Before 2009 if you had asked virtually anyone if they thought rapping with a heavy South African accent would propel one into the music charts in the US, they would have probably laughed at you, but after 2009 while most Saffers watched with their lower jaws suffering form gravity overload, Die Antwoord somehow came up with the answer to how to crack the US charts and their debut album $O$ crept into the Billboard 200 album charts, spending a week at number 109.
Aided by a disturbing video that went viral (and has nearly 70 million views at the time of writing) the skollie vocals of Ninja offset by the girlie chanting of Yolandi Visser and underscored by DJ Hi-Tek’s beats, Die Antwoord defied all odds and stepped onto the world stage. There is something catchy about the innocent lyrics ‘Ay-I Ay-I Ya I am your butterfly/ I need your protection’ which Yolandi introduces the song with and as the beat come in the song becomes quite danceable to while Ninja (aka Watkin Tudor Jones or Max Normal) lets loose with a hyperspeed rap that introduced the world to Zef culture.
Even after the initial excitement of the success of ‘Enter The Ninja’ few would have predicted that this new Zef fad was nothing more than a fad, but hats off to Die Antwoord who have gone from strength to strength and improved on the initial success their album, ‘Mount Ninji and da Nice Time Kid’ peaking at 34 on the US charts while ‘Donker Mag’ peaked at 37. I think it is fair to say that they have surprised all their doubters and detractors and they may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they certainly are doing something right and it started with this one, ‘Enter The Ninja’.
Where to find it:
$O$ – Die Antwoord (2009), Rhythm Records, RR118