Imagine my delight upon discovering that one of today's trending hashtags was #GoNinjaGo. Nahhh, it can't be. Was the entire world finally jumping on the Die Antwoord bandwagon? SAY IT ISN'T SO! My momentary elation made me leap outta my Louboutins and, well, here we are. I'm okay, thanks.
I adore the futuristic South African rap-rave Zef crew and, believe it or not, we have oodles in common. (Regardless of whether they'd admit it AND excluding the blood-smeared photo above. How is it possible, you wonder? Just bust out the Beluga and see who has the winning drool. It's almost an exact reflection of myself.) What's even crazier is this next pic -- I LIKE MAKING EVIL FUNNY FACES TOO! Uncanny.
Fronted by vocalists Yolandi Visser (it's actually Yo-Landi Vi$$er, for those of us in the know) and Ninja (her snarly boo/badass baby-daddy), Die Antwoord's a delicious anomaly, at least to this quirky middle-aged underdog. IMO, watching their videos is akin to experiencing a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting come to life -- or falling down the rabbit hole. You're simply fixated with the coolness of it all.
This shot TOTALLY captures that Basquiat feel (art courtesy Roger Ballen), and here's the clincher. JMB used to deface the cafeteria walls during my years at School of Visual Arts -- while I'd watch in amazement! Almost too remarkable for words, right?
Speaking of artists, I also went to SVA with pop artist Keith Haring. (I know, those were some star-studded years. Not to mention Madonna used to pose in our figure drawing classes for quick cash.) Sometimes Keith and I would eat lunch together while tolerating another friend's insipid jokes -- he actually PIONEERED the same graphic style of graffiti art featured in "Enter the Ninja." DA may have Roger, but can't you envision Keith's crawling babies in MY music vids? (Okay, make that crawling diamonds or dollar signs.) Laugh away, but the similarity blows my mind.
Zef, according to Yolandi, "is a term associated with everyday people who are 'fancy' ... poor but rocking the gold with a unique style." Kinda like South African Gangnam Style or my very own GEISHA-NISTAS. Talk about tapping into collective genius. Don't they look pretty in gold? I, TOO, LOOK PRETTY IN GOLD! (And even sing about Harry Winston in my upcoming single.) Correct me if I'm crazy, but there could be some strange voodoo at work here. Just sayin'.
So exactly how DID I fall in love with their calculated insanity which rings so true to my own? During pre-production for GEISHA-MANIA!, I was introduced to their music video, "Baby's on Fire" and was instantly hooked. Like crack.
Perhaps it's my punk rock/art school background. Or knowing musicians-performance artists like John Sex and Wendy Wild. (Here's a fun fact: Wendy used to cut my hair in their East Village apartment.) I always wondered how I, a little GEISHA-NISTA from the Bronx, could translate my own twisted sense of humor into performance art. (Hence, GEISHA-MANIA!) And get this ... Yolandi has a pink bedroom in her vid JUST LIKE I DID IN MINE! Kawinkydink? I think not.
On her Facebook page, Yolandi's personal backstory reads much like my own. She came from nothing, but grew up knowing that she never wanted to play by society's rules. Sound familiar? Mmm-hmm. It gets even better -- Yolandi admits she has a strange voice and was completely "green" when she entered the music industry. Wowsa is right.
It may be hard to wrap your head around how alike we are, but this last picture captures the indisputable essence of Die Antwoord's and Lady Geisha's parallel lives. Here Yolandi has Ninja. In GEISHA-MANIA! I had my very own geisha gal pals. Yolandi's wearing a bustier, I wore a bustier. They have a silver glitter star, and well, I AM A STAR. Is that enough, or do I have to spell it out for you people? Identical triplets if there ever was. xo
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