Lady Gaga is currently butthurt over her portrayal in South African rap-rave group Die Antwoord‘s latest music video for their single “Fatty Boom Boom,” and not without reason. The video depicts her as a dumb tourist drag queen visiting South Africa who, among other things, has a discharge-covered shrimp removed from her vagina and gets eaten by a lion. What offense, you may ask, did she commit against them to deserve such treatment?
Duh, she asked them to open for her. HOW DARE SHE? Once upon a time, their label approached them about opening for Gaga, and they passed. By way of explanation, Ninja said: ”We like making pop music, but we like making hardcore music at the same time, mixing them, but they’ve got, like, soul. It’s not like weak, superficial shit. You know?”
One might think that would have been enough to put Gaga in her uncool, lamestream place, but Die Antwoord took it a step further with the aforementioned portrayal in their cuckoo-bananas new video (which even goes so far as to specifically mock her for wanting to take them on tour):
Demonstrating a fundamental misunderstanding of Die Antwoord, Gaga responded with the following:
1.) Lady Gaga’s massive mainstream success does not impress Die Antwoord. They care more about being “cool.”
2.) Showing a couple of trolls that they hurt your feelings is only going to make them want to do it more.
Die Antwoord responded in kind:
WHY ARE YOU HITTING YOURSELF? WHY ARE YOU HITTING YOURSELF?
I never thought I’d say this, but I’m kind of #teamgaga here. Sure, it was naive of her to think she could trade money and fame to the evil, 24/7, South African hipster version of Borat in exchange for some of their bizaro swag, but wasn’t it enough when they dissed her the first time? There was never any debate over who is cooler (sorry, I don’t make the rules), so this just feels like adding insult to injury.
That said, if I were a super-famous person, and I were going to tweet my objections to this video, I’d start with the blackface:
A rich white girl pretending to be a poor white girl pretending to be a racist representation of a black girl. Whoa, right? This stands out to me as a shining example of “hipster racism,” in that I’m pretty sure they did it purely because they knew it would make “PC people” mad. But that kind of (obnoxious) intent doesn’t magically make the imagery not-racist. Maybe I’m taking the bait, but it’s totally rational to be mad about blackface, as it was used as a tool of racist oppression in both America and South Africa for many, many years. You do not get to use whatever images you want under the guise of “art” if you don’t do anything coherent with them. Or rather, you “can” do whatever you want, but the end result will be a racist image, and that will make you an asshole.
Making matters even more frustrating, they did this in the same video that contained a fairly nuanced and successful parody of white tourists’ view of South Africa. The thing that pisses me off most about Die Antwoord is I know that they know the right answer, they just pretend not to because they think it makes them edgy and hip.