Die Antwoord added their freaky voices to the barrage of Suicide Squad criticism on Wednesday, saying that director David Ayer was “jockin” their style in his edgy antihero-filled summer blockbuster.
The South African shock-rap duo led off a montage video singer Yo-Landi Visser posted on Instagram with a definition of “jockin” (to copy the likeness of and/or follow intently), and pointed out all the ways Ayer ripped off their distinctive style in the Suicide Squad aesthetic.
You won’t find that particular definition of “jockin” in any dictionary – even the Urban one – but that doesn’t mean that Die Antwoord isn’t right about Ayer trying to be zef.
A lengthy caption to the video — which juxtaposed images of the group with stills from the films — details some other perceived plagiarisms on Ayer’s part. The rap group references the use of its signature font (“black and white graf style”) on some of Suicide Squad’s numerous — and hilariously unnecessary — text screens. They also claim Ayer references the group’s 2011 short film with Harmony Korine, “Umshini Wam,” in the “opening sequence”.
Die Antwoord also note that they “heard from [Squad stars] Cara [DeLevigne] and Jared [Leto]” (imagine those conversations) that Ayer had been bringing the group up on set, but never asked permission to use any of their ideas. They insinuate that Ayer had called them prior to production about something — “pretending to be down” — offering further proof that he was deeply aware of their oeuvre.
Later, he never responded to texts from the group, and then tried to act like nothing had happened when Antwoord frontman Ninja attended the movie premiere.
Die Antwoord are not happy — to choose only two of the epithets used, they call Ayer a “lil bitch” and a “fake fuck.” If many have accused Suicide Squad of being inspired by the attendant visual palette and culture of the Hot Topic store chain — director Kevin Smith even praised it for this reason — it now seems more possible that it was tatted-up Die Antwoord goon-foolery that inspired the garishness of Ayer’s movie.
Which begs the question: Is Suicide Squad a post-Chappie film? Neil Blomkamp’s sentient android bildungsroman Chappie, for those who have not had the pleasure of viewing it, is heavily influenced by Die Antwoord’s aesthetics — the group designed their own wardrobe in the film, which co-stars them as gangsters who steal Chappie and familiarize him with their freer way of living.
Blomkamp wanted that Antwoord magic, and allowed the group to bring Chappie into their universe on their own terms. Looks like Ayer was too much a fuckboy to do the same.
Inverse stands with Die Antwoord on this one, both because of the evidence and because Suicide Squad is the death of everything that we love.