Album Review: Die Antwoord - 'Ten$ion'

20 March 2012 | 9:51 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Zef style represent.

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Many thought they were a joke until they realised that they weren't playing around and were actually quite talented. Now, South Africa's biggest musical export and the crew responsible for bringing Zef culture into the mainstream eye, Die Antwoord, are back with 'Ten$ion,' the follow up to their raved about debut '$O$.'

Continuing along the hip-hop/rave music hybrid path that they created on the first record, 'Ten$ion' begins with a traditional South African chant on opening track Never Le Nkemise 1 before main rapper Ninja claims "I'm indestructible," and the big beats and synths kick in, hinting that the sounds of the dub step phenomenon may have made their way to South Africa.

This is followed by the lady putting all sorts of confusion into the pants of men worldwide, Yolandi Vi$$er, who begins by telling us that she thinks we're freaky and she likes us a lot before dropping the first of many demolishing flows on the record. Vi$$er steals the lyrical limelight away from Ninja more than once throughout the album's duration.

The production rivals that on the first record with heavy beats and a range of other instrumentation to keep things exciting. From the Midwestern guitar lines and hand claps of Hey Sexy, to the pounding booty shakers like Fatty Boom Boom and Baby's On Fire. There is "feel good gangsta shit" with So What? and the Die Antwoord version of a love song on U Make A Ninja Wanna F**K.

The stand out by far is the song responsible for getting the group dropped from Interscope Records meaning they had to release 'Ten$ion' through their own Zef Recordz, Fok Julle Naaiers, with the super catchy hook that loosely translates to "Fuck you All." The cruise swagger filled vibe of this track confirms that Die Antwoord really are in this for the cash money and the fame, and will probably rule the world before they're done.

Whilst they have always been a confident group who doesn't really give a fuck about what anyone thinks, 'Ten$ion' couples these traits with a sense of comfort making it a step up from the debut. With only three albums left before they disband the group, the future of Die Antwoord will be one worth keeping in touch with.

1. Never Le Nkemise 1
2. I Fink U Freeky
3. Pielie (Skit feat. Ninja)
4. Hey Sexy
5. Fatty Boom Boom
6. Zefside Zol (Interlude)
7. So What?
8. Uncle Jimmy (Skit)
9. Baby's On Fire
10. U Make a Ninja Wanna Fuck
11. Fok Julle Naaiers
12. DJ Hi-Tek Rulez
13. Never Le Nkemise 2