Die Antwoord is having one heck of a year.

The South African-based techno-loving shock rappers have skyrocketed to fame thanks to their latest album, intense live television appearances, and a handful of eye-opening music videos. There’s absolutely no reason they shouldn’t be having the time of their lives right now.

Although they’ve been making music since 2007, it’s hard not to be curious about a band that has suddenly gained such notoriety in the U.S. Considering all the recent hype, it’s also hard not to be skeptical. But Die Antwoord proved to an overly-excited Liberty Hall audience on Wednesday night that there’s more to them than all the hype, and they’re not just the flavor of the month.

Die Antwoord in Lawrence, Kansas from I Heart Local Music on Vimeo.

Skeptics were put in their place after Wednesday night’s animated (and scantily-clad) performance from the rappers. The longer the show went on, the more their clothes disappeared until finally the two were only sporting their underwear (Yo-Landi Vi$$er in a pair of pink panties with little hearts on them, and Ninja in some Pink Floyd boxers). DJ Hi-Tek was just about the only one who remained clothed throughout the night. Yo-Landi was particularly fond of flashing her bra to the audience, while Ninja was content with grabbing his crotch and shouting out his opinions to the world. The band was full of exciting wardrobe options, and at one point Yo-Landi appeared in a shimmering gold bodysuit, and poked her tush into the crowd so that the audience could happily oblige her demands and give her a good spanking.

The performers are a bit theatrical, but underneath the onstage antics is some true talent. There’s such a comfort between Yo-Landi and Ninja and the stage, and you can tell these are artists who truly, deeply, and intimately love what they do. When you go to a Die Antwoord show, you get to experience something that you won’t get out of their music videos and television appearances. The intensity of the live performance from musicians who share a strong connection with each other and with their art form overwhelmed much of the crowd, and it was hard not to appreciate the beauty beyond the bewilderment.

Words and photos by Fally Afani

Die Antwoord at Liberty Hall “I Fink You Freeky” from I Heart Local Music on Vimeo.




Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

Leave a Reply