Die Antwoord: Evil Boy

Discuss

109 Responses to “Die Antwoord: Evil Boy”

  1. jaejae says:

    This video is heavy, there’s so much happening on so many levels! Before this song I still hadn’t made up my mind about whether or not I was into their stuff, but that’s all over. This is intense and I seriously like what they are and how they create. I’m an American, and I have to admit I’m woefully uneducated about South Africa. This group makes me want to know more, and that’s what art does at it’s best!

  2. doggo says:

    @#57 *fast forward ten years* …and then I got a Prince Albert.

  3. deanaoxo says:

    all i can say is i loved them from the moment Xeni said ‘go’!

    Thank you. To not realize there’s a bit more going on than just riding a cheap wave, is like thinking a Larry Harvey doesn’t know what he’s doing it’s all just happenstance.

    I’ve always said, all overnight sensations were proceeded by ten years of hard work. Here’s some more proof of that.

    These guys go places and then bring it all back.

    Someone said it before me, ‘that shit is dope!’

    pure aoxomoxoa ~!~

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ah, it’s about circumcision! And (new band) members.

  5. jamez says:

    Are you hinting at something Xeni?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Haha I can’t stop watching it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It might be interesting for some to know that the government, in an attempt to ensure that hygienic methods are used during initiations, are encouraging the elders who participate in the circumcisions to attend basic surgical training which teaches them how to perform the circumcisions safely and cleanly. It is a very Western thing to go “Ugh how primitive and disgusting these Africans are”. I must admit I find no fault with the practice itself, but rather with those members of society who try to enforce circumcision on youths through the use of social pressure and ostracization.

    South Africa has a growing educated and liberal youth of all cultures and colours who are struggling to define their identity in the aftermath of the blight that was Apartheid. Die Antwoord speaks to that part of myself which is both proud of my own culture (which happens to be Afrikaans) and proud of the cultures of my countrymen, because we are all South African.

    Oh and to clear something up, when Yolandi talks about no glove/no love you can be fairly certain she is referring to condom use, not circumcision. South African have it drummed into their heads at school and through the media that we should always insist on condoms since we have the highest incidence of HIV in the world.

    Despite this there are pervasive myths surrounding the use of condoms for example having unprotected sex with a virgin will cure AIDS (This has encouraged the rape of young women and even children. A woman was raped in South Africa every 17 seconds. This does not include the number of child rape victims. Around 30% of South Africans report that their first sexual experience was forced.)

    Given these statistics Yolandi’s girl-power message holds special significance for a generation of South African women who fight a losing battle for equality and freedom from abuse.

    This video is all about being sex positive and about demanding your right to choose what you do with your body – a human right that is still not sufficiently entrenched in South African culture.

    I’m a bisexual woman from Johannesburg in South Africa who lost her virginity to condomless statutory rape, and I think this video f$#king rocks!

  8. treepour says:

    As a gay man, I did bristle at this at first glance. But knowing the backstory and watching it again, I have absolutely no problem with it. Amazing music and visuals, and knowing the story really adds a powerful emotional hook I probably wouldn’t gotten otherwise.

    • Anonymous says:

      I got the impression that he was saying the exact opposite. No glove, no love = Don’t have sex without a glove.

  9. Anonymous says:

    More power to the Evil Boy. His case isn’t as odd as it sounds; I experienced a similar situation, as do some Australian aborigines. Though Jewish, I was circumsized by a doctor, not a rabbi, and later attended an ultra-orthodox synagogue (the only one in town). The rabbi and various elders told me I needed to have a “ritual circumsision” before I could have a Bar Mitzvah. This would involve a rabbi drawing blood with a pin. They never came close to convincing me to do it, and as the local jewish community was so small that it needed every man it could get (you need 10 jewish men to perform lots of rituals), they gave up and let me have the Bar Mitzvah anyway.

  10. Pantograph says:

    Very ithyphallic…

  11. aquathug says:

    Holy F@%&!

    Oh, and “may be misinterpreted” may be the understatement of the year.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      So, the story behind this video and song (or part of the story — there’s so much going on!) is that Wanga felt that he was being coerced into a form of ritual circumcision by his community. It’s sort of taken for granted within his ethnic group that you must do this, so much so that if you are a young man and you do not participate, you are ostracized, as the band explained to me.

      The thinking, and this is communicated very directly to the young men, is that if you don’t participate, you’re gay. You’re effeminate. You’re not a real man. You never mature from being a boy to being a man.

