Loins of evil
South African redneck rap-ravers extraordinaire Die Antwoord are back—in a disturbingly badass way—with their newest and most bizarre video to date, “Evil Boy.” The video features Diplo and the appropriately named Wanga, a teenage Xhosa emcee. Lyrics are in Xhosa, Afrikaans, English and Prawn (from Neill Blomkamp’s dazzling District 9). Will comment more in a bit, but for now just be content with having your mind detonated…
Some semblance of dissection can be made from this terrific thread on BoingBoing, as well as this interpretation from said thread:
So, the story behind this video and song (or part of the story — there’s so much going on!) is that Wanga felt that he was being coerced into a form of ritual circumcision by his community. It’s sort of taken for granted within his ethnic group that you must do this, so much so that if you are a young man and you do not participate, you are ostracized, as the band explained to me.
The thinking, and this is communicated very directly to the young men, is that if you don’t participate, you’re gay. You’re effeminate. You’re not a real man. You never mature from being a boy to being a man.
He struggled with all of this in real life: with what it meant for his personal and cultural identity. And he came to a point where he was like, you know what? Fuck you all. The fact that I won’t consent to having my penis sliced with an unsterilized knife, out in the bush, and risk infection or worse– that doesn’t mean “I’m gay,” as you say. I reject this tradition. If that’s what being a man is, fuck it, I don’t want to be a man. I’ll be an “evil boy for life,” even if it means I am ostracized from my community.
You might have chosen different lyrics, but dude, it’s not our story or our culture or our world experience at all.