Die Antwoord: "Evil Boy" lyrics in Xhosa, English, Afrikaans, and Prawn


78 Responses to “Die Antwoord: "Evil Boy" lyrics in Xhosa, English, Afrikaans, and Prawn”

  1. Chang says:

    I could listen to 00:16 to 00:29 forever. Gonna loop that and put it on my running playlist.

  2. Chang says:

    I truly miss the progeriac kid. That dude was hardcore.

  3. kauwtje says:

    But I love Koos Kombuis: ‘Lisa se Klavier’ is beautiful!

  4. Chang says:

    I think Yolandi’s live white rat hoodie is gonna be a big hit at Target this Christmas.

  5. Bazilisk says:

    I am so glad to see the full lyrics here. Even though the description yesterday helped, these lyrics are the best. It’s still utterly weird and bizarre- but now, with full context, I understand it enough to dig it fully.

    And damn, it’s awesome.

    If their album downloads come with a .txt of lyrics and translations, or if those are on their site, then I’m downloading one through a legitimate, money-costing source.

  6. Anonymous says:

    if this is the answer, I’d luv to fukin see the question.
    gotta luv these gize!

  7. Anonymous says:

    These guys could only come from South Africa. It’s an amazing country and there’s something really special about this culture, the further we move from the bad old days the more incredible it’s going to get.

    So glad to see Afrikaans and Xhosa ripping it harder than any of those American posers!

    Fokken giftig, moenie stop die zef flow nie…

  8. Ja-Nee says:

    Two things:

    1. To the “is-she/is-she-not a vision of female empowerment” discussion: I read Yolandi’s actions in the video as making a statement about refusing intercourse with someone who doesn’t carry a condom (neither in the pocket nor in the wallet). That’s a pretty empowering statement, especially in the context of SA. I.e., she exercises her mastery over the physical situation via the metaphors of restraint and control (blindfold, shackles, “spell casting”), and then continues that same theme of mastery by examining her partner’s pockets and wallet – alas, “all this paper”, but no prophylactics. In the end, she rejects her suitor’s advances in order to protect herself. That’s a statement about strength and integrity if ever I saw one. (Although I’m still sort of unclear about what the white rat suit is all about.)

    2. I don’t read the “sneaky prawn” reference as a District 9 thing per se; I think of it as a reference to the Parkmore prawns that are all over the place. I could be wrong, though.

    Just my silly little thoughts on what is clearly an arresting and brilliant feat of performance art. I love the multiple layers of meaning, I love the reclaiming of Afrikaans for a new genre of music and a new generation of activists, and I love the mash up of amazing rap, insider humor and a satirical punk aesthetic.

  9. Ratdog says:

    Are they using District 9 props and references because they liked it, or to parody what non-SA people know about SA?

    • AtheistCleric says:

      More likely the former. And there are precious few pop culture references tied to South Africa that Americans or other “civilized” nations would get.

      Hence prawns.

      And yes, I’m from SA.

  10. bardfinn says:

    Eric Ragle:


    Feminism is the radical notion that women should be allowed to choose what to do with their own lives. Just because /you/ would not seduce and then exploit (in an artistic piece with layers of meaning and ironic-upon-ironic reversion and inversion) a man who is seeking to exploit /you/, does not mean that it’s wrong for Yo-landi to do so*.

    Strong women come to their own conclusions, make their own art, make their own statements, and if you merely see an advocacy of women to rely on their looks, then I believe you are perhaps not reading the text closely enough. I urge you to read it — not as an American, European, Canadian, what-have-you — but in the context that it was written (eisegesis, as opposed to exegesis).

    In any case, it is — and this is inarguably factual and reasonable to anyone who can read American English — your value judgements and your opinion do not change who and what /she/ is, they merely change who and what /you/ are.

    *(again, depicting the act to comment on the act and make aware the dichotomy between the genders is no more an advocacy of the act, than depicting a swastika to comment on it and make aware the dichotomy between white supremacists’ enjoyment of privilege and other people’s enjoyment of rights is not an advocacy of the Nazi’s policies.)

    (postscript: I hope you put that Internet in escrow. I might decide to claim it.)

    • Eric Ragle says:

      It’s weird how neither you or Xenu actually took the time to read my comment. I made it clear that TO ME her actions in the video did not indicate a “strong woman.”

      Stating what the essence of feminism is doesn’t change my opinion of her actions in that video, nor does it suddenly transform my opinion into a sexist one.

      Furthermore, to defend using sex to handcuff a man and steal his money as an act of feminism is really beyond what could be considered reasonable thought.

