Die Antwoord’s New Lady Gaga Slaying Video, And A Quick History Of Pop Star Parodying Music Videos

by (@zaragolden)

Eccentric South African rap-ravers Die Antwoord have set alight with their provocative new video for “Fatty Boom Boom.” The video is as complicated an act as they are — it at one point finds the duo donning what appears to be blackface, and there is a worthwhile exploration of that element here — and worth unpacking a bit, particularly the part where they totally clown on Lady Gaga and her taste for “freaky things.”

The video begins with a tour guide welcoming a Lady Gaga doppelgänger to Africa with a tour of South Africa’s “Concrete Jungle,” where stoplights are called “robots” and shop owners keep black panthers as guard cats. When they come across Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er performing on the sidewalk, Gaga pauses to admire their “freaky fashion” and has just begun to wonder if she might “get them to open for me” — a gig they’ve actually turned down — when the van gets highjacked. Gaga sets off running and somehow winds up at a dentist/gynecologist’s office, where she births a gross and goo-covered bug because she is indeed the Mother Monster. And in the end, they let the Lion King of the Concrete Jungle eat her.

The video is funny, but it also makes clear that Die Antwoord are not feeling Lady Gaga nor her tendency towards appropriation. And though Gaga takes the brunt of it, their critique takes on pop star culture at large with a mural featuring a monster made from the heads of Kanye West, Drake, Pitbull, Nicki Minaj and will.i.am.  They are not the first to make this sort of swipe.

You might recall David Lee Roth‘s video for his dingly “Just A Gigolo,” wherein he parodied the day’s stars like Michael Jackson and Cyndi Lauper. “I’m just a gigolo and everywhere I go/ People know the part, I’m playin’/ Paid for every dance, sellin’ each romance”…

Eminem had fun with his distaste for vacuous pop stars in his classic “The Real Slim Shady” video. “I’m sick of you little girl and boy groups/ all you do is annoy me, so I have been sent her to destroy you,” he raps, dressed as Britney Spears and to a room full of Slim Shady lookalikes.

P!nk similarly lays in with her satirical video for “Stupid Girls.” Lamenting a culture that seems to favor fake-tanned and stupid girls, she mocks Mary Kate Olsen and her cult of the coffee cup, Paris Hilton‘s sex tape and generally the extent to which women will go to keep looking good. “I’m so glad that I’ll never fit in, that will never be me,” she sings. “Outcasts and girls with ambition, that’s what I want to see.”

Grimes take is not so harsh as Eminem’s, but it is hard not to wonder if “Genesis”‘s “Slave 4 U” snake and sweet-but-sexy sailor’s uniform are anything but sly references to the great Brit.

Can you think of more videos that play this game? Let us know your favorites in the comments!

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