At the beginning of their career, South African rave-rappers Die Antwoord stated that they would release five albums and then "disappear." With their fourth album, Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid, set for release September 16 on Zef Records/Sony, the once-forgotten promise rears its head again. And despite achieving worldwide fame and going on sold-out tours across the globe, Die Antwoord are sticking to their guns.
In a recent interview with Exclaim!, Ninja confirmed that the group are set to officially disband in September, 2017. "Die Antwoord dies on that day. It's all over. I feel beautiful about it. I'm not scared of the end. I'm a Ninja. I'm not scared of death."
As you might expect from the duo, they're not just going to fizzle out unceremoniously. Die Antwoord are going to finish with a huge art project at the MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Modern Art Africa) in Cape Town, South Africa, followed by a movie that serves as a retrospective look at their career.
"There's this movie we're making called South African Ninja, that we've been working on forever — literally like ten years — and we've just been finishing it off now," Ninja says. "That's been our well that we've been drinking from and drawing from since the beginning of Die Antwoord. We actually started writing it before Die Antwoord. So, it's been in the background for all of our ideas, which have all come from this film. It's a South African gangster film that has African ninjas in it. Everything in the film is fictitious, like a regular movie, but it's hard and raw, and everything has some parallel to our lives, so it's got a surreal connection to everything."
While specific details about a fifth album and its accompanying art exhibition are being kept secret, we are told that artist and photographer Roger Ballen will be presenting the show.
"The art exhibition asked us to do it ourselves, and feature Roger Ballen in it, and we said that we didn't want to do that," Ninja explains. "We want Roger Ballen to present us, 'cos of all the influences we have, he's pretty much hands-down number one. He's the one who spawned us. We are literally like his disciples, his visual disciples. We make music, he does visuals. We're his children. He's like our art master. He took the first ever photograph of us. That's why when I said we want to show a retrospect of our life's work, it has to be presented by him. We told the gallery, otherwise we won't do it."
Update: Die Antwoord's Yolandi Visser posted on Instagram on September 9 denying the breakup, although she did confirm other facts reported in this story.
Check out the latest Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid single, "Fat Faded Fuck Face" below.