Mar 20, 2011

Umshini Wam

It seemed like a match made in degenerate art heaven when I found out that Nashville's greatest Jewish filmmaker Harmony Korine and Cape Town's greatest white rap group Die Antwoord collaborated on the short film Umshini Wam. After watching the short, I was left aghast by this touching tragedy-turned-triumph regarding wheelchair-bound white Negros Ninja and Yo-landi Vi$$er. I make no lie of the fact that I am completely repulsed by all forms of Rap music, especially the kind featuring white-bred-play-thugs, yet Die Antwoord seems to be something different; or as the homeboyz say, "they bee real." Umshini Wam may not be a conventional biopic regarding the turbulent trials and tribulations of a group of proletarian white rappers from South Africa, but this short film seems to be the most intimate and realistic portrayal of the real personalities behind Umshini Wam. Ninja and Yo-landi Vi$$er would never claim to be true connoisseurs of high Kultur; be that as it may, they are certainly fresh with zef, mixing disposed and previously rejected cultural ingredients, ultimately concocting the highest grade chronic of white trash flavor. In Umshini Wam, Ninja and Yo-landi Vi$$er ride around in pimped out wheelchairs and enthusiastically unleash bullets from their fully automatic firearms. To fit in within the wild habitat of Afrikkka, the free-styling duo sport colorful animal costumes whilst passin' a phat joint that is larger than a baby elephant trunk.

My home-Nigga Jescie felt the following rap lullaby by Yo-landi in Umshini Wam carried the best zef, "I'm old enough to bleed/I'm old enough to breed/I'm old enough to crack a brick in your teeth while you sleep." I have to concur with Jescie, especially when I consider the sweet manner in which Yo-landi unleashes such loathsome words. In Umshini Wam, Ninja seems to have lost all of his new zef flow, even acting aloof from his baby momma ho Yo-landi. Unlike his audacious music videos and live performances, in the beginning of the short, Ninja acts like a down and out white boi that mopes around in a way that seems like he was drained his Faustian soul. Of course, as shown so eloquently by a pretentious South African Bourgie, Ninja is despised by his own racial brothers. After being told by an uptight white South African that he is "A waste of a white skin" and a "white nigger", Ninja and his homegirl Yo-landi unload their pistols on the middle-aged man and steal his designer wheelchairs. Now owning what is considered "the Rolls-Royce of wheelchairs," Die Antwoord rises triumphantly in a gangsta state of fleeting self-confidence. Near the conclusion of Umshini Wam, Ninja mentions that he once had a dream where he was the greatest rapper in the world. Although Die Antwoord is far from the most revered rap group in the world, the group has already gained international preeminence, which is not bad considering they are a group of white degenerates playing Negro music in an African homeland.

Umshini Wam is an artsy (yet not too fartsy) metaphor for the rise of Die Antwoord. Just as Ninja and Yo-landi kill a group of whites in the film, in real-life they have rejected the fruits of their own racial forefathers culture. The German philosopher Oswald Spengler once wrote something along the lines that if the white race were to become collectively passive, certain whites who still contained the fighting spirit would join the nonwhites and help them take over the world. I certainly see what Spengler described in the spirit of Die Antwoord; a group that brings true organic Nordic flavor to a style of music that is Negro to the core. When Ninja raps, his rough hyperactive rhymes sound like a Germanic tribesman calling out in preparation for a tribal war. Apparently, "Umshini wami" is the name of a popular Zulu "struggle song" that was commonly used by the military wing of the African National Congress during the battle against Apartheid in South Africa. Now in post-Apartheid; racial discrimination has been reversed. Black South Africans brutally rape and murder white Afrikaan boer farmers everyday, yet the mainstream media (in both South Africa and the U.S.) totally ignores it. In post-white-power South Africa, Die Antwoord raged a cultural war and won. At the end of Umshini Wam, I felt like saluting Ninja and Yo-landi as they gallantly rode across a dark South African road in their pimped-out wheelchairs (featuring alien head and pot leaf holographic rims). With Umshini Wam, Harmony Korine has created an innovative work that will indubitably be revered as one of his greatest cinematic efforts. Forget Eminem's 8 Mile, Umshini Wam is the most eminent hard-knock-life-white-rapper-turned-Negro-approved-freestyle-champion story ever told. 

-Ty E

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

agreed on all fronts. i share both your disgust for 'wigger' rap & your appreciation for die antwoord, who seem to have somehow transcended the absurd medium they use to touch the sublime. like paint-by-numbers rembrandt.