Follow TV Tropes


Music / Die Antwoord

Go To
Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er.
Die Antwoord ("The Answer") is a South African satirical rap group, with lead MCs Watkin Tudor Jones aka Ninja and Anri du Toit a.k.a. Yo-Landi Vi$$er. DJ Hi-Tek often appears with them, but it has not been confirmed whether they are a real musician or an actor in costume.

One of the many musical projects Watkin has had. They started as Max Normal, later Max Normal.TV, doing "motivational raps" in Power Point presentations in local festivals. This eventually morphed into Die Antwoord, finally catching the attention from international media.

The group uses "zef" imagery, which That Other Wiki defines as "a white, lower-middle-class subculture that glorifies cheap stuff". They're known for their High Concept videos and having a dedicated cult of followers.

They have been championed by Xeni Jardin of popular website Boing Boing. Both of them moved into acting by playing major roles in Neill Blomkamp's South African deconstruction of "cute robot" stories, Chappie.

They announced in 2017 that all their music videos were in fact part of a TV series they've been developing, called South African Ninja. Its release date is unknown.


  • $O$ (2009)
  • Ten$ion (2012)
  • Donker Mag (2014)
  • Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid (2016)
  • House of Zef (2020)
  • The Book of Zef (release date uncertain)

Die Antwoord and their music contains examples of:

