Excerpt from Static: Adam Haupt Explores Whether Die Antwoord Are Blackface
The Mail & Guardian has shared an excerpt from Static: Race & Representation in Post-Apartheid Music, Media & Film by Adam Haupt.
In this extract Haupt looks at Die Antwoord‘s use of language and symbols associated with the Cape Flats gang culture and considers whether or not this can be seen as “blackface”:
“Brother man, I’m blacker than you. I’m keeping it real … ”
Although Die Antwoord’s parodies reference white and coloured working-class subjects, it is clear that the artists themselves are far better resourced than the subjects of their work. The set design, props, costumes, cinematography and editing of the band’s first music video, Enter the Ninja, suggest that a great deal of conceptualisation and expertise went into producing this video.
The video opens with Ninja (aka Waddy Jones) addressing the camera directly: “Checkit. Hundred per cent South African culture. In this place, you get a lot of different things. Blacks, whites, coloureds. English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu, watookal [whatever]. I’m like all these different things, all these different people, fucked into one person.”