The Freakiest Duo of Debate Night: Die Antwoord at the Ogden
Last night, while most of Denver was sitting in front of their televisions attempting to discern which political figure is the least maniacal of the remaining nominees, Die Antwoord did not hold back the crazy — unleashing it on the Ogden Theatre.
South African rappers Yolandi Visser and Ninja brought their high-class trash style to a sold-out crowd. After coming on stage with a pair of dancers in oversized orange jumpsuits with Japanese lettering, Ninja, Yolanda and the dancers relinquished these costumes for more rap-oriented attire.
Stripping would be a common theme for Ninja throughout the entire show. Before the opening song concluded, Ninja had already shed his oversized orange hoodie and his T-shirt underneath to expose a collection of unsophisticated tattoos. After he took a stage dive during the pair's second song, “Fatty Boom Boom,” the stripping would continue as Ninja exposed his ass for the first of many times throughout the show.
The crowd embraced and cheered Ninja’s exposures, because after all, it was his birthday. Later in the set, Ninja crowd-surfed in nothing but his boxers, grabbing a fan’s blunt to smoke while the crowd supported him. The shining moment of Ninja’s night was mooning the crowd after they sang "Happy Birthday."
Despite the birthday boy’s antics, Yolandi gathered a fair amount of attention herself. Despite a changing wardrobe, Yolandi's eyes were constant and striking. She wore black contacts, giving the illusion that her eyes were all pupil — a signature look she wears in many of the act's music videos. Framing her absorbing eyes was Yolandi's haircut: quarter-inch bangs perched high on her forehead with shaved sides and a cascading mullet of blond hair fanning out like a cockatoo. Die Antwoord’s seemingly outlandish personas and its embrace of Zef counterculture (which Visser has described as "You're poor but you're fancy") is precisely what makes the music relatable and popular.
Ninja of Die Antwoord nearly gets into his birthday suit while performing at the Ogden. It was his birthday, after all.
The third member of the group, God, formerly known as DJ Hi-Tek, played Die Antwoord’s big hits, allowing the twosome to alternate rapping verses. To bridge the gaps for wardrobe changes, the DJ employed fast electronic music to keep the crowd engaged. The combination of electronic rave music and hip-hop rhyming bridges two popular music segments for many young adults. Many twenty-somethings listen to both EDM and are fans of gangster rap — which is a combination Die Antwoord has been exploring and perfecting for almost a decade.
The U.S. has embraced Die Antwoord’s raw lyrics and in-your-face attitudes, which provide commentary on a post-Apartheid South Africa. Die Antwoord breaches the split among multiple cultures in its home country and has found that many young adults around the world relate to progressive attitudes.
During last night’s debate, as two polarized political foes attempted to gather their sides in rallying opposition of each other, the sold-out crowd at the Ogden sought to look beyond differences, merging influences and rap and rave vibes for an insane show.