      He struggled with all of this in real life: with what it meant for his personal and cultural identity. And he came to a point where he was like, you know what? Fuck you all. The fact that I won’t consent to having my penis sliced with an unsterilized knife, out in the bush, and risk infection or worse– that doesn’t mean “I’m gay,” as you say. I reject this tradition. If that’s what being a man is, fuck it, I don’t want to be a man. I’ll be an “evil boy for life,” even if it means I am ostracized from my community.

      You might have chosen different lyrics, but dude, it’s not our story or our culture or our world experience at all.

      It’s his.

  12. Harrywindy says:

    Here is a mini documentary on the Ugandan practice of ritual circumcision. After seeing this, I am all about him rapping about keeping their hands off his penis.

    http://www.vbs.tv/watch/the-vice-guide-to-sex–3/imbalu-circumcision-party-1-of-2–3

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      Thanks, not sure if I’m up for watching it, but appreciate the link.

      Yeah, when the subject involved in this sort of cultural practice is female, we hear the phrase “female genital mutilation” tossed around. This is basically the same sort of cultural practice as clitorectomy, and one young man’s reaction to that.

  13. kib says:

    If the text of one of these raps appeared as a comment on BB, would it be moderated?

  14. ablebody says:

    i got the notion without explanation, AND that vid is dope.

  15. ADavies says:

    Hiya Citylater – Pretty cool that a Xhosa guy is on the thread and commenting. Didn’t know BB was big in SA.

    Would be interesting to do a boing boing survey, and see where people are from (though I guess you could also just check google analytics).

    • citylater says:

      Its Chilled, Im not sure how popular it is in SA. I found it because I was just searching for Die Antwoord. We don’t have that many acts make it outside our borders.

    • citylater says:

      Thanks guys for the feedback.
      The thing is I’m happy that we are discussing this because on the Antwoord’s website Ninja tries to explain the process and totally gets it wrong. Everything from staying one week in the bush to using ash from a fire as a healing agent.
      The reality of it is that the circumcision part of the process is very important yes, but its not the whole process. Wanga is a streetkid and doesn’t have relatives, thats the first issue. Xhosa people as a tribe are divided into Clans and within that clan is your family, an example is Nelson Mandela, everyone thinks Madiba is his nickname its actually his clan name( He is also Xhosa). So in other words if you have a problem with circumcision you can go outside of your family into your extended extended family. There are a lot of Xhosa kids today who get circumsized in hospital and then go and heal in the bush. As long you have a good enough reason your family should approve but it stays in the family. Secondly not just anyone can get circumsized. theres certain procedures you have to go through concerning your health including getting approved by a clinic before you go into the bush.The person that cuts you and nurses you in the bush is called a Nchipi. Kids that die are those whose families are’nt familiar whith iNchipi so they don’t know whose negligent or what. lastly you are not left alone to fend for yourself in the bush. Usually a younger brother or cousin would serve as a “Nqhalathi”, a boy that brings you food( Your diet changes over stages of the healing process” ) Gets you wood because you are living in a handmade enclosure so to keep warm its his job to keep the fire burning 24/7 for the full time you are there.Like I said earlier in the bush you learn a more ancient undiluted type of xhosa ( in SA we have 11 languages 9 indigeniuos) and thats the only way a person can distinguished if you’ve been in the bush. but there are rare situations where that language is used and those are easliy avoidable. Before you go to the bush you always worry about the circumcision but when you get there you realise that thats not the major thing. You also shed everything you had as a boy. Your possesions (clothes, cellphone shoes etc) and more especially your mindset. You caome out a brand new person

      • Utenzil says:

        This is good insight. On one hand, you want to preserve the things that makes a culture what it is, but on the other hand to put someone in a position where they die of gangrene doesn’t seem to preserve the culture or basic human rights.

        So yes, maybe we give a young man his first car as rite of passage, but we don’t cut the brake lines so it will be sure to crash.

        • citylater says:

          You are basing your argument on what you think you know and a music video. Its true that before this video you never knew that my culture existed, secondly, like most western cultures theres this tendency that we (Africans) don’t know what we are doing. If you cut a cars breaks its gona fail and thats the exact opposite of what happens in my culture. This is an issue in South Africa but it will never be a major issue because what the antwoord doesnt tell you is that There are thousands upon thousands of kids who do this during the month of July and a substantially larger amount who do this during December( More than ten thousand). They all come out just fine. What they do tell you is about those few that do die in the most EXTREME circumstances.

