Goodbye Lady Gaga?

South African art-house rap project Die Antwoord hit out with their latest single Fatty Boom Boom, attacking Lady Gaga and leaving the Huffington Post's blog team spinning...

The much-awaited video opens with a man playing Lady Gaga driving through down-town South Africa where her tour minibus finds itself held up at gunpoint by masked terrorists.

A dishevelled whimpering Gaga manages to flee the violent scene and stumbles through back streets wearing a slice of steak on her head and a flapping meat dress which attracts the attention of a king lion which proceeds to eat Lady Gaga whole.

Meanwhile, the members of Die Antwoord perform their new single Fatty Boom Boom outside a grafitti'd garage, doused in body paint. Yolandi has cats' eyes. The drummer wears an execution mask.

"Hi! My name is Yo-Landi fuckin' Visser Fight Fight Fight! Kick you in the teeth, hit you on the head with the mic" comes the lead-singer's welcome...

It's not the first time the duo Die Antwoord (Afrikaans for "The Answer") have slammed Lady Gaga. They turned down an offer to support her on her latest tour and even called her music "weak superficial shit" in an interview. 

"Oh my GAWD, look at their freaky FASHION..." cooes Gaga as her bus passes Die Antwoord on the street, Yolandi staring death-faced at the passing vehicle, "I should get them to open for meee".

Lady Gaga parodies are nothing new and there are several drag Gaga YouTube channels out there scraping together viewcounts. What makes this parody contro is that is comes from another established artist, seemingly unprovoked, and one on a major label.

The fashion-conscious South African duo have found themselves a snowballing fan base after signing with Interscope Records in 2010 and following the success of their incredible short film "What Are You Looking At?" - an extended music video directed by Harmony Korine (find an extract embedded at the foot of this blog post).

While Lady Gaga's music tends to examine the grip of celebrity culture and how the media harnesses women's perception of themselves, Die Antwoord take on a grittier social agenda with their music - unresolved racial tensions in South Africa, and a governmental neglect for the poor, gun crime and the effects of vast miseducation sit at the centre of their music. Unlike Gaga, Die Antwoord seem less interested in gay rights and the story lines of their videos depict a straight world full of angry frustrated sex, tacky male bravado and confused sluttish teenagers.

Like Gaga, and so many artists who have gone before them, the pair use costume to provoke. In the video to Fatty Boom Boom we see a blacked-up Yolandi and whited-up Ninja, jumping in front of a vivid backdrop that is packed with tongue-in-cheek product placements and South African "zef" counter-culture motifs.

The band have toured with M.I.A. before and are closely aligned with her musically. This new song Fatty Boom Boom draws quite heavily upon some of the percussion and rap formations on M.I.A's 2005 debute album Arular.

More of what we want, or slightly behind the wave? Whether Die Antwoord's music can stand on its own as pure audio we're yet to see. Bars and radio stations over here certainly aren't playing their stuff. And while Die Antwoord are enjoying the global publicity from mocking Lady Gaga with their fantastic videos, while pushing out their own hardline brand of rave-rap, I think I know whose music I'd rather dance to and prefer...

Ga-Ga-Ooh-La-La-Fight! Fight! Fight!

Harmony Korine / Die Antwoord :

1 comment:

  1. Agree with you - not quite sure whether Die Antwood's music would do well without the controversial Lady Gaga video but it's entertaining all the same! Thanks for sharing.