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Come to the Zef Side

Feb 14

I’ve been fascinated and captivated by the zef rap-rave band, Die Antwoord. The Cape Town, South African crew is blowing up on the Interwebs with the video, “Enter the Ninja.” It’s incredible — I don’t even know where to start…The most surreal / bizarre / creepy part of the video are the shots of Leon Botha AKA DJ Hi-Tek. The lyrics are part English, part Afrikaan slang — “Die Antwoord” is Afrikaans (or South African slang) for “The Answer.”

After watching “Enter the Ninja,” you are primed and ready for “Zef Side” (“zef” is South African slang for “redneck” or “white trash”). The introductory interview will give you a slight glimpse into the lives of these folks. Look out for the closeup that I like to call “Dark Side of the Fruit of the Loom.”

DJ Hi-Tek is really a fellow named Leon Botha. Leon is the longest surviving person with Progeria Syndrome is a rare disease which causes rapid aging and related health complications. He’s an amazing individual, and has shared his life with the world in many forms. On a sidenote, this video proves that my man Leon can certainly work a turntable. Leon recently completed a project called “Who Am I? Transgressions.” Here’s a video of Leon speaking about his life and a beautiful gallery of portraits by photographer, Gordon Clark. As one who is living on “borrowed time,” his message of immortality and destiny proves interesting.

Pitchfork Records writes in a post that: “The heavy use of Afrikaans and local slang automatically makes it stand out, but the accomplished, synth-heavy beats, and fully formed personalities of Ninja and Yo-Landi give Die Antwoord the potential to rise above the web’s YouTube hype cycle.”

I concur, they have skillz, an assumed street cred, and the layers of complexity to be more than the next Internet meme. Let’s not forget the undisputable “next level beats” that DJ Hi-Tek creates on his PC computer. I have no doubt that Die Antwoord’s brand of “zef rap-rave next level shit” will be around for awhile.

I’m in full anticipation to see the popularity of their debut LP, “$O$.” You can hear the whole album on 

DO NOT miss these videos:
Enter The Ninja
, Zef Side, Wat Pomp, Taxijam,

Die Antwoord Links:
Official Website, MySpace, Facebook, Wikipedia

Additional Articles on the Interwebs:
Reuters, “S. Afikaans rappers take Internet by storm
Vice Magazine, “Zef So Fresh
Boing Boing, “Zef Side [Beat Boy]
iAfrica, “What is Die Antwoord?
Boing Boing, “Die Antwoord’s newfound Internet fame: your love don’t pay my server bills
Mail & Guardian, “Zef side, stateside
Boing Boing, “Die Antwoord, S. African zef-rap, and Progeria survivor Leon Botha
Mahala, “Doef Doef, Danger, and Hot Sex


Add your comment

  1. Seldom Seen Smith
    May 18 at 12:36

    Great post. Couple of corrections. DJ Hi-Tek isn’t Leon Botha. Hi-Tek is the regular DJ for Die Antwoord and is the heavy guy in your post picture. Botha goes by the name DJ Solarize. Also, Die Antwoord isn’t quite slang for “The Answer” but rather Afrikaans for “The Answer”. Afrikaans is based on Dutch and Die Antwoord is the same in Dutch. There’s plenty of Afrikaans slang, but “die antwoord” is part of the actual language.

  2. admin
    May 18 at 12:39

    Thank you so much for the corrections. I appreciate the help in reporting the correct facts.

    Much appreciated. Sad I missed Die Antwoord on their stop in the States in San Francisco. Saw some video clips — was a great show…

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