Die Antwoord, S. African zef-rap, and Progeria survivor Leon Botha


So, a couple days ago, I blogged about South African band Die Antwoord (in English, "The Answer"), after my friend Clayton Cubitt pointed me to them. Here's the earlier BB post. You gotta watch the video and read the lyrics. Since that BB post went up, boom! goes the internet. BB commenter Wingo summed up my reaction by writing:

I am both terrified and highly pleased by this. It's utterly confusing to my sensibilities, yet I cannot say that I am not entertained by it.

Like Juggalos, but with more Jaegermeister! In this update post, after the jump: more Die Antwoord videos, more about the band's origins, and more about Leon Botha, the 24 year old artist and Progeria survivor who appears in their videos. The image above is a screengrab of Botha in this neat Flash page on dieantwoord.com. Read on…

An anonymous BB commenter wrote, "The guy with progeria [in the Die Antwoord videos] is artist/DJ Leon Botha, who is one of the world's oldest progeria survivors, and probably deserves a boingboing post of his own."

Indeed he does. Here is Leon Botha's website. Here is his Flickr stream, and here is a photo-essay about/with him. Snip from description:

Artist Leon Botha, one of the world's longest surviving Progeria sufferers, and photographer Gordon Clark embark on a collaborative and artistic adventure, exploring the questions of destiny and immortality to bring us this powerful photo series Who Am I? Transgressions.

Back to Die Antwoord now. Here's a Vice interview. This article in the Mail and Guardian sums up their origins well. Lots of audio links and photos here. And look, a Facebook group.

Embedded below, another Die Antwoord video: partying in a taxi.

Die Antwoord frontman Waddy Jones previously founded another art/music project called Max Normal (as far as I can tell, most of the people in Die Antwoord were also involved in Max Normal). One of their videos is embedded below — it's Waddy drawing a panda.

Below, a MaxNormal music video. Here was the Max Normal MySpace, and here's a live performance video.

"Zef" is a word that often comes up in articles about Die Antwoord, and other artists mentioned in this post. Roughly speaking, it's Afrikaans slang for "redneck," or "white trash." South African blogger (and BB reader) Kameraad Mhambi has written more about that, and the broader phenomenon of Die Antwoord and related South African groups. Here are a few of his posts: Ninja is the new James Phillips. Another post + video on his blog here. More: Zef soo fresh – Die Antwoord, and Die Antwoord is the Answer. Also, A Ninja Broke My Heart, and I'm a Ninja.

Video below: Die Antwoord – Wat Pomp

If you like Die Antwoord's vibe, you might find this video suggested by a BB reader in the ealier thread interesting: The Opposites featuring Gers and Sef: Broodje Bakpao.

And then there's Afrikaner rapper Jack Parow, who appears on two tracks in the forthcoming Die Antwoord release, $0$:

And finally, Clayton Cubitt (who first turned me on to Die Antwoord) says, "Also check out South African photographer Roger Ballen. He did Die Antwoord's album cover, and their 'Wat Pomp' video."

Previously: Afrikaans rap-rave: Die Antwoord, "Zef Side [Beat Boy]"

(HT: BB commenter Moshang, Ladyfingers, and anonymous).