Music

Die Antwoord split with Interscope over “faggot” controversy

If there’s one act whose musical vision you don’t want to mess with, it’s Die Antwoord. The ever-unapologetic South African rap duo have had a high-profile split with their label Interscope, stating that the record company was trying to mess with the sound of their self-proclaimed next-level beats.

The pair were meant to release their second album, TEN$ION, through Interscope early next year – but the album will now come out of their own creation, Zef Records. Boingboing reports that the band wrote online: “Interscope offered us a bunch of money again to release our new album TEN$ION. But this time, they also tried to get involved with our music, to try and make us sound like everyone else out there at the moment.”

“So we said: ‘U know what, rather hang on to your money, buy yourself something nice…we gona do our own thing. Bye bye”.

Die Antwoord made the split Facebook-official, posting the video for their new single Fok Jullie Naaiers themselves on YouTube. The video was then removed by the website, following a copyright claim by Interscope/UMG. Ninja and Yo-Landi promptly then posted the video on Vimeo instead, stating ” TEN$ION is releasing on Zef Recordz…NOT on Interscope/Universal. Think it’s taking a while for this to sink into their brainz…”

Fok Jullie Naaiers (which translates to something along the lines of “fuck all your fucked things”) was also the catalyst for the split. Apparently, Interscope didn’t share Die Antwoord’s vision and thought that the song was too offensive to be a single, then pushing for the whole album to be re-worked with a more commercial flavour.

The sticking point was a verse from sometimes-member DJ Hi-Tek, which features several utterances of the word ‘faggot’. But pre-empting homophobia allegations, Die Antwoord posted a second video online, which explains that DJ Hi-Tek is, himself, homosexual. Yo-Landi stated that the DJ has “just bust out da closet wif a muddafuckn vengeance!”

“Our manager Tony in LA was a little concerned that some of the words we use in the video would upset some people in the USA – especially DJ Hi-Tek’s use of the word ‘faggot’,” explains Die Antwood’s lead vocalist Ninja in a video which seeks to pre-empts any controversy which may be created. “DJ Hi-Tek is gay,” he explains, “so there you go, now you all know.” Ninja adds: “Hi-Tek says the word faggot doesn’t hold any power over him. Hi-Tek says faggot all the time. He’s taken that word and made it his bitch.

“Just to be fucken’ clear – Die Antwood are not homophobic. Some of my tightest homies are gay, like for instance DJ Hi-Tek, who happens to be one of my best friends in the entire universe.”

All this hubbub no doubt means that TEN$ION is set to be even freakier than $O$. Excellent.