      So thanks, but no internet for you.

      • Ted8305 says:

        Well it’s not as bad as using sex to handcuff a man and cut off his foreskin with a kitchen knife, then rub it with ash.

        I can accept Yolandi’s actions in the video as simply the exaggerated actions of badass zef gansta, jy weet wat ek bedoel.

        • Eric Ragle says:

          This is true. Good point.

          • KevinLarryPeterman says:

            Just out of curiosity, did you have a problem with her lyrics in “Ninja”? She’s a butterfly and *needs* the services of a samurai for protection. Just screams strong doesn’t it?

      • fionnmatthew says:

        It’s weird how neither you or Xenu actually took the time to read my comment. I made it clear that TO ME her actions in the video did not indicate a “strong woman.”

        Stating what the essence of feminism is doesn’t change my opinion of her actions in that video, nor does it suddenly transform my opinion into a sexist one.

        Furthermore, to defend using sex to handcuff a man and steal his money as an act of feminism is really beyond what could be considered reasonable thought.

        So thanks, but no internet for you.

        You didn’t read bardfin’s comment properly, if you’re still making that objection. bardfin also made the point that just because you saw yo-landi do this stuff in the video doesn’t mean that she meant literally to endorse female sexual predatory behaviour, etc.

        Just about everything else in the video is nested under at least three levels of irony. DA have a history of using characters to make ironic commentary on hip hop cultural staples. To say you have an opinion on “her actions” in the video assumes you know unequivocally what *her* actions were, as opposed to those of an ironic persona possibly being deployed *by her* to subvert a stereotype.

  11. bardfinn says:

    And now the absurdity meter has blown, since I’m writing critical feminist analysis of the cultural reception of a South African rap / video depicting and discussing circumcision of penises.

    And the only one being criticised is the prick.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Correction: Umkhonto we Sizwe and not UMTHONDO WISIZWE! (penis of the nation
    Rather spear of the nation, which makes the song even better!

  13. bardfinn says:

    Rather, *an artistic depiction of an attitude and act for the purposes of commentary is no more advocacy of it, than depiction of a swastika for the purposes of commentary is advocacy of Nazism.

    The original footnote was making my brain hurt for some reason and it was only after hitting “submit” that it dawned on me.

    • Eric Ragle says:

      Except that it is an advocacy of it, albeit an indirect one. Of course if Ninja had made a video where he depicted the act of sexually molesting 3 year olds, you would of course agree with me. That’s the problem with internet-hubris, it never lets you admit when you’re wrong. I’m going to look for someone else to give my internet to.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Ohmygod we love you guys :D

  15. timbearcub says:


    I actually laughed out loud (for reals) when I read that one – though I heard his name in there…

  16. Anonymous says:

    watched it yesterday and liked it. watched it today and loved it. what will happen tomorrow?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m really glad they are promoting the use of condoms.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Ja no maar I didn’t know that a Tokoloshe has a groot piel.
    I was always told that it’ll strangle you in your sleep hence you gotta put bricks underneath your bed to raise it above its reach.

  19. boldlygo says:

    Soooo tired of this band and everyone who worships these non-entities. Cant wait for you all to snap out of it.

    • Eric Ragle says:

      Oh relax. No one is forcing you to watch their videos are read articles about them. From what I’ve seen, no one is worshiping them either. They are an interesting group with an interesting background that to some, make interesting music.

    • Crashproof says:

      I don’t get the fascination either. But then, I don’t get the banana frenzy or the subway map “remixes” or some of the other things that Boingy Boingers are into, and I don’t really expect to. I am happy to write about the things I do get on my own blog.

      • Crashproof says:

        (Or the fascination with Amy Crehore. Or the Internet Bacon Frenzy, or Fox News, or vinegar as a condiment, or why my computer is being slow right now when Task Manager says it’s 98% idle.)

  20. Anonymous says:

    The DJ in the video is the awesome Diplo. He produced alot of MIA singles. Just a little FYI

  21. Anonymous says:

    speletjies is spelled wrong… it has one “L” not two. thanx.

  22. Ted8305 says:

    So apparently umnqundu wakho is pretty much the worst possible cuss you can possibly say in Xhosa. Hope the .za censors don’t freak out, ’cause this is a pretty cool song and video.

  23. quarkum says:

    ‘Spelletjies’ means little spells, not little games. It’s an easy mistake as little games would be ‘spieletjies’. But looking at the spelling and the fact that she’s talking about magic, it’s spells not games.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      Both the spelling and the definition were provided directly by the band to Boing Boing. I’ll correct the spelling, but I think they were taking some poetic liberties with the nuance of the word; “spells” versus “little games.”