          • Utenzil says:

            I wasn’t clear enough, I didn’t mean to imply that *all* of these circumcisions end badly. But some of them do in a way that seems avoidable.

            http://www.africanvoices.co.za/culture/circumcision.htm

            Your info definitely provided some insight, that there are alternative ways to preserve the cultural practices in a less risky way. I did have some awareness of the Xhosa before this video, mainly thanks to the popularity of another SA musician, Miriam Makeba– but I would say that the video caused me to look up some more information.

          • Anonymous says:

            Regardless of what arguments you want to make about how many circumcised boys benefit from it, the issue isn’t that many people want to do it – it’s that some don’t, and they face exclusion if they don’t want to. It would be a non-issue if it was only done to boys who wanted to and who identified with the tradition. Just because someone is not (for example) held done and forced to submit to something doesn’t mean they weren’t coerced, or that they, other things equal, “wanted” to have it done.

            I think that circumcision practices in the US (where I’m from) might be less fair, because they all occur far before the boy could ever make a decision. Of course, if the threat of social exclusion makes everybody “want” to get circumcised, that’s not much of a freedom, is it?

          • citylater says:

            I can safely say those who want to heavily outweigh those who don’t want to. You are basing your argument on what you think you know about a culture you know nothing about. theres kids out here that beg their parents to let them do it in their early teens and its their fathers that tell them to wait until they are older. Dude you don’t know what you are talking about.

      • tobiasaurusrex says:

        At least you’re not denying that people die from this Xhosa tradition.
        In the US we have a ceremony for a boy becoming a man, too. It’s called ‘giving him his first car’. Many youths die in this process, also.

  16. EnzoMan says:

    “No glove/no love” great message considering their Southern African exposure. And, Its a grower (the song…).
    p.s Yo-Landi has one hell of a chassis!

  17. clenchner says:

    Not sure I love the song, but it’s nice to hear English, Afrikaans and a Black South African language all together.
    (note: site is buggy and slow today. Is it just me?)

  18. EnzoMan says:

    “No glove/no love” great message considering their Southern African exposure. And, Its a grower (the song…)
    p.s Yo-Landi has one hell of a chassis!

  19. Anonymous says:

    hey citylater, that’s a cool perspective.

    Personally, I don’t see a problem with a voluntary rite of passage, brutal as it might seem. If you are down with it, it’s your body, rock on with your bad ass self.

    It’s the compulsory aspect, and social stigma that comes with exercising your right to honor and respect your body in a way of your choosing, when it’s different from your social peers, that I think is in need of fixing.

    In a way, it’s no different than these neo-straightedge douchebags coming down on folks with different lifestyles.

    The defining mindset of freedom is do what you like, so long as you don’t hurt anybody, or try to force it down MY throat.

    Me, personally, I didn’t have a choice about whether to keep my foreskin. I’m not jewish, but they cut it off before I had a voice. Is it a bad thing? I don’t know, I’ve never had a foreskin, so I couldn’t tell you what I’m missing. A little smegma at the very least, I guess.

    I can respect that this cultural practice is, ultimately, voluntary. Sort of like the anabaptist religions that require a person to accept their creed as an adult, rather than sprinkling something on their forehead as an infant and trying to say that counts for something.

    But you know what? People are douchebags. We’re evil, vile, selfish creatures looking for any way to feel better about ourselves, even at the expense of others. I’ve had misinformed people accuse me of possessing diminished manhood simply because I don’t drink or do drugs any more.

    So be it. Judgments like that speak volumes more about the person bringing them than the person they’re aimed at. We’re different, have different opinions and perspectives, and that’s okay. There’s room for everybody, even the douchebags.

  20. natty bones says:

    Penises… Penises Everywhere…

    You might want to slap a “NSFW” tag on there.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Just luv these guys, and overjoyed to find new material, but… they’re obviously going for max’ weird and max’ shock value, and it will work marvelously, for a while. The problem with that method though, is that your customers burn out on it and the higher the flame, the sooner the burn.

    Same reason they chose to show the amputee’s stumps in Zef Side.

    Yolandi’s t*ts are obviously a big draw too, so they did a reveal there too, didn’t they? Looked perfectly round to me, with insertion scars at the bottom, though that could’ve been a seam from the special effects.

    Hey, they’ve put that bait front and center from day one, I’m hardly sexist or a perv’ for noticing. Similar to the “junk slang” (LOL, funny term!) in Zef Side.