  • Amicable Exes: Yolandi and Ninja were together at one point and it resulted in their child, Sixteen, but they eventually broke up some time before Die Antwoord was created and are now very close best friends.
  • Appropriated Appellation: The word "zef". In an interview Ninja said: "Zef is like dirt, it’s like scum, there was no zef movement before we came along. It was an insult, it’s like eurghh, talking shit about people. (...) It’s the blackest joke, Yo-landi just being like, ‘Let’s be zef.’ She started telling me all this zef slang and I’m like, ‘Jesus, they swear so bad.’ She started swearing and swearing and saying ‘we zef’, which is like saying ‘I’m a piece-of-shit scumbag, I’m that person you hate, I’m that thing you’re embarrassed about.’"
  • Asshole Victim: The racist wheelchair seller the duo shoots in Umshini Wam.
  • Ass Shove: Anies rather unceremoniously does this to Yo-landi at the end of the "Cookie Thumper".
  • As Himself: In Chappie they are a pair of lowlife rappers who "adopt" the title robot.
  • Beauty Inversion: This is what they looked like before they went zef.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed:
    • "Raging Zef Boner", though it's also subverted in that most girls are too scared to go near it:
      ''Girls wiggling, giggling, telling me I'm the man
      But everytime I take off my fucking underpants
      Some girls start crying some girlies run away
      And I'm like "what the fuck man, okay?"
      Just relax yourself baby it's gonna be okay
      It's not my fault I was born this way
    • "Evil Boy" also claims this about uncircumcised penises. Yes, really.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • They frequently rap in Afrikaans. "Evil Boy" also features a verse in Xhosa. "Fok Julle Naaiers", off of Ten$ion, translates to "Fuck All You Fuckers."
    • The Afrikaans in "Cookie Thumper" reveal how Yo-landi's been trying to stop Anies having anal sex with her.
  • Black Comedy Rape: DJ Hi-Tek Rulez chants that said DJ will "fuck you in da ass".
  • Black Eyes of Evil: In "I Fink U Freeky". Yo-landi also had them during NYC Fashion Week 2013.
  • Boastful Rap: Most of their songs.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Yo-Landi's persona in the video for "Baby's On Fire".
  • Brick Joke: A rare literal version! In the 2011 short film Umshini Wam, Yo-Landi chants "I'm old enough to bleed/I'm old enough to breed/Old enough to crack a brick in your teeth while you sleep." A year later, the "Baby's on Fire" music video ends with Yo-Landi hurling a brick at Ninja's face as he holds her latest boy-toy at gunpoint.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: In "Zars" Ninja goes different South African accents such as Zef, English and Afrikaans.
  • The Cameo:
  • Catchphrase: "Zef".
  • Chained to a Bed: Yo-landi's verse on "Evil Boy" has her boast about seducing a man, making him think they're about to engage in bondage play. She handcuffs him to a bed, blindfolds him, takes his pants off... then steals his wallet and runs off.
    Yo-landi: Let me take your pants off, let's see what you made of
    Go through your pockets no, we're not gonna make love
    Go through your wallet, wow! Look at all this paper
    What a fucking sucker, see you later, masturbator!
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Yo-Landi.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Frequently.
  • Death Glare: Ninja's default expression, as seen above.
  • Do Not Call Me Watkin / Do Not Call Me Anri
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The owner of the wheelchair store, from their "Umshini Wam" short film. He might have been a bigoted old prick, but it takes balls of steel to stare into the barrel of a gun and say: "No. Fok YOU!" Doubles with Villainous Valour.
  • Entropy and Chaos Magic: They are real life practioners of Chaos Magic and that is prominent in many songs like Pitbull Terrier. Chaos Magic websites and paranoid Christian ones alike have pages breaking down the symbolism in their videos.
  • Fan Community Nickname: "Zeflings".
  • Fanservice: Intentional or not, Yo-Landi is scantily clad in most videos.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • In addition to the Fanservice, Yo-Landi is usually covered with filth and/or wearing creepy makeup prosthetics and/or freaky contacts that cover her whole eyes and/or covered in unsettling animals like rats and giant moths and/or doing things like using the toilet and/or making Nightmare Faces.
    • Ninja is all fan-disservice all the time.
    • And then there's Anies in "Cookie Thumper", a scary black man who's missing his front teeth, which he shows off quite frequently. It doesn't help that it cuts quickly between him and Yo-landi and her back-up dancers.
  • Gag Penis: The video for "Evil Boy"; the EVIL THING in "Fatty Boom Boom" has two of 'em.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: As the page image shows, Ninja towers over petite Yo-Landi.
  • "I Am" Song: "Enter the Ninja."
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: In the "Baby's On Fire" video, in which Ninja manages to miss a non-moving human from five feet away.
  • Incest Subtext: Played with in the video for "Baby's On Fire," in which Ninja and Yo-Landi play brother and sister, and Ninja chases every single boy Yo-Landi wants to hook up with out of her room with gradually intensifying weapons.
  • Intercourse with You:
    • "Beat Boy", "U Make A Ninja Wanna Fuck" and part of "Evil Boy".
    • The song "Sex" on Donker Mag
