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Zef Afrikaans rap rave phenomenon Die Antwoord are in hot water over two hits crucial to their huge success, with accusations that they used the dialogue from a Cape Town man’s YouTube video, but didn’t compensate him.
The hits are My Best Friend and $COPIE, and the Capetonian is Anton Duitsman, also known as NE0 SA or The Flying Dutchman.
He created the YouTube hit The Matrix SA Style, which has had 89 369 hits since it was posted in 2007.
The issue, which dates back to 2008, has come to the fore again after comments posted on the video last month, asking Duitsman whether he was ever paid by Die Antwoord.
Interestingly, there have
also been many posts suggesting it was Duitsman who stole from Die Antwoord – although that’s neither here nor there since Duitsman posted his video the year before the formation of the zef rap band.
Duitsman, however, was less forgiving, giving posters a piece of his mind in no uncertain terms: “They stole this from me!!! I have the emails from Ninja and many more forms of proof.”
That was in August 20
11, indicating something had gone awry since the previous year, in February 2010, when Duitsman was wishing them well: “I’m so chuffed Die Antwoord is doing well!!! And to think that they started their group because of a simple clip I made for fun!!!!”
In May that year he even posted a photograph of himself with Ninja to US pop star Katy Perry, saying: “Can’t believe you are meeting with Die Antwoord! That is awesome! I am so jealous of them.”
Then, on Friday last week Kameraad Mhambi entered the fray, posting on his blog that he could reveal that Die Antwoord, “in an email (below), promised one Anton Duitsman rights to and proceeds for their first album $O$. That was for use of his words (and in one his voice)”.
Duitsman, he said, was to be credited with 20 percent of the lyrics, and with 100 percent of the lyrics for My Best Friend specifically.
Die Antwoord have not responded to the allegations levelled at them.
The band were first signed to Magnatron Records, before moving to Interscope. And, according to Mhambi, Die Antwoord did contact Duitsman and a contract was sent by Magnatron’s Daan de Boer.
Later, he said, Interscope promised his royalties would be paid, but after being referred to local distributor Sony ATV, Duitsman’s calls were allegedly ignored.
In 2011 Die Antwoord started their own label, Zefrecords. - Sunday Argus