Published Oct 25, 2010Let's not kid ourselves, Die Antwoord are a dirty joke. But if you get the joke, then Die Antwoord are the answer literally. In Afrikaans, Die (pronounced dee) Antwoord means just that: "the answer."
As a conceptual art project from South Africa, the rave/rap group have truly taken on a life of their own. And if frontman Ninja could, he would remind you that they are a mouth full. Made up of two tight-rhyme-wielding rappers and a DJ who drops some seriously heavy beats and synths, Die Antwoord bring provocative lyrics and shocking imagery, which, when combined, all help you get to the "next level." And that's the part of Die Antwoord that isn't a joke: these guys actually have some musical talent.
This brings us to Toronto's Phoenix, where from start to finish, the audience was dominated by Die Antwoord's music. The band were beckoned onstage by a chanting crowd teeming with palpable excitement and curiosity. From the first note, heads were bouncing along to the grimy beats and super-speed raps with an intensity that made the balcony vibrate. It was impossible not to get caught up in the energy of Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek.
The highlight of the evening came during "Zef Side," when Ninja came out in his Pink Floyd boxers and started doing his "Dark Side of the Wang" dance. And while whirling his wang around, Ninja controlled the audience; the more he swirled his magical hype ween, the louder the crowd cheered against the pounding base.
At this point Yo-Landi had already pulled down her trademark golden spandex wonders to moon concertgoers who were eating out of the palms of Die Antwoord's questionable hands. Whatever you may think of them, one thing was made clear: Die Antwoord put on one hell of a live show.