I have a little confession to make: I don’t listen to a lot of modern music anymore. It’s not that I’ve reached some middle-aged phase in which I only tune in to ‘adult contemporary’ radio stations (which apparently play Nirvana nowadays? WTF); as a matter of fact, most of the time I’m listening to podcasts instead of live broadcasts nowadays, and as a result I’m simply not exposed to current musical trends –with some rare exceptions.
One of those exceptions is Die Antwoord, the controversial South African rap group composed of Ninja, Yo-landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek. Both their music and visual aesthetics are so vibrant and in-your-face that passive indifference is just simply impossible –you either <3 it of h8 it. But for me Die Antwoord is more than just music, though; It's a glimpse of what the interconnected 'mashup-ness' of the digital global village is going to really look like, beneath the flimsy veneer of corporate uniformity mainstream media is constantly bombarding us with: Chaotic, raw and ethnically eclectic despite of the use of universal symbolism.
It’s really no wonder Ninja and Yo-landi are such good friends of Neil Blonkamp, the maverick film-maker who earned a lot of critical and commercial success with his debut film District 9. Neil’s fictional worlds look realistic because they’re gritty and imperfect –More Mad Max than Star Trek. The Brave New World is going to be just a filthy and full of pornographic graffitti as ours; in such a future Banksy will be regarded as Rembrandt and Die Antwoord as The Beatles –and that’s just as delightfully ironic as alien guettos and robots speaking with Afrikaans accent.
Which is why I’m anxiously waiting to watch CHAPPiE once it finally arrives to a multiplex near me. Why, even Wired’s Angry Nerd gave it the two thumbs up! (sorta). In the meantime, here’s a short featurette showing Ninja and Yo-landi talking about their involvement in the film:
No doubt CHAPPie is going to be the first exposure to Die Antwoord’s music for a lot of movie-goers, who are probably not aware they actually paid to watch the biggest movie-length music video since Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker. They won’t know what fokken hit them, bra!
CHAPPie premieres in theaters around the world (and maybe others) starting March 4.