  24. KaiBeezy says:


    No really, seriously.

  25. poptart says:

    Thando Mgqolozana’s novel A Man Who Is Not A Man provides a slightly more nuanced understanding of Xhosa initiation. (Great interview with him here: http://www.sundayindependent.co.za/general/print_article.php?fArticleId=5056231. Excerpt from the novel: http://book.co.za/blog/2009/03/18/book-excerpt-a-man-who-is-not-a-man-by-thando-mgqolozana/) but the book is more about cultural failings, about the protagonist’s lack of support from the man who was supposed to be mentoring him, and checking up on him. Instead (SPOILER – although this it says as much in the blurb) his penis becomes infected and he suffers a partial amputation.

    But the betrayal of tradition wounds the protagonist almost as much as the physical mutilation.

    The circumcision is only part of the proces. It’s supposed to be a ritual of coming into manhood, of learning responsibility to your community and family, stepping up. But it’s been bastardised, watered down.

    The South African Department of Health is working with the circumcision schools to licence them, to ensure that the procedures are done hygienically and safely and to encourage initiates to be circumcised in clinics rather. Government health workers are supposed to visit initiates during their period of isolation in the bush to give them a proper medical check-up.

    Unfortunately, the number of initiation schools still operating illegally without any of the official medical check-ups leads to a score of deaths every year from infections. ( http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-06-17-eastern-cape-circumcision-death-toll-rises-to-20).

    The situation is further complicated in that circumcision is one of the best HIV interventions available right now http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/84/7/news10706/en/index.html (around 60% reduction in transmission, which isn’t perfect, and not as good as condoms, but still a Very Good Thing in a country with one of the world’s highest HIV infection rates)

    Ultimately, Evil Boy is right, adult circumcision should be a choice. If men choose to go through with it for whatever reasons, cultural or otherwise, they should be able to do so in hygienic and safe conditions.

    If they don’t, they shouldn’t be ostracised.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Near the end where Ninja goes “se fokken poes” and he and Yo landi put out there hands like Italians. I need a screen cap of that part because I want to use it as a wallpaper. If someone with a high res copy of video could do a screen cap I would be very thankful. =D

  27. Anonymous says:

    quarkum: ”Spelletjies’ means little spells, not little games. It’s an easy mistake as little games would be ‘spieletjies’.

    Game = spel, little games = speletjies. ‘Spieletjies’ does not exist. However, there is no word for ‘spell’ in Afrikaans that remotely resembles the English word ‘spell’, so they’re using the English with an Afrikaans diminutive ending. Little spells it is.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Ninja is apparently a buddhist (remember what they think about reality…), and from hearing his past work over the years, undoubtably a genius. I am am opposed to overtly sexual media in general but I can’t deny the visceral musical and visual impact of this video, off the charts.

  29. millrick says:


    i think i’ve just found a new motto

  30. Anonymous says:

    Where is DJ Hi-Tek!? That’s fine that diplo is hitching a ride but seriously, DJ Hi-Tek is crazy talented and is getting no love. The DA sound would have been nothing without him. DJ Hi-Tek, please do some solo work. You are who many want to hear mate! DJ Hi-Tek isn’t in the vid at all.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      As I understand it, he is not that much into being a publicly visible figure. He’s an extremely nice guy, and seemed somewhat shy and introverted when I met him. Agree that he is hugely talented.

  31. Anonymous says:

    “Photographs in this blog post by Kobus Holnaaier”

    hahahaha… that’s Kobus “Butf*cker” in Dutch ;)

  32. Anonymous says:

    Great vid taken live in taxi of “WAT KYK JY”

  33. Anonymous says:

    Just so you folks all know. It’s not pronounced Dye Ant word.
    It’s afrikaans, “The Answer” pronounced – Dee Aren’t-Vort.
    Heard US friend pronounce it as the former. now you can all be really cool.

  34. complicity says:

    In those heady days of yore when we started the tradition of popular Afrikaans music, we had a dream that, one day, young Afrikaans musicians would join hands with young musicians of other races and find a common voice. What has happened instead is this: the entire Afrikaans music scene has turned in upon itself, creating clone after clone, growing like a cancer on our cultural landscape, isolating itself from real people and real events. Most Afrikaans singers nowadays either sing about clichés like true love and pretty seagulls or they swear and vloek and gaan aan like the terrible vieslike rotten scoundrels they’d like to imagine they are. Afrikaans musicians are either shamelessly commercial or unbearably decadent. In the end, unfortunately, most of that glibness and most of that decadence is only skin-deep. It’s all just a bunch of gimmicks. There is a conspicuous lack of heartfelt passion and true desperation.

