Kings of the Alex Theatreby Mello Moropa / 02.03.2010
“She’s so small! She’s too big to be a midget, but too small to be a normal adult.” My girlfriend says in awe of Yo-Landi Vi$$er, the pint-sized, potty-mouthed, effervescent member of Die Antwoord. You know you’ve made it when people start telling stories about how they knew you way back in standard 1 when you shat your pants before second break. And that’s how it is with Die Antwoord; everyone’s an expert. If you knew them before they were big (and they are big), Jou Ma se Poes in n’ Fishpaste Jar!
Their much anticipated Jozi gig took place at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein. A man walks on to stage with a clapperboard. “Die Antwoord! Alexander Theatre, Take one!” Clap! A camera on a dolly sweeps across the crowd and towards the stage, capturing a jungle of raised hands and ironic hairstyles before finally settling on Yo-Landi in all her glorious, back–lit, zefness. She’s wearing an oversized hoodie, and we can’t see her face yet. Her body jerks, in time with the electro-barrage hammering out of the sound system. This is going to be good.
Ninja (you might remember Waddy Jones, Max Normal that guy from Constructus, that guy from the Original Evergreen) makes his entrance and yes the crowd goes wild. I don’t know most of the songs but I’m in the minority. All around me people are reciting each song word for word. These two natives in expensive sneakers and Louis Vuitton backpacks climb up the scaffolding and begin dancing 2 meters above the dance floor. I’m thinking, “these fucking monkeys are going to fall on top of me,” Waddy’s thinking, “that shit looks awesome!” The Ninja tells one of the camera operators to shoot that. And for a split second, he exposes his game, his marketing nous.
Die Antwoord is an audio-visual pop machine. Each move is calculated and they are speeding towards super-stardom faster than a Ford Cortina down the R21. Someone asks me, “but do they have legs, will they last?” We are talking about an ou who’s been chasing his dream for more than 15 years with Thomas Edison like persistence. Back in 2008 Ninja prophetically exclaimed, “Die Antwoord rap crew is going to perform live before the screening of Die Antwoord feature film at the Cannes Film Festival in the overseas.” I hope I’m there when it happens, and I hope to God that people don’t talk too loud in the movies.
All images © and courtesy our friends at OiJozi.com