True to Die Antwoord’s style, the majority of their lyrics are insufferably clichéd, with some skits like “Zars” being so vulgarly worded that even the most liberal of listeners might take offence. It appears, however, that this is simply yet another tactic Die Antwoord are using to draw attention to themselves.
Regrettably, the bulk of the tracks on Donker Mag are a desperate effort to push the boundaries of vulgarity and keep up the group’s previous standards of zef-ness, but sadly, it fails on this front. Many of the lyrics show a reversion to the “money and girls” dynamic used by numerous conventional rappers – an approach which undermines the group’s attempts at individuality.
The album’s first single “Cookie thumper” is mediocre in melody and lyrical content. The single’s controversial video has also been described as degrading and sexist, and neither the song nor the video do much to be subtle about their content.
While it is widely known that Die Antwoord makes use of parody and satire in their material, perhaps Donker Mag has taken the joke too far. Donker Mag’s second single “Pitbull Terrier” is a far cry from “Enter the ninja” and other songs from Die Antwoord’s earlier repertoire. While
“Pitbull Terrier” was coupled with a gruesome video that caused quite a stir after its release in May, the song itself does not have much to offer melodically or lyrically either as the same lyrical hook is repeated throughout the song, and it presents a tune that might have once been heard at an ecstasy-charged rave in 1995.
Interestingly, the album offers a slow ballad entitled “Strunk”, which shows a slight, albeit unsuccessful attempt at romance. The track feels as though it carries on too long and the song as a whole is taxing to listen to.
The album as a whole covers but one overhanging theme: sex, boasting a collection of sexually explicit song titles along with a song unpretentiously titled “Sex”. This topic becomes quite tiresome to listen to after 15 songs and even the group deviates from this theme on Donker Mag’s closing track, also entitled “Donker mag”. An attempt at lyrical depth is made, but the previous tracks and their vulgarity undermine this. It makes the album end on a depressing note and one wonders if these lyrics, so different from what we’re used to from Die Antwoord, are really sincere.
All in all, Donker Mag is not for the faint-hearted, and while Die Antwoord’s newest offering won’t lose them any existing fans, it might not do much to gain them any new ones.
Image: Die Antwoord’s Facebook page