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CD Review: Die Antwoord 

Ten$ion (Downtown)

The first time you heard South African rappers Die Antwoord's "Enter the Ninja" was such a rush, right? Between Yo-Landi Vi$$er's pixie-voiced sing-songy choruses and Ninja's super-quick, often incomprehensible rhymes, it sounded little like the formulated hip-hop we're used to and more like the most fucked-up party jam ever created by backwoods kids who just want to fit in. Then their debut, $o$, dropped, and you quickly realized that what's kinda cool for four minutes can be a headache-inducing mess over an entire album. The follow-up, Ten$ion, isn't any tidier. Ninja's raps still come at you at fastball speeds, and Yo-Landi's hooks aren't any clearer (what exactly is "I Fink U Freeky" about?). But the beats are flashier, which certainly keep songs like "Fatty Boom Boom" and "U Make a Ninja Wanna Fuck" moving. — Michael Gallucci

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