NSFW: There’s Something About Yolandi

Yolandi Visser is one-half of the South African rap group, Die Antwoord. I first learned about Die Antwoord last week from my former high school teacher. As I watched some of their music videos, I was simultaneously horrified and intrigued. Die Antwoord, comprised of Visser and Watkin Tudor Jones (aka Ninja), is a white South African group. They have employed the use of blackface, racial stereotypes, and have a song asking why a black man’s penis is so big, titled “Evil Boy.”

Although this video is pretty problematic, when I first watched it, part of the video oddly made me think of girl power themes. In Yolandi’s part, she tells a boy (Ninja) to lie down on the bed, but not to touch her because she’s “just too hot to handle.” She puts his hands in handcuffs, then says, “Even though you’re lying down, I can make you stand up.” This is significant because it shows that even without her touching him and even with him being unable to see her (he has a blindfold on in the video), she still has power over him sexually. She talks about going through his wallet and looking at (and probably taking) all of his money. This can definitely be problematic because it reinforces women as sexual objects and also reinforces the idea of woman as gold digger, but I can see how this could be subversive, especially in different cultural environments.

I definitely think that Ninja is the less interesting one of the duo. Maybe it has something to do with the overtly sexualized outward appearance paired with the childlike voice and stature? One thing’s for sure–many of their videos are created for the shock factor.

Also, this is a random sidenote, but I wonder about Yolandi’s use of mice in the first video, as this isn’t the first video that they have appeared in. Thoughts?

 

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