Black Face In South Africa: A Look At Die Antwoord’s “Fatty Boom Boom”

Source: slate.com

“Fatty Boom Boom”(deep sigh). I didn’t want to watch this video. I saw the pictures and the headlines and I told myself “Nope. Not today. I ain’t got time.” There are times when I need peace, tranquility, and to maintain my sanity. Well, I guess I am a masochist because I watched it. And for those of ya’ll who have seen it (and have already experienced the foolishness) then you probably know why I sat in my chair with my mouth wide open and eyes blinking with confusion.

Die Antwoord is a white South African rap/rave duo, Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er, are provacteurs who draws their influence from Zef culture. What is Zef culture you may ask? According mtviggy.com, Zef culture is:

“…associated with mullets, old puttering cars, cheap clothes, hard liquor and a lifestyle only a few tiers above the country’s slums. The word was synonymous with white trash, or anything wack or lame.” For Ninja, it means “f***ing cool. But even more cool than f***ing cool. No one can f*** with your sh**,” (mtviggy.com).

Sounds like more shenanigans, right?  Well, let me tell you the video is a mess on top of a mess. First, there is the Lady Gaga impersonation who gives birth to a cock roach and is eventually eaten by a lion. The lyrics are ridiculous. And I really sat there, trying to figure it all out how this all made sense. As I continued to push myself and watch all 5:43 minutes, I was figuratively slapped in the face by Yo-landi Vi$$er who is bouncing around the screen in blackface! Yes, her skin is caked in black paint, her eyes are over exaggerated, and lips are bright red. I mean do you see the picture above?

I guess black face is the new it thing these days. From the cake in Switzerland to the mammy earrings Italy, it appears derogatory images of black folks is taking over!  When did minstrel shows and black face become cool? Minstrel performances, acts, and representations allude to a treacherous and shameful part of both the U.S and South African history. These minstrel representations were used to degrade, exploit, and justify the mass slaughter of Black people. But now, for some reason that I cannot completely understand in 2012, these images are now used for art, fashion, and entertainment. WTF?

I mean come on now, are you that desperate for recognition that not only do you dress up like Lady Gaga but you paint your skin black too? The more I think about it, it seems that this was the goal set out by the duo Die Antwoord. What is the best way to gain fame? Gaga and Miss Kardashian have showed us that you either have to make a sex tape or do/say some crazy sh**. This is the way of the world. It is not about talent or quality but who can be the most provocative.

However, quite frankly, I am tired of this recognition happening at the expense of Black people. You don’t see me jumping around making crude references about the Jewish Holocaust or see me dressing up as Adolf Hitler and proclaiming that it is art or worse entertainment. This is not art! It is not music. But hey, what more can I expect from a group who has no understanding and makes a mockery of the historical and social experiences of Black people. Yo, Die Antwoord, what you’re doing isn’t cool. It doesn’t make you look cool. At best, it gives me proof that people like this still exist and that 2012 is starting to look more like 1900s.

Check out the video below and let us know your thought.

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One thought on “Black Face In South Africa: A Look At Die Antwoord’s “Fatty Boom Boom”

  1. You get so many things hysterically wrong in this article it’s not worth responding to really.
    The cry “This is not art!” exposes what a middle class lame you are. There’s entirely too much Steve Harvey and not enough Salvador Dalí in your cultural view.

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