    I dunno, pouring-on so many of the porn elements kinda diminishs from the art, for me; it’s kind of a cheap method, and insultingly obvious. And, it will work, in Puritanical America. Wait for the right-wing to call ‘em out as Satan’s Spawn!… (for which, they also provided a pentagram, in the B&D scene.)

    Can’t blame the gang for wanting to cash in though, not in the least. Ride that wave, Waddy and Yolandi, ride it! And you have BoingBoing to thank, in major ways!

  22. bcsizemo says:

    And now the RIAA has taken it down…

    My country, it’s run by asshats.

  23. Donald Petersen says:

    Now that was an eyeful. Possibly the niftiest music video I’ve seen in ten years. It ain’t really my style of music, but hell, it’s not harsh on the ears either. Wasn’t expecting to be quite so blown away.

    These kids today are finally on to something.

  24. tobiasaurusrex says:

    So, Die Antwoord has gay friends and co-conspirators, they’re not homophobic. Apparently Wanga made the line, “Don’t touch my penis, I’m not a gay,” as a taunt to the homophobic Xhosa tribesmen, a way to jibe at them to express something along the lines of, “You say that if I don’t get circumcised, then I’m gay, but you’re the one who wants to take teenage boys into the jungle and grab their penises?” At least that’s according to Ninja.
    It sounds like the American Evangelical Republicans who try to run peoples’ lives and accuse folks of being gay, and it’s the worst thing, don’t let them teach, blah blah, because at the heart of it, they won’t accept their own erotic urges.

  25. J. Dinkhouse says:

    I can’t believe there’s not even a mention of Diplo’s production or his appearance in video… that’s like a second level of awesomeness (or maybe even an auto-jump to the third tier of ultra-awesome).

  26. xpanasonicyouthx says:

    Hey Xeni! Just an idea, but I think you should include the story about the point of this video up in the body of the text. As a gay man, when I watched the video before I read your comment below, I was kind of disappointed by the line. Obviously, I was wrong about it’s meaning and the story is really fantastic, but I think people might be put off if they have to search for the meaning of that line.

    Just a thought!

  27. Opspin says:

    Phew, Casper the Friendly Ghost sure has “grown” hasn’t he?

    I am also not circumcised, most Danes aren’t, gay or straight or whatever, it’s just not normal here.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      Yeah. We’re not talking about the same thing as what happens in Western countries, with babies in a sterile hospital environment… we’re talking about boys in their late teens going off into the bush with an unsterilized knife and a blanket, no anesthesia, etc. The ritual apparently results in some number of casualties, infections, and permanent (unintended) injury to the teen males who go through the tradition, and some of the kids who are now more urbanized, with access to other ways of thinking, want to opt out. That’s what Wanga’s lyrics are about.

      • sgnp says:

        When I saw it without the explanation I was a bit confused by the, “I don’t want to go into the bush with you,” “I don’t want to be a man,” and “My penis is clean,” lyrics. After I read your explanation, it makes sense.

        All of the statements are answers to the arguments he’s heard for getting circumcision. “You won’t be a man until you do,” “Your penis will get infections,” etc.

        When seen in that context, the statements that can be taken as homophobic make a bit more sense, especially as they’re statements specifically about what he wants done with *his* penis, not what other people are doing with theirs.

        • Xeni Jardin says:

          Did anyone catch the pro-condom-usage thing going on? “No glove/no love”? If we’re gonna dissect the lyrics, worth noting that there’s social pressure against condom usage, despite high HIV levels, and this kid is saying “fuck you” to that, too.

          • sgnp says:

            I caught that the first time around, but didn’t realize the significance.

            It’s interesting how different these lyrics became after you set out some SA background for me.

    • jordan says:

      That’s supposed to be a Tikoloshe (or tikoloshe), a sort of demon/spirit that’s hung like a tractor exhaust. The imagery persists throughout the video.

  28. Anonymous says:

    So that’s what The Next Level looks like?
    Very cool.

  29. polossatik says:

    Respect, even before reading the “meaning” stuff in the comments this clip rocks.
    Glad to see these people have some decent international response on the crazy things they do (as seen from a other cultural background).
    Could not help but smile on the “ninja was here” on Yo-Landi “nicest part of her chassis” *grin*.

    Good lyrics, funky groove, good vocal performance and – of course something that always helps – a female with a strong “personality”..

