South African music rebels Die Antwoord are as well-known for their
controversial, taboo-breaking music videos as they are for their interesting style
of music, which they themselves describe as, “zef rap rave’.
The duo – made up of Ninja and Yolandi Visser – have been racking up millions
of views for every eccentric and often disturbing video they have released since
their inception in 2008. They recently released their new album, jam-packed with
ludicrous song titles, paired with even more absurd but undoubtedly captivating
music video concepts.
Their latest music video for the hit song “Pitbull Terrier’ was directed by Ninja
himself and produced by Johannesburg production house Egg Films. This is the
third music video Egg Films has shot with Die Antwoord. “As always it was a
crazy, fun experience. Ninja and Yolandi are very hands-on and they know
exactly what they want,’ says producer Julia Schnurr of Egg Films.
Shot in early May this year, the video features Ninja as a canine, donning a
disturbingly realistic, prosthetic pitbull mask. Schnurr comments: “Ninja’s pitbull
mask was made and designed by Steve Johnson, one of the big Hollywood
prosthetics creators who is also a huge fan of Die Antwoord. We had four masks
in total, one test mask and one for every shoot day. It took four hours to apply
the mask every day.’
The music video follows pitbull/Ninja as he breaks free from his owner and runs
through the streets, terrorising, mauling and even “humping’ unsuspecting
victims he comes into contact with. The general storyline is intercut with shots of
Ninja in a dark room rapping the lyrics to “Pitbull Terrier’ with two women
dressed as black and white cats.
After jumping off a building and being hit by a bus, Ninja is saved by Yolandi,
who rids him of his canine characteristics with her saliva. Not exactly your typical
music video romance, but you get the point.
“Ninja is the director and the creative on all his jobs, so the idea is pretty clear
from the beginning. He just adds to the concept as we go along in production,’
Schnurr explains. “He also does all his stunts himself,’ she says.
“Pitbull Terrier’ was shot on an Arri Alexa and according to Schnurr most of the
tracking shots were done from a golf cart.
The music video, which received a whopping one million plus views in its first day
on YouTube, was shot in and around an unused building in the gritty urban
landscape of Newtown in Johannesburg. Schnurr says that there were three
weeks of pre-production, three days of actual shooting and two weekends of
post. “We were working on a tight deadline and an even tighter budget,’ she
When asked about the controversial nature of the music video Schnurr exclaims:
“Controversial?! We actually thought that this was one the general public could
handle more than some of their old videos.’
“Die Antwoord have built up quite a large fan base in the past couple of years
and their fans are always excited about their new videos,’ she concludes.