Album Review: Die Antwoord – Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid

comments on the personal and vulnerable latest Die Antwoord album


PHOTO: Album Artwork

PHOTO: Album Artwork

Rating:  ★★★☆☆

Having seen four albums saturated with violent satirical hyperbole, some have grown to tire of their zef rave-rap, while others find their Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid ultimately frustrating as it never achieves the seismic shift the band promised. Yet the new album embodies an interesting growth in both theme and sound. While still ridden with braggadocio in tracks ‘Stoopid Rich’ and ‘Peanutbutter + Jelly’, there are fewer rave tracks on the album, but more emotive material, Yolandi adopting a more personal and vulnerable approach. ‘Darkling’ sings of how “mommy didn’t want me”. ‘Alien’ tells of the bullying and isolation Yolandi faced at school, featuring a creepy music-box. It is melancholic, nostalgic, and drips of vengeance and resentment.

In ‘Street Light’, while Ninja croons about the murder he commits, there is an obvious layer of social commentary on the dysfunctionality of the South African system (“in Africa everything broken”) and the desperation with which each person “just live to fight another day”. Needless to say, Die Antwoord still managed to keep their tongue-in-cheek humour, most notably in ‘Wings on My Penis’ that features six-year-old Lil Tommy Terror who has an obsession with drawing penises everywhere. While surprising and a bit of a departure from their usual, Mount Ninji is definitely worth a listen.

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