    More…

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      Agreed, man. Yo-Landi is no wallflower. Makes me happy to see strong women out there doing fuck-you-in-your face art like this. Feels a lot like early punk in some ways.

      As an aside, I can’t wait to see what kind of a pantybunched tizzy Jezebel gets into when they see this shit.

  30. Dax says:

    Im an Afrikaans dude from Johannesburg and Im sad to say I only discovered Die Antwoord last week. I’ve listened to Max Normal in the 90′s, then I couldnt find anything from the group until BAM! I’m a really late adopter.

    Personally I love DA. Their afrikaans lyrics are dirty as hell, but very funny and cleverly constructed. They have a huge amount of cultural references available from SA so they can keep going for a long time. The cool thing about the rhymes are that they can pull words from multiple languages to construct it.

    These personas are very clever. The nice thing is that they also reference a lot of old stuff like vanilla ice, old 8 bit pc games, pink floyd, anime, other old-school afrikaans artists “Koos Kombuis”, “Steve Hofmeyer” etc. These referrals creates characters that seem like they at least had childhoods. A bit of depth. Apart from that they make some really catchy songs. Strong talent behind the music.

    They also brought in the lead from the SA band fokofpolisiekar (f*ck off police car) to do the chorus on the DoosDronk song. That automatically pulled a bit of SA rock community.

    Regarding the Tokoloshe. My domestic worker sleep on a bed thats raised about 4 feet off the ground (on bricks) cause she is scared of it.

    Hou die zef hoog ouens. Julle gooi my wereld a duidelike curve ball.

  31. Big Daddy says:

    Thanks for providing context, Xeni. It really helps.

    Hip hop is all about confronting the status quo and stating reality without pull no punches.

    In that sense, these guys are about as hip hop as it gets, and that is inspiring.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I like it ! Die A. is like a modern rap south african GWAR !

    And btw : 99% of the time traditions are wrong and stupid, end of debate AFAIAC.

  33. Vrobrolf says:

    I can’t believe noone pointed out how badly Yolandi ripped off Lady Gaga – http://thestylepenguin.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Lady-GaGa-Kermit-the-Frog.jpg :)

    Really love the music track, the Yolandi and Ninja parts are as good as ever and now I get the background of Wanga’s part I really appreciate it a lot more (at first I was like: eh?)

    The artistical direction of this clip is amazingly deep. Every time I watch it I discover something new.

  34. Anonymous says:

    This video is incredibly radical. Die Antwoord is pointing out that cultural practices are often coercive. No one should be coerced into being circumcised. It should be an individual’s choice. Circumcision should not performed without the consent of the individual who owns the genitals. Otherwise, it is an abusive practice that takes away the most sexually sensitive part of the body. Infant circumcision (as performed in the United States) and coercive adolescent circumcision are both violations of an individual’s human rights, male or female.

  35. wil9000 says:

    Brain.
    Bleeding.
    Thanks, Xeni.

  36. Anonymous says:

    So that big rod in Wanga’s shorts is uncut, too! DROOOOOOOOLLLLLLLL

  37. Dr.Gee says:

    And I was psyched as hell to see them live before seeing this video.By far one of the best videos I’ve seen.
    are they touring with an opener? Venue site has none but the sole show is slated to start at 7pm.

    as far as the homophobe thing……when has the rap genre been anything less than derogatory to gays?I don’t recall any pro gay or neutral gay references in the 30 years I’ve been listening. It’s the nature of the beast. White people get dissed all the time in rap.Never got my panties in a bunch.Never had me picketing outside Def Jam. Know plenty of women that enjoy it even with all the bitch/ho vernacular. Xeni’s explanation makes the point moot in this case, but does add interest to the video. Lighten up or don’t listen to the shit.

  38. itaylor says:

    Die Antwoord’s website http://www.dieantwoord.com/ currently leads with a video in which they discuss the background on this song and the story of Wanga, the Xhosa emcee. It’s pretty much exactly as described in Xeni’s comments.

    • itaylor says:

      I have to clarify that last comment. I happened to click on their homepage in just the right spot to get the story about about Evil Boy: the flashing symbol directly at the center top. If you click other flashing symbols on the page, you get different videos describing their songs.

  39. eyeotiger says:

    so much <3 for die antwoord, this seals it, I am totally going as yo-landi for halloween, going to fabrix store then pulling out sewing machine and getting to work trying to replicate her strange mutated Max from Where the Wild Things are from the beginning of the video

  40. Anonymous says:

    i want a Yolandi wig to put on my gf

  41. Anonymous says:

    Why has the video been removed from anywhere

  42. jeligula says:

    “You might have chosen different lyrics, but dude, it’s not our story or our culture or our world experience at all.

