It's a great video. The dystopian rap-rave crew start out with South Park, meander through PJ Harvey, Eminem, Aphex Twin, Autechre, and David Lynch oddities, with many surprises in their crates, throughout. Good times.

Die Antwoord: What's in My Bag? (Amoeba Music, thanks Rachael McGovern!)


  1. I want to be the meat in the Yo-Landi and Ninja sammich…….mmmmmm….*ponders…..falls over…drools*

  2. Yeah. Don’t be douchebags, dudes.

    Anyway, I saw this Amoeba tweet yesterday. Good times for sure! Great vid.

  3. When I first encountered Die Antwoord, I couldn’t decide whether they were ironic hipsters pulling some Interweb Shenanigans for fame and laffs, or if they were just outsider artists (a dubious term to begin with).

    The more I read about them or watch them the more I realize that I was completely wrong on both counts. These guys are auteurs. Their inspirations, interests and insights are so unique and wonderfully dissonant…happy mutants indeed.

    Some of this stuff I just can’t even wrap my head around. Nyman, Autuchre and a tattoo of a bald boy with a massive penis? These guys are way smarter (i.e. self-aware critical thinkers) then they let on.

  4. Glad to see them coming to Chicago. I look forward to that show.
    For hard-core Ninja fans: Here’s a strange rap he did for a band in Brazil called Maga Bo when he was still known as Max Normal. I picked it off an eMusic collection.
    I hope the off-key singing is intentional.

  5. I’m with ubernym on this one. The more I see of these guys, the more endearing they become. And their music is boss.

  6. Waddy’s explanation of the South African concept of the relativity of time is something Einsten himself would have been proud of.
    “Now now” means in a while, “just now” means soon, and “now now now” means immediately.
    Anyone who grasps these subtle distinctions will immediately have a better understanding of what makes South Africa the only place in the world where Die Antwoord could possibly hail from.

  7. Does anyone know the name of the tune playing around 0:20, when they walk into the record store? Sounds good.

  8. Huh? I guess a bunch of comments got deleted, including Xeni’s, so now my ‘douchebag’ remark doesn’t make sense.

    @ubernym: I totally agree with you. Good summation of the initial ironic/parody confusion/fascination and then the ever increasing sincere Zef-side respect many of us have for these sharp Happy Mutants, indeed.

  9. Replying to myself @9 – the music is from “Enter the Ninja”, in case anyone is interested. I did some digging on YouTube and can say the video for that song is … interesting, to say the least.

  10. …So I just spent some time “down the rabbit hole” as it were, reading some South African blogs and articles by South African journos and, well… holy shit.

    Die Antwoord is the personification of my American Imperialist Ignorance(TM) writ large. I didn’t realize how little I know about South African history and culture. It’s fascinating, dark stuff.

    For example, that bald-boy-with-massive-penis tattoo mentioned in the video? The one I so naively highlighted as a moment of contrast with Die Antwoord’s interests in Nyman, Lynch, Autuchre et al? Yeah that was barely scratching the surface.

    Turns out that tattoo (and many of Ninja’s other tattoos) is a direct reference to the violent gangs of South Africa’s prisons. These guys (the gangs) are so violent they make America’s prisons look like the public library (google “28s gang” for some Fun Facts about that).

    Die Antwoord is beginning to look more and more like the Eminem of South Africa: offensive, divisive, and absolutely brilliant.

  11. Ha! I was just thinking about these guys. Thanks Xeni, you’re the one who turned me on to Die Antwood in the first place.

  12. Shit I’m so torn up over these guys! I mean I really love their music, but then a week or so ago I saw this interview with them:

    And at about the 5:15 mark Ninja starts yelling at his kid over and over again to ‘shut the fuck up’. And I’m like, I can’t be a fan of someone doing that to his kid.
    And even if it’s ment to be satire, it’s just crossing a line for me somehow.

    But then the music is fantastic.

    I guess they really do seem like a car crash.

    I gotta move on, eventhough there’s plenty to see here.

    1. Ninja and Yolandi have a four-year-old daughter together as they’ve been a couple for many years now. Yes, Yolandi is The White-Trash Mullet Goddess, however, would all of the “dogs in heat” comments for her (that apparently got deleted from the start of this thread) be in such a vile vein if these creeps knew she is a MOTHER?

  13. Yo-Landi actually has a phd in english literature. Ninja’s satire is influenced by the cape colored( not black or white) community in south africa, particularly cape town. Watch ross kemp on gangs south africa … evil mofos (im colored haha)

  14. Wow. Sounds like the same kinds of hipster horseshit people spout about Jesco White.

    Sometimes things are just as they appear, and don’t require deep analysis. These people are white trash, pure and simple. The fact that they have some artistic resonance with the BB crowd is purely coincidental.

    1. Your point about the BB crowd finding artistic resonance in Die Antwoord as “purely coincidental” sounds pretty dismissive to me. Care to elaborate? What’s coincidental about it? You’re making some grand assumptions about the BB audience.

      I agree that many things are often exactly as they seem. Die Antwoord clearly is not. Check out some of the recent articles at http://www.mahala.co.za to see what South Africans have to say about these guys. The general consensus is that Die Antwoord is not “white trash, pure and simple.”

      There’s a whole host of reasons pointing to this as intentional (and apprarently satirical) art. Not being South African, I can’t comprehend a lot of these reasons, but as a musician I can at least see that reason…the music writing/production employed by Die Antwoord is just slightly to specific to be the happy accident of outsider art. It smacks of highly skilled musicians trying very hard to sounds like outsider artists, and I think they do a fantastic job, even if the man behind the curtain is pretty easy to see.

      There’s a lot of sound and fury in the South African community over whether Die Antwoord are the real deal or whether they’re appropriating a subculture for fame and glory. If the rumors about Yolandi having a Ph.D. in English and Ninja going to a prestigious private school are true then I’m leaning toward the idea that they’re appropriating. Madonna did this to queer culture in the 80s. Lady Gaga is doing it to both queer culture and Matthew Barney right now.

      Is it all contrived? Sure, but is it purely cynical? Not all contrivance is without sincerity. The level of detail to which Die Antwoord have gone in affecting a persona is too great to have been just in the name of commercial success. Yes they are building a brand and promoting themselves, but the seem pretty earnest (and above all, human) while doing so.

  15. These people are so down to earth and real like our musicians used to be before The Industry – our Industry – started Pump You Bling all Up Innit.

    So how long will it be before we turn Ninja into Bono and Yo-landi into Courtney? They talk about nasty, they don’t know US yet. We know how to drill the Black in they Gulf, innit?

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