Die Antwoord (Afrikaans: "The Answer") is a South African rap-rave band formed in Cape Town in 2008. Fronted by vocalists Ninja and Yolandi Visser, their music is produced by DJ Hi-Tek. Their image draws from the zef counterculture movement and the works of Roger Ballen.
Die Antwoord released their first album, $O$, online for free, and attracted international attention for their music video to "Enter the Ninja". After briefly signing with Interscope Records, they founded their own label in 2011, Zef Recordz, through which they released their second album, Ten$Ion.
Die Antwoord's musical and visual style incorporates elements of zef culture, described as modern and trashy, appropriating out-of-date, discarded cultural elements. Yo-Landi said, "It's associated with people who soup their cars up and rock gold and shit. Zef is, you're poor but you're fancy. You're poor but you're sexy, you've got style." Their lyrics are performed in Afrikaans, Xhosa, and English.
Die Antwoord formed in 2008. Their name was Afrikaans for "The Answer" Their debut album $O$ was made available as a free download on their official website. $O$ features Cape Flats rappers Garlic Brown (aka Knoffel Bruin), Scallywag, Isaac Mutant, Jack Parow, and Jaak Paarl (aka Jaak). The album cover was shot by photographer Clayton James Cubitt. In 2009 South African cinematographer Rob Malpage (along with co-director Ninja) shot the video for their single "Enter the Ninja". The video features the late Cape Town artist and turntablist Leon Botha. The video received millions of views online nine months later, forcing them to move their website to a US-based hosting provider to handle the traffic. The single "Evil Boy" produced by American artist Diplo (also noted for producing M.I.A.'s smash hit "Paper Planes"), contained a verse by guest vocalist Wanga (a Xhosa rapper) in his native language, which rejects the traditional Xhosa passage to manhood achieved in part by circumcision, electing to remain uncircumcised; thus an "evil boy for life". The video has garnered over eleven million views as of June 2013.
Following the success of the video, Die Antwoord signed a record deal with Interscope Records. In November 2011, Die Antwoord left Interscope Records over a dispute concerning their upcoming album and its lead single, Fok Julle Naaiers. Vi$$er explained that Interscope "kept pushing us to be more generic" in order to make more money: "If you try to make songs that other people like, your band will always be shit. You always gotta do what you like. If it connects, it's a miracle, but it happened with Die Antwoord." Die Antwoord formed their own independent label, Zef Recordz, and released their new album Ten$Ion through it. The release was in association with the Good Smile Company (a Japanese company that is also making Die Antwoord toys), and Downtown Records, which is handling the marketing and distribution for the record worldwide. Ten$ion included three more singles following Fok Julle Naaiers; I Fink U Freeky, Baby's On Fire, and Fatty Boom Boom. The latter singles included on Ten$ion began to bring Die Antwoord more into the global spotlight as they were invited to perform on American talk shows and were featured in an Alexander Wang advertisement. However the album was met with average to poor reviews by many critics. Ten$ion was followed up with a non-album single, XPN$IV $H1T.