Die Antwoord, the perennially weird South African rap-rave trio of Ninja, Yo-landi Visser and DJ Hi-Tek – now known as God – released their latest album, Mt. Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid on Sept 16.
Being a somewhat enthusiastic Die Antwoord fan, I eagerly anticipated the release and when I finally got around to getting the album I was taken aback to find that for the most part, it was rather disappointing.
Other Die Antwoord albums had great messages, with songs talking about the culture of South Africa, some about succeeding and excelling at life and others just carefree and energetic jams that are hard to stay still while listening to. By contrast, most of the songs are about spoiled girls with sugar daddies, drugs and meaningless noise that is more fit as a sleeping pill. I wanted something upbeat and positive and instead I got a soundtrack for sitting on the couch doing nothing but thinking I was a real gangster.
The past three Die Antwoord albums certainly had weird songs but while weird they were also extremely engaging. Even though I didn’t necessarily think the songs were good they were still fun to listen to. Conversely, none of the songs on Mt. Ninji were engaging or even interesting with the last half of the album sounding nearly the same as if I were listening to different portions of the same boring songs.
Mt. Ninji has a couple of genuinely interesting songs, but the rest are just tremendously boring slow plodding songs with Ninja slurring every single word, sounding like a drunk, winded marathon runner on the 26th mile. When the finish line comes, half is relief that the song is over and the other half relief for Ninja.
If I had to think of one single theme to this album, it would be “junior high school tier Hot Topic edgy.” The first song alone references enough ironic bumper stickers to make me have vivid flashbacks to the tenth grade. Couple that with the song “Alien” where Yo-Landi has the most totally original concept of feeling like an alien because she doesn’t fit in at school.
Jack Black is the only bright spot I could see others enjoying, having a song about rats which isn’t too bad on its own but really doesn’t seem to fit in at all with the rest of the album. Lil’ Tommy Terror – who I had not ever heard of before – also appears on the album where he begins a song with a prayer, wishing to have wings on his male organ. High school flashbacks indeed.
I spent most of my time listening to Mt. Ninji wincing. I wanted to like it, I needed some new Die Antwoord in my life but what I didn’t need was a bunch of crap. Don’t get me wrong, the first three songs don’t completely suck but that doesn’t excuse the other 13 tracks.