Reports that South African internet rap sensation Die Antwoord have been signed to a major US record label are untrue, although the group did meet with a major record label during their trip to Los Angeles.
“I know that the Interscope deal is all over the net but nothing has been signed yet. Negotiations are underway so no details can be made available at this stage,” said Diane Coetzer, press liaison for Die Antwoord, on Thursday last week.
A Google search with the words “die+antwoord+sign+us+record+label” yielded 36,400 results, but news that Interscope Records, who represent the likes of 50 cent, Black Eyed Peas, M.I.A and the Pussycat Dolls, have signed a deal with Die Antwoord has been presumptive.
Band members Ninja (aka Waddy Jones, previously of MaxNormal fame) and Yo-landi Vi$$er are on their way back from Los Angeles after their rapid ascent to international celebrity, due largely to their YouTube music video Enter the Ninja.
Shortly after the videos release on February 2 it went viral, with the result that millions of hits crashed the group’s local server and caught the attention of overseas music industry players.
The group has been gaining in popularity as the icon of the rise of “zef”, a word that describes blue-collar South African culture and lifestyle – Ninja can often be seen in nothing but his boxer shorts and Yo-landi opts for head-to-toe gold synthetics when performing songs with titles like Doos Dronk, Wat Pomp, and Wie Maakie Jol Vol.
Although many of the group’s international fans are unable to understand the mixture of English and Afrikaans rapid-fire lyrics, they have embraced the music and videos, posting reams of comments praising it and sometimes requesting translations. Die Antwoord’s Facebook fan page is swamped with pleas that the group come to various countries and one fan yesterday (subs: Thurs) posted a photograph of her new tattoo that reads “Ninja”.
Die Antwoord’s website has received over 20 million hits in the last month.