With the success of their first single “Enter the Ninja,” they’ve been heating up the South African hip-hop scene since 2009 and were signed to Interscope Records in the following months after its release.
You may be asking yourself Die Antwoord, who’s that? Are they really hip-hop artists? If they’re from South Africa do they even sing in English?
The answers are yes and yes.
Die Antwoord has defined its own genre as “Zef,” which is based on South African counterculture, but they draw the majority of their influences from hip-hop and rap/rave.
Zef is an Afrikaans word that translates into “common,” but the people involved with it are anything but.
“It’s associated with people who soup their cars up and rock gold and sh*t. Zef is, you’re poor but you’re fancy. You’re poor but you’re sexy, you’ve got style.”
And not only does Die Antwoord sing, they rap! Their lyrics are a mix of English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa (an African language).
Just as their lyrics are completely confusing, so is their aesthetic, which teeters between hyper-realism and fantastical elements; so don’t be alarmed! It’s all part of the shock value to get you to pay attention.
The group recently split from Interscope and created their own label Zef Recordz because they felt pressure to make music just like everybody else. The wild rappers would prefer to do their own thing and are happy if anyone just so happens to like it.