For me 2009 was a good year. Spent largely in student bars and in ‘dorm rooms’ quite a percentage of my time was taken up listening to new music, and somehow, one track that seemed to completely bypass me, but seemingly had been picked up by everyone else on the entire planet was Die Antwoord’s humongous ‘Enter The Ninja’. With nearly 12 million YouTube views and chart success across the world, it isn’t my usual update but having heard it for the first time this weekend I felt like expressing my love for the track and the approach of the South African trio.
‘Enter The Ninja’ is certainly a musical mongrel, elements reminiscent of Eastern European Eurovision entries are beaten into some quite heavy hip-hop bars and tripping beats, all of which are complimented by Yo-Landi’s eerie vocals which act as the perfect compliment to cushion Ninja’s powerful verses. It’s pretty difficult to highlight why the track is so infectious, with it’s obscure elements and unusual accents ‘Enter The Ninja’ could so easily be consumed as an almost comical track, a throw away ‘one track wonder’ that loses any originality and relevance in a matter of days, but the production quality, musical intricacy and linguistic quality make it so much more than that. The construction of the song makes sure that although elements are repetitive, you are far more likely to be waiting for them in anticipation than for them to be grating on your subconscious. Give me a couple of weeks and I may well be singing a completely different tune, but for now I just feel like an idiot for not having given Die Antwoord the time of day before now.