    It’s his.”

    And thank God for that.

  43. Ronamo says:

    Hmm…the Wikipedia description of Tikoloshe reminds me of graveling from Dead Like Me.

  44. stAllio! says:

    even knowing the story, those lyrics are still homophobic.

    by announcing that “i’m not a gay; this penis is for the ladies,” he buys into the frame that there is something wrong or unmanly about being gay.

    when someone tries to insult you by calling you gay, the correct response is “so what if i am?”, not “nuh-uh, i’m totally straight!”

    • Anonymous says:

      You need to read the explanation and realize that it is not a slam.

    • Anonymous says:

      @stAllio! I think you’re working too hard to see fault there. It’s not a crime to admit you’re straight. His penis IS for the ladies. His choice. He didn’t say or imply anything negative about being gay and it’s not unethical if he doesn’t choose to take up the gay cause and defend it in the way you see fit. I don’t know all the lyrics, but what you quoted is really not homophobic, especially in the context of the story Xeni relates.

    • Anonymous says:

      correct response? … “so what if i am?” sounds like “don’t ask don’t tell” ?
      anyways… as if all the gay guys I know choose their words so carefully too

    • bardfinn says:

      When he announces that he is not gay, and that that penis is for the ladies, he is referring /entirely/ to himself and his sexual preferences. He is not referring to any other person nor any other sexual orientation than his own. The only way to construe that as being homophobic is to also construe the statement “I’m English and proud of it!” as being racist against Hispanics (as an example).

      I have not yet seen the rest of the video (… underpowered computer) but will gladly do so and point out any reasonably homophobic content.

    • Joe Funk says:

      @17: I don’t think that lyric is necessarily anti-gay. Sure, it’s pretty awesome to respond with, “So what if I am?” (and I admit that it can be a lot of fun to aggravate/confuse people that way), but sometimes it is perfectly reasonable to say, “No, you are wrong to make that assumption.”

      He’s pointing out that “they” are factually incorrect when they say that opting out makes him gay. A man in a more western situation might say something like, “Actually, I’m not gay. I enjoy sex with women, AND there’s no way in hell that I’m going to let you bait me into going into that strip club just to prove my heterosexuality.”

    • Anonymous says:

      No. He sais you are not gay just for refusing to circuncition and not a man for accepting it. Moreover,they want to be polemic, that’s why they use confusing expressions in order to send you a not so clear message.

    • Anonymous says:

      So basically you’re saying if you tell someone you’re not gay it means you hate all gay people…that makes alot of sense.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Honestly, the brilliance of the scandalous line in question is that it is completely ambiguous and depends on what cultural perspective you read it from. It IS homophobic and anti-homophobic and has nothing to do with teh gays at all but a cultural practice so many North Americans had no awareness of before this morning. It draws on all angles at once. That’s art — ten words that can draw a hundred comments all in discord.

  46. Teller says:

    Priapic
    Cinematic
    Like someone
    is a Marcus
    Nispel addict

  47. Wingo says:

    Yeah, that was an awesome surprise seeing him show up. Man, that Diplo seems to have his hands in *everything* lately.

    This video is truly out of control, and rad.

  48. jfrancis says:

    Their sets remind me a little of Keith Haring’s Pop Shop

  49. BastardNamban says:

    Until now, I never thought I would say something like “using your cock for a mic is brilliant”

    But now I can. HA!

    Xeni, your explanation really helped. I was lost when he’s talking bout going into the bush.

    This group has some extremely strange, even by Japanese standards, props. What the hell was that- Casper the ghost with a giant hardon?

  50. frankieboy says:

    oy! vey ist’ mir!

  51. citylater says:

    Hey I’m actually a Xhosa guy living in south africa and just like Jews have a bat mitzva we have our own passage to manhood which is circumcision. Its something we all look forward to as kids and one of your fathers proudest moments. A lot if south africans who are not Xhosa( even those who are black ) don’t know anything about it so denounce it also doesnt help that we are not allowed to speak about our experience. Just to help you though when you are circumsized you the go to an initiation school/course/journey which is usually four weeks. you live by yourself in the wildeners and your mother or any other women arent allowed to see during that time. you uncles friends and other males that play a part in your life regularly visit you they guide you about life you learn lesson your learn more about your culture, family, heritage and what you should represent. men who have done this course also learn a more deeper and sort of ancient type of the xhosa language.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @Citylater, thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your view. I hope that my own comments here do not come across as lacking in awareness for the diversity of opinion that must exist within the Xhosa community about this traditional practice.