    Koos Kombuis, The bokkie stops here, 31 August 2010.

  35. DonnyMac says:

    Holy caulk!

  36. ameliamade says:

    First video post record deal and they are still ballistically weird and wonderful! YEAH!!!!! This made my morning.

    Off to work on my own rat coat.

  37. kaini says:

    the video is incredible, the track needs more ninja!

    that being said, his crazy machine-gun flow verse at the end melted my face off.

    there is a huge amount of funny in die antwoord, but what prevents it from being purely novelty music is the obvious talent and creativity that waddy and yolandi have seeping out from every pore of their next-level zef fokken beings.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Any dudes willing to dance around and play with that many cock props shouldn’t be on the stand defending themselves for being homophobes. All I’m saying is do your homework, Xeni made it real easy for ya, before you dismiss these folks as homophobic.

  39. brillow says:

    Looks like they got a case of the “not-gays”, how charming….

    • Anonymous says:

      that isn’t what it’s about, the guy “evil boy” was part of a tribe that exiled him because he refused to follow tradition, which is when they take a boy out back and circumcise him with a machete (most of which are rusted) then rub something in it and make him wait a certain amount of time and then he becomes a “man” and he refused, so was exiled by his tribe. Reread his rap it should make more sense now.

    • Anonymous says:

      Those that don’t agree with someones freedom of choices, Should at least respect that in your country you have the freedom to voice it…these people don’t…so they say whatever they think tho….regardless of political correctness…no one is on the net having a go at all the problems with people molesting kids….or the lack of education in this country…

    • Anonymous says:

      They’re not insulting gays at all. IF you even knew what this song was really talking about, you wouldn’t have the balls to say that. Just saying. Honestly, please research shit before you comment. This video isn’t about homophobia. It’s about forced male circumcision. RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH. Peace. Jou ma se poes.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @brillow, as noted in the post here, you may want to read the previous thread from yesterday for more on that. Backstory on that element.

      • brillow says:

        Yeah I see your point. Still though, its distasteful. The lyrics imply to me that he’s implying the person who wants to provide the circumcision is the gay one, not him. It seems to be more like saying “I’m not gay, you are!” than “That doesn’t make me gay, and so what if it did?”

        Also, what is the cultural meme exactly? If you don’t participate you are effiminate or weak? Or is the implication that you are, in fact, homosexual? To what degree is perceived effeminacy being conflated? And I read the interview about the South Park thing. Luckily Matt and Trey are not the arbiters of linguistic taboo.

        • 5ynic says:

          I agree, it is distasteful. In the context of much (tho of course not all) rap music from Southern Africa tho, referencing homosexuals in a song without actually threatening them with death or dismemberment pretty much makes you gay friendly. Sad but true.

  40. blorgggg says:

    They are kinda like if Black Eyed Peas got crazy radioactive sewage dropped on them and they mutated into something wonderful.

  41. MKCobra says:


    Another tidbit: Koos Kombuis is an Afrikaans musician and poet who was at the forefront of the so-called Voëlvry (free as a bird, or, more accurately, fugitive in Afrikaans) movement in the late 1980s. Then he was singing anti-apartheid protest songs, which, for an Afrikaaner at that point in time, was quite a brave thing to do. His best songs actually have great lyrics – dark and cynical – and he is certainly not a stranger to profanity (one of his songs contains 90 F-words).
    Today he continues to be an outspoken public figure, and he has become quite critical of the new democratic government and arguably more conservative when it comes to the preservation of Afrikaans as a language. A few months ago he published a harsh critique of Die Antwoord on the Afrikaans news site Rapport, citing their frequent use of “Poes” as one of the things that pisses him off about them (see the article here http://www.rapport.co.za/Rubrieke/KoosKombuis/Die-Antwoord-is-geen-antwoord-nie-20100220 or check out his other column in English at the Mail&Guardian website, where he also wrote about Die Antwoord http://www.thoughtleader.co.za/kooskombuis/2010/03/01/from-zen-to-zef-in-one-short-drive-to-kraaifontein/).
    That they diss him in Evil Boy, especially by referring to his “ma se fokken poes” is very funny (in an evil way) and a sign for how Die Antwoord manage to confuse the shit out of people not only abroad but also at home. Koos Kombuis might speak the same language as them but the double and triple irony in Die Antwoord’s performance has been lost on him somewhere in the 1990s when hip hop became big.

