Album Review: Die Antwoord -$O$ (Polydor)

One album in and this Afrikaaner hip-hop joke is already past its sell-by date

OK, let’s knock this on the head now. At first, for half a crack-addict’s heartbeat, it was kind of intriguing. Vanilla Ice’s gold-toothed gypsy thief half-brother, a square fringed boy-girl sidekick thing with a chipmunk voice, some other guy and a video featuring a DJ with progeria (the genetic condition which makes its young sufferers look like they’re in old age) pedalling a new Afrikaans genre called Zef. Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and other dude tickled the zeitgeist’s fancy for three days in September 2009.

But then it carried on. And on. And 12 months later, we woke up to Radio 1’s terminally unfunny bladder Comedy Dave singing along to ‘Enter The Ninja’, [a]Katy Perry[/a] tweeting the track’s lyrics and Poly-fucking-dor reissuing an album the band already gave away for free. Which would be fine if [a]Die Antwoord[/a] had the goods to back it up, but like [a]Fischerspooner[/a] and ultimately [a]The Darkness[/a] before them, their shit fell off the back of a lorry with a bump.

$o$’ sounds like the most half-baked efforts of [a]Hadouken![/a], LMFAO and Eugene Hutz and is peppered with needless nursery rhymes, aimless ‘fucks’ and in the case of tracks like ‘Fish Paste’ would sound half-arsed back in ’94. Lyrically, meanwhile, it’s all drunk 14-year-olds-style abuse and fronting.

It’s not all bad. The silence between the final track and the hidden track is the most welcome silence you’ve ever not heard. And actually that instrumental hidden track is OK, as is the pared-down rave-hop ‘Rich Bitch’ and ‘Evil Boy’, a kind of synthy fanfare rap hybrid produced by [a]Diplo[/a].

A common theme across the album is that any haters are jealous (check ‘In Your Face’’s opening couplet’s rumination: “Jealous-eee makes you nasteee/In your face, in your face”). Fine. Colour me green, but please put this band down now.

Tim Chester

Click here to get your copy of Die Antwoord’s ‘$O$’ from Rough Trade Shops.

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