      • citylater says:

        Thanks Xeni, by the way you should ask ninja why he has a Jail Tattoo when I’m pretty sure he’s never been to jail. The Ritchie Rich Tattoo is one used by a notoriuos jail gang.

        • Anonymous says:

          The same way that Johnny Depp wears a wig to become a pirate?

          He’s a character. Characters need props. Characters like Ninja can tell stories that otherwise wouldn’t be heard. As you’ve seen.

          Also, as I understand it, this video was inspired by one person’s response to adult circumcision. That’s also valid as an artistic statement.

          It’s not an Amnesty International video afterall.

  52. Anonymous says:

    What, no mention of the Tokoloshe hopping about in the background?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tikoloshe

  53. Anonymous says:

    NSFW? Watched it fullscreen on my 27″ iMac in the office and fokkkin’ loved it!

  54. bardfinn says:

    Also, LAZYWEBS: If anyone knows who the artist is that did the Haida/HipHop mural behind Curren$y on one of the lead-ins, PLEEEEEAAASEE let me (us) know. It is /nice/.

  55. Booaghost says:

    Got 4 tickets to see them in London next month, suck on that.

    The ritual circumcision Xeni talks about is graphically documented over at Vice TV.

    http://www.vbs.tv/en-gb/search?commit=Search&key=circumcision

  56. Enormo says:

    Next level shit.

  57. Mitch says:

    They really ought to design office cubicles so that the monitor faces away from nosy people walking by.

  58. fionnmatthew says:

    Compulsory genital mutilation is problematic, but it’s a bit rich to infer cultural superiority from that case alone.

    I would think it would be better to take things on a case by case basis.

    oh, and i think you should probably read the south african constitution. it’s bleeding edge stuff in terms of constitutional law.

    I have watched this a lot of times now, and I like it more and more. it’s not just adequate to their previous stuff. it’s awesomely better. it reminds me of maxnormal’s stuff.

    I think Die Antwoord are a lot more than just shock value. There’s a credibility and a depth to them that just isn’t apparent for a while – the whole thing is an act, but it’s an act that expresses them and their playful nature. So it’s not an act, because it is one.

    Then there is the straightforward agreeableness of that act. How aesthetically exciting it is, how edgy and zany it is, how exhilarating it is to hear the accents, and rapping in multiple african languages, how the music somehow makes something quite robust from the fusion of an early 90s european rave aesthetic with the height of post eminem hip hop, and perhaps a little of the yobbishness of ska-era clash. it’s so silly and earnest that it’s cool.

    then there’s the subcultural rightness of it all: how politically incorrect it is, yet how underneath it all how bloody right they are – it exposes a sort of bigotry in political correctness. being south african, it’s culturally very rich, and they are able to play with this, be funny about race, when that’s even a bit taboo. there is a lot of ironic homophobia in their work which, in the context of the omnisexual porn fantasy in Beat Boy, is shown to be laughable. ninja (and maxnormal) employ the misogynistic vocabulary of hip hop, but because we know they’re in character, it’s commentary. yo-landi embraces the sexist female pop star stereotypes with such knowing extravagance that she obliterates them. she’s just beautiful for that.

    and the amount of dick in their videos is just hilarious. it’s hilarious because they’re waving it in our faces, and we’ve been taught that this is unsightly. that it’s only boobs that are allowed. but it’s so free, it combats those prudish sensitivities. it’s so rebellious, and yet it also gets to be toilet humour! it’s more than just dicks. they relish in inverting aesthetic prejudices. they’re constantly throwing “ugliness” at us. yo-landi has turned around what 2 years ago possibly would have been considered the ugliest haircut a girl could get. they gave us Leon Botha. the amputees are featured in their beat boy vid with a sense of humour – it’s initially absurd, laughable (for instance Cenk Uygur’s reaction on TYT) and then… why not? and then you start to see the beauty they see. and then the moral hits you like a slap in the face.

    Then there is also the lingering suspicion that behind all the fireworks and double feints they’re actually really nice people – that there’s a great open mindedness and decency about the way they deal with the people that know them.

    they are so culturally articulate and savvy, and yet they are also so punk, so unconstrained and free, so creative. this combination of elements, this timeliness, is sufficiently unique that i think “zef” really will come to denote a movement.

    they make me very happy. it’s great to see them get some love. thank you south africa.