  42. hdon says:

    If I had only seen from about 00:43 to about 01:25 I would have been blown away.

    Can’t wait to hear this song in a DJ mix.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Master video en toffe muziekgroep die antwoord is kkr vet en al behoorlijk famous hier in nederland greetz

  44. warchild116 says:

    I think that literally all of you are reading way to far into this stuff… i mean… yea she maybe using sex 2 take sum guyz money but the retard went in and made it so she could, thatz his fault not herz… and for real, y is everybody hating on america? i mean seriously we may be jerks but every last person i’ve seen post has seemed like a jerk to me cuz u bash us… u may not like us… we more than likly don’t like u. on a less serious note… has anyone besidez me noticed that there penises fuckin every where in this vid!

  45. Frank W says:

    I love everything about this. It’s an all-out assault on any prejudice and any notion of “purity” you might have. Bastardize everything to the max. Change language mid-sentence. More moral ambiguity in one music video than in a whole year of Hollywood blockbusters. Punk. As. Fuck. And the closing image cracks me up every time.

    • pumeza says:

      One of the nice things about being South African and watching the world’s reaction to Die Antwoord is discovering just how much stuff I take for granted about everyday life here is unique. Like, the idea that it’s unusual to change languages in mid-sentence — that’s just what South Africans DO. For some reason I thought this was common in multi-lingual societies — isn’t it?

      • qousqous says:

        It is, but most native English speakers don’t live in a truly multi-lingual society.

        • Anonymous says:

          This would not surprise me. SA is truly a one of a kind. Barring all the negative aspects, there is truly no nation like us.

          Being born Afrikaans, we naturally will learn one or more other language very quickly, without formal instruction. (I recall my parents told me I learned English from Masters of the Universe cartoon on TV. :P)

          When in your twenties, as an Afrikaner, you will be fluent in English; most likely without instruction be able to understand dutch entirely, be able to follow German without difficulty and keep track of a dialog in one or more Black native languages, prominent in your area. (For me it’s seTswana and seSotho, with very little isiZulu here and there.)

          With many of my friends, a conversation will often switch between 3 different languages, sometimes where I can respond in the same language, sometimes not. Luckily we can pick from many languages to keep a conversation going. :)

  46. Ted8305 says:

    Another way to look at it: what if the singer was a gay man accused of being straight, and he said “I’m not straight. This is only for the boys!”

    It’s only offensive if you allow yourself to be offended. Considering that it’s already a video full of dicks and swearing, well….

  47. Chang says:

    I, uh… I… um…

    I need to watch this about 900 more times and I’m not sure even then if I will be able to say I like it or not.


  48. Eric Ragle says:

    I wanted to sleep on my initial reaction to this video, and I’m glad that Xeni posted the lyrics.

    Not that it matters what I think, but a couple of points:

    1. GREAT to see them still so wonderfully hyper and crazy. They definitely keep my attention.

    2. I, like a few other people, immediately thought that there was an anti-homosexual element to this until Xeni provided some back-story and lyrics. It’s good to see young black men taking a stand against the more primitive aspects of their culture.

    3. I was disappointed by the lack of Ninja. He was there, he was great, but still, it didn’t seem like he had enough lyrics to really get into the “zef-flow” of the song. When he cuts loose, it’s crazy.

    4. I love Yolandi, and I love strong women. Unfortunately for me, she wasn’t a strong woman in this video. She was a woman using sex to manipulate and rob someone. That isn’t strong in my eyes. That’s going along with the objectification of women as nothing more than sex objects. But I could be over-analyzing it at this point. I did love her in-the-camera-and-angry sections though. Complete badass.

  49. BastardNamban says:

    Everyone here should read that excellent interview. It explains everything,
    and gives backstory beyond Xeni’s already excellent explanations.

    Wanga’s backstory mixed into this video from a joke is hilarious. He’s got it hard, but I think he made the right choice. He’s got some mad skillz, and Ninja’s explanation of Wanga’s background peaked my interest. I’m a linguist, and I’ve heard of Xhosa dialect. I’m going to look up Xhosa culture and find out now what Wanga’s people are all about.

    And to anyone thinking Ninja’s a crazy loon- he seems quite intelligent and chill to me. Read his interview- the weird art I like is all his doing.

    I am going to start using UMNQUNDUWAKHO at every chance I get.

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