Die Antwoord, Stellenbosch, 09.05.12

It’s hard to find the words to talk about Die Antwoord. I know the whole ‘Is it art or is it rubbish?’ debate is tiresome but it’s funny because just last week I was having the ‘What constitutes art?’ debate with a friend. I didn’t realise I’d be forced to test my theory later that week.

My friend feels that art should be predominantly decorative. I think decoration is a bi product of some art not a prerequisite. I also believe that no art is right or wrong because first and foremost it’s about self expression. You can’t tell someone the right or wrong way to express their selves. I also believe that art should move the viewer. Generally art doesn’t move all people in the same way but as long as it creates some emotion (any emotion) in the viewer, then I consider it art.

Die Antwoord played at the Stellenbosch Town Hall on Wednesday evening, supported by The Suspect, Sideshow and Narch all dabbling in hip hop, glitch hop and dubstep. From the start of Die Antwoord profanities, sorry – lyrics!, I asked myself, what the hell am I watching this for? Their choruses are juvenile and their verses are offensive. Or are their verses juvenile and their choruses offensive?! But in an attempt to answer my own question I had to admit I was moved – even if it was into annoyance, offence, appreciation and pride! That’s art by my own standard is it not?

I had heard that they were more polished these days and they were confident in their delivery. I did expect the show to be packed because the venue was so big, however, it was only about a 3rd full – if that. The audience knew all the lyrics and gave a high energy but I guess the general public might be reflecting my confusion too – is it art or isn’t it art? Pity they weren’t curious enough to find out for themselves. I’m proud of all of our fellow countrymen who represent South Africa on a global scale so my taste or not, I’m still team Die Antwoord. See for yourself:

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