  59. fnc says:

    Nothing containing that many penises could really be homophobic.

    I couldn’t properly interpret it without the cultural practices that spawned it explained, but knowing the genesis turns it into a powerful piece of rebellion art. Musically or visually it’s not my style but I appreciate what they’re doing, throwing up a big fat middle finger in the face of something that deserves it.

  60. 5ynic says:

    XJ – thanks for the detailed exposition. Adds heaps to the value of the song.

  61. humanresource says:

    Brilliant, dangerous stuff. Someone could have lost an eye making that clip.

  62. Major Variola (ret) says:

    I have to admit I’m moral-trolling. I agree with you on the individualistic grounds —the black SA is certainly smart to rebel against his culture, IMHO.
    But I like to challenge (BB) folks to see
    if they’re willing to actually say, yes, I judge this good
    or this evil, and I’m aware that I’m a hip white male while doing so.

    I think teen cutting is evil, but I also recognize my
    cultural centrism. But, I’ll defend it. I admire
    the singer if he has repelled his culture, because I also dislike it. (And have, like many readers, much sympathy for ‘outsiders’
    who question their culture and endure the consequences). I *will* say its wrong to force this or any such mutilation on any unwilling, whitemalish of me to say so, so blatantly.

    To me (and a zillion other libs), morality is all about coercion.

    BTW thanks for the fuller explanation XJ.

    Musicwise, we differ, but that’s ok.

    BTW, what happened to Yo-Landi & Ninja’s kid, mentioned in a
    video previous mentioned here?

  63. SamSam says:

    I didn’t say “this is wrong.” It’s a complicated thing, passing judgement on other people’s cultural practices.

    Oh, come on. Would you have been so hesitant to say “this is wrong” if we were talking about genital mutilation of little girls?

  64. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Um, it’s not a critique of cultural practices. It’s a critique of forcibly mutilating people. If you want to fillet your cock, it’s no weirder than my nose job. But it should be your choice.

    Also, this video needs more dick.

  65. Xeni Jardin says:

    More dick is never a bad idea.

  66. Major Variola (ret) says:

    More dick… I think its a secret Shinto plot. Look, first the laddie calls himself Ninja, then there’s Shinto phallic icons. You think they’re SA but really they’re Japanese plants.

    Yo-Landi is from the same planet in the future as XJ, look at them, that’s why the latter is pushing the group ;-)

  67. Anonymous says:

    “it’s not a critique of cultural practices. It’s a critique of forcibly mutilating people”

    Cicumcision is a cultural practice. To call it “forced mutilation” goes beyond pure observation.

    Also, I’d like to add that Africa is a big continent, and Vice Magazine’s anthropological exploits in Uganda are not necessarily relevant to the Xhosa way of doing things.

    Furthermore, within Xhosa culture, there are serious initiation schools, and there are not so serious ones. Unfortunately, the latter are often conducted by charlatans, with sometimes dire consequences for the participants.

    There is, however, nothing inherently wrong with circumcision or other initiation/coming of age rituals. These kinds of sweeping condemnations are not doing anybody a favour, except maybe people who enjoy feeling righteous indignation over something of which they are far removed, and certainly not particularly well-informed about.

  68. Benjamin Nortier says:

    “Your culture isn’t superior. Nor is your taste in music.”
    Quote of the day

  69. Major Variola (ret) says:

    But we don’t do that to teen males. I thought you objected to that traditional practice of their culture? I mean, I thought you claimed a valid objective ‘this is wrong’ claim on their cultural practices. Am I mistaken?

    Musicwise, you really think this carries as well as their earlier
    stuff? Aesthetically?

  70. Xeni Jardin says:

    Your culture isn’t superior. Nor is your taste in music.

  71. Xeni Jardin says:

    I didn’t say “this is wrong.” It’s a complicated thing, passing judgement on other people’s cultural practices. Is dominant American culture superior to Xhosa tribal culture? I ain’t goin there.

    I’m just attempting to explain the story behind the song (and video), as told to me by the folks who made it. I’m not the cultural correctness police.

    This dude definitely has the right to say “it’s wrong” in very direct terms because it’s his culture and his people and, if you’ll pardon me for being so blunt, his genitals.

    Musicwise, yeah, I think this is their strongest track yet. Diplo makes mad beats.

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