Don't let the barriers you have built to define who you are blind you from appreciating the unfamiliar.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Die Antwoord - Enter the Ninja

Alright, new week, time to get out of the 90's

"Enter the Ninja" just came out a month ago and it already has over two million views on YouTube. Because of the popularity of the video, they just signed with Interscope and they are releasing a full length album. Also, Neil Blomkamp, the director of last year's South African action film hit "District 9," will be directing their new video. That is a pretty impressive feat for a rap group that no one has ever heard of. This video has turned some working class Afrikaners with prison tattoos and bad haircuts into stars.

The initial feeling I got from the video is that this is a joke, but a joke it is not. The head of rap ensemble, Ninja, is serious about his music. Ninja lives in a poor neighborhood in South Africa with his mom, next door to the "butterfly" in the video, Yo-Landi Vi$$er (she lives with her grandmother). They may have some odd, comical moments in the video and the song, but they are serious about their music.

A couple factors go into making this video successful. Ninja is a really skilled rapper. Not only is he quick and smooth, there are hints of brilliance in his lyrics. Although there is a bit of glitz and production, there is also a raw, unpretentious, unashamed layer that is really endearing. It straddles the area between off-putting and appealing.

Some of the strangeness comes in part from director David Lynch, the king of weird. Ninja says in an interview with that Twin Peaks changed his life:

I used to smoke a lot of weed," Ninja says. "Then I got my hands on a David Lynch Twin Peaks box set, and I watched the whole thing in one sitting, and it blew my mind. Special Agent Dale Cooper said something about pot being bad for you, and that convinced me that maybe I shouldn't smoke pot anymore. All of this now might be a little harder to take if I were.

In the interview, Ninja also indicates that he had meeting with David Lynch after the interview. Hopefully he wants to direct a video. Share/Bookmark

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