WATCH: Die Antwoord Are Wheelchair-Bound Gangstas in the Harmony Korine-Directed Short Umshini Wam
"We need to keep it gangsta and take our sh*t to the next level," pleads Die Antwoord rapper Yo-Landi to Ninja, her partner in crime in the Harmony Korine-directed short Umshini Wam. And just how do the South African zef hip-hoppers do just that? By pimping out their wheelchair rides, shooting guns in empty suburban parking lots, smoking comically large joints, and dreaming of life as "Gang$ta number one." Watch the entirety of Umshini Wam (translation: 'Bring me my machine gun') after the jump.
Korine and his Die Antwoord colleagues didn't make it to SXSW for the premiere screening of Umshini Wam, but the Trash Humpers auteur sent along a self-taped video introduction for Tuesday's packed premiere audience. It opened on a single bizarre, yet strangely fitting image: Korine, wearing sunglasses, a sneaker on each hand. "I got stuck someplace filming something really ridiculous," he began. "We made this across 15 countries, it took us a couple of years and a few million dollars, but in the end it was all worth it."
None of that is true, of course. Probably. Maybe. Unfolding in snatches of random but escalating scenes of suburban mayhem driven by Yo-Landi and Ninja, Umshini Wam is something of a gangster's fantasy envisioning Die Antwoord's rise to glory in an alternate reality where street cred is measured by the sweetness of one's street ride: the wheelchair. Desperate for power and status, Yo-Landi and Ninja shoot their way across the land, amassing a trail of bodies as they piece together the Rolls Royces of wheelchairs, holographic rims and power steering and all, to the beats of DA DJ Hi-Tek.
And that brings us to the five biggest revelations from Umshini Wam:
Trash Humpers + Die Antwoord + fat beats - actual grinding on garbage = Umshini Wam.
Gold Bedazzled is the new Times Roman. I mean, look at that sweet, sweet font.
That Yo-Landi can act. You want tears? Check. Heartfelt singing into a hot dig microphone around a campfire? You got it. The toughness of a gangbanger with the adorable vulnerability of Fievel? That's her jam. Somewhere out there David Fincher is kicking himself for not landing Yo-Landi as his Lizbeth Salander.
Die Antwoord's lyrics are damn catchy even without Hi-Tek's fat, thumping beats. Just try getting "I'm old enough to bleed/I'm old enough to bleed/I'm old enough to crack a brick in your teeth while you sleep" out of your head. It's the "three little devils" of Umshini Wam.
Umshini Wam is the trash-rap remake of Bonnie & Clyde that you never knew you needed. And now the world needs more.