Cape Town – A Cape Flats activist and hip hop legend has accused Die Antwoord of glamorising prison gangs.
Emile YX? also accused the white zef band of cultural expropriation and perpetuating insulting stereotypes of coloured people.
Their latest music video, called Baita Jou Sabela, featuring rapper Slagysta, appears to salute prison gangs and even features a former self-confessed drug dealer and alleged gang boss playing the role of a warden.
In the video, Die Antwoord’s Ninja is locked up in a single cell by alleged former Americans bigwig Kaldumalla “Dimes” Madatt, while Slagysta is in an overcrowded cell surrounded by jailbirds in orange overalls.
Madatt allegedly closed a church in Rocklands in 2010 and turned it into a shebeen.
It was initially thought the video was shot inside Pollsmoor Prison, but it turns out it was filmed at the Castle of Good Hope in early November.
There’s even a signboard similar to that at Pollsmoor, but it says “Zefside Correctional Services: a place of new beginnings”.
The almost four-minute long video, which has a gqom beat, shows prisoners gambling with a dice and R20 notes and cellphones on the floor.
They smoke cigarettes and a white pipe (dagga and crushed mandrax tablets smoked through a broken bottleneck), showing off their tattoos, while Slagysta raps in prison gang language: “Verskillende tronke, gedruk in a corner, manne van different gronde word gebind in a nommer.” ("Different prisons, pushed into a corner, men from different backgrounds bound together by a number.")
Die Antwoord’s Yolandi Visser pulls up in a Lamborghini, handing two wads of cash to the warden (Madatt) who then burns her boyfriend’s docket and sets Ninja free.
In a foul-mouthed rap, she sings: “I’m made of sugar and spice and everything nice with a little bit of evil. Los my uit, wie’s jy, jou ma se p***, f** off.”
At the end of the video, Slagysta gives shoutouts to all the prisons in the Western Cape, singing “skangaga volle nomme”.
The Daily Voice can reveal Die Antwoord had applied to the Department of Correctional Services to shoot the video inside Pollsmoor, but were denied.
DCS spokesman Mosele Sehloho confirms: “The video was not shot in Pollsmoor. The orange attire/overalls that are worn in that video, is not DCS offender uniform.”
Hip Hop artist Emile YX?, who campaigns against gangsterism and drugs and the stereotyping of coloured people, says Die Antwoord is making money off cultural stereotypes “just like Elvis Presley, Johnny Clegg and Mango Groove”.
“Die Antwoord’s success in South Africa or in the world is to steal or appropriate others’ cultural stereotypes and make the most money from it,” he says.
“Elvis did it with rock (music), Johnny Clegg was the best known Zulu, Eminem is the best known rapper.
“It’s how racist the industry actually is. White people need other white people to first say it’s OK… it’s how it works on every level of white-run media or entertainment. Without white endorsement it’s a moerse struggle.
“As long as we buy in, koep gevriet (buy face) and gatkruip (suck up) to satisfy their world, we will always be what they say we are and be powerless to change that perspective within their media, entertainment, schools, universities, world.
“We will only be free when we free us from the global gangsters of white supremacy by creating our own institutions with our own Afrocational content.”
Despite our queries, the Daily Voice got no answers from Die Antwoord.
WATCH the music video here:
WARNING: Video contains strong language.