When it comes to making strange and freaky hip-hop, no one does it better than Die Antwoord, the rave-rap group hailing from Cape Town, South Africa. Founded in 2008 by rappers Ninja and Yolandi Visser, as well as their producer DJ Hi-Tek, the group has become the bastion for the ‘zef’ movement, which is a counterculture in Africa that focuses on representing your true self through music, clothing, and thoughts, essentially not caring what others think of you or your style.
And, if you’ve seen a Die Antwoord music video or listened to one of their records, you know that the hip-hop group truly does not care what you think of them. The South African rappers have released three studio albums throughout their short, but prominent career, as well as a collection of EPs and mixtapes. Now, they’ve announced their next upcoming album, which will be called Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid. In preparation of the new album, Die Antwoord has released a statement, the tracklist, and the first single from the upcoming project, called “Banana Brain”.
The tracklist foreshadows a few surprising appearances from renowned burlesque model Dita Von Tesse and comedian/musician Jack Black, among others. As for their latest track, “Banana Brain”, the song starts with the Yolandi’s high-pitched voice and the expected rave-inducing beat. Once Ninja begins rhyming over the track, fans are instantly reminded of their uniquely strange style, which can hardly be compared to anything else out there right now. In their statement on the upcoming album, the group describes the record as “epic and sometimes vulnerable and sometimes sweet and romantic and so brave and full of mystery and win.”
The beginning of the group’s lengthy statement reads:
“When Ninji, ¥o-landi and God hooked up with The Black Goat and started recording Die Antwoord’s 4th album around 2 years ago the mood of the tracks we started banging out was rough and tough and mischievous and wild and hard and dark and at that point we were going to call this album RATS RULE, because in life you get the champions and the underdogs and in our minds we sometimes feel like 1 level below the underdogs in this fucked up pop world, but we also know our time is coming, and soon we gonna take over this whole bitch…”
The 16-track album is scheduled to be released in September, and should prove to be a formidable return for the chaotically exhilarating music of Die Antwoord. Until then, get your ears soaked in the sound of “Banana Brain”.
Listen to "Banana Brain" below.