Embrace your inner zef. That is the true mission of South African "futuristic rap-ravers" Die Antwoord. Well that, and to teach you at least 27 new ways to say fuck you. If you haven't seen MC Ninja and his female cohort Yo-Landi Vi$$er "all up in the interweb" over the past year or so, then you've missed out on these culture-punks' unlikely rise to fame. Zef refers to the grimy and proud embrace of the lower-middle class way of life in South Africa. It's essentially a newer echoing of things once potentially dubbed "white-trash," yet with more of a sarcastic appreciation and self-aware knowledge of how outsiders view them. Completing pushing the envelope and taking pride in being offensive, it's hard to tell whether their confidence in the lifestyle is really all just an act -- but the point is it doesn't matter.
Musically, Die Antwoord cover the entire range of rave scene sub-genres, with the connecting factor being the aggressive, raunchy, and at times comical hooks layered over the top. In other words, these songs are unified in zef, and the band couldn't give two shits if you might find their references corny. "In Your Face" sounds oddly reminiscent of the Donkey Kong arcade music, yet with violently thrown in quotations from both Cypress Hill and South Park. A twisted reggaeton beat in "Evil Boy" meshes overtly detailed sexual encounters with quotations from both Ren & Stimpy and Little Red Riding Hood. "Beat Boy" details an unsightly encounter with a young woman's menstrual cycle, while stealing the chorus from the early 90's children's toy, Bop-It.
Yet amongst these rhythms composed of your mother's nightmares, there are still plenty of moments that stand out for their tones rather than their novelty. The cries of "fuck the upper-class" and outspoken independence in "Rich Bitch" lie somewhere down the evolutionary chain once started by Dylan on "Maggie's Farm." The minimalist instrumental track "$0$" harkens to the dance-grooves of early Daft Punk. Some may not be able to get past the blatant vulgarity to the music underneath, but fans of Frank Zappa and Eminem didn't agree with everything they said either. You may not sing along on "Enter the Ninja" when he says "This is the coolest song I ever heard in my life," but he sure seems to believe it. You may not know what it is Yo-Landi has when she sings in "$Cope" -- "I got what you want but you never gonna get it" -- but there's no doubt you want to find out.