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The drummer in "Fatty Boom Boom" has Ninja's favorite words written on him; they include "peace", "care", "love", "play", "respect", "kindness", and "joy".
  • Mama Bear: "Do Not Fuk Wif da Kid" indeed.
  • Mood Whiplash: Played for Laughs in the short sketch "Dont Fuck Me":
    Ninja: [very menacingly] Don't fuck me, Tony. Don't you ever try to fuck me.
    Yo-landi: [in background] Ninja, who are you speaking to?
    Ninja: [completely normally] Oh, just leaving a message for Tony.
  • The Movie: "Umshini Wam",a short film they did with Harmony Korine.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: The video for "Baby's on Fire", where the two play siblings, exposes the Double Standard this trope creates. Ninja sleeps with every girl in town, but flips out the moment Yo-Landi tries to have a sex life of her own.
  • Older Than They Look: Yo-Landi is 34, but looks 15/16 at most. She utilizes it in "Cookie Thumper", where she plays a sexualized teenaged orphan. Ninja is 44 and still looks like he could be in his mid-to-late twenties.
  • Protest Song: "Evil Boy," against the Xhosa practice of ritual circumcision of adolescent boys, often with dirty tools and without anesthetic.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Any of their songs fall under this. If you have a working knowledge of Xhosa, Zulu and Afrikaans... HOO BOY!
  • Rich Bitch: They have a song with this title.
  • Shirtless Scene: Ninja. Even when he's wearing a shirt in "I Fink U Freeky" it's got holes for his nipples.
  • Shout-Out: To pop culture and their favorite artists, plus:
    • Max Normal was named after the Judge Dredd character.
    • "Rich Bitch"'s video could be a parody/homage to Sublime's "Wrong Way": both have girls trapped in poverty with their horrible father and brothers and take the wrong way out — "Wrong Way"'s heroine is forced to become a prostitute who hooks up with the wrong guy while Yo-landi sets her house and family on fire.
    • "I Fink U Freeky" seems to take at least a little inspiration from the photo of two inbred South African brothers (lower right). The video was produced by photographer Roger Ballen, who took that photo of Dresie and Casie.
    • "Fatty Boom Boom" has a reference to District 9. They're apparently fairly close friends with Neil Blomkamp; see also As Themselves.
    • The prosthetic arm Ninja wears in parts of "Evil Boy" is also clearly from District 9.
    • Ninja's mustache(?) looks kind of like a Klingon's.
    • "Raging Zef Boner" starts off with Yo-Landi asking what Ninja's going to do today. Same thing he does every day: kick some zef raps. Try to take over the world.
    • Of all things, there's a Azumanga Daioh reference at the end of "Girl I Want 2 Eat U" - specifically, one of Chiyo's cooking segments from the dub.
    • Two words: Aphex Twin. From Ninja having the Aphex Twin symbol tattooed on his arm, to the two of them performing alongside Rich in 2010, to "Ugly Boy" containing a sample from "Ageisolis" from SAW 85-92, to the grinning mask from his "Windowlicker" video being featured in the vid for "Ugly Boy", it's not hard to tell that these two are big on Aphex Twin.
    • "Flame on, mothafuckas!" in "Baby's On Fire".
    • Ninja getting up at the end of "Baby's on Fire" with his gun is the same stance that the The Terminator arrives in.
    • One of Yolandi's lines in "Baby's on Fire" is "I rock more bling than Mr. T", with a portrait of him appearing in her bedroom in the music video.
  • Something Else Also Rises: In "Evil Boy,"
    Even though you lying down, I can make you stand up! -
  • Soprano and Gravel: Ninja's voice isn't especially low, but Yolandi's is high enough that just about everyone's voice is low in contrast.
  • Stealth Parody: They are actually a satirical musical project, one of the many Ninja and Yolandi already had, but a lot of people, including even media specialized in music, are not aware of that fact. Overlaps with Stylistic Suck.
  • Take That!:
    • "Fok Julle Naaiers", which is a shot at... everything, really.
    • To Lady Gaga directly in "Fatty Boom Boom" (she had asked the duo to open for them in South Africa - the pair responded by having a fake Lady Gaga drag queen get chased around South Africa, pull prawns out of her vagina, and eaten by a lion); to Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Akon, and Pit Bull plus Gaga as a multiheaded Beast of Revelations-type monster with two giant Gag Penises that's shitting out The Black Eyed Peas on a mural titled "EVIL THING", which is getting shot by Archbishop Desmond Tutu's automatic Bible).
    • To Dr. Dre's headphones in "I Fink U Freeky". Reportedly, they have beef with the director in charge of marketing Dre's headphones.
    • Pitbull later gets his throat torn out in the MV for (what else) "Pitbull Terrier".
    • To Ludacris (specifically, mocking his collaboration with Justin Bieber) in "Hey Sexy".
    • Parts of "Ugly Boy"'s music video inverts Robin Thicke's Blurred Line's video, complete with the dancing. Except this time, Ninja's the one getting naked.
  • Tears of Blood: Yo-Landi, in the "Ugly Boy" video.
  • They Cleaned Up Nicely: Yo-landi and Ninja, pre-Die Antwoord.
  • The Voiceless: DJ Hi-Tek, who never speaks and almost always wears some sort of mask.
    Ninja:...when Hi-Tek walks in the motherfucking room like: "..."
  • You Dirty Rat!: Yo-Landi loves her rats, and show them off in a few music videos - often in grimy situations.