Watkin Tudor Jones

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Watkin Tudor Jones
Die Antwoord's Ninja, head - Venue Nightclub - Vancouver, BC.jpg
Watkin Tudor Jones (Ninja) performing live
Background information
Birth name Watkin Tudor Jones
Also known as Ninja
Max Normal
The Man Who Never Came Back
MC Totally Rad
Yang Weapon
Born (1974-09-26) 26 September 1974 (age 42)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Years active 1993–present
Associated acts Yolandi Visser
The Original Evergreen
The Constructus Corporation
Die Antwoord

Watkin Tudor Jones (born 26 September 1974),[4] also known by his stage name Ninja, is a South African rapper and record producer, best known for his role as the male vocalist of rap-rave group Die Antwoord.[5]

Jones comes from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he attended Parktown Boys' High School. Jones left school in 1992, one year before matriculating. He divides his time between Los Angeles and Cape Town.[citation needed]

Jones was a part of the South African hip-hop scene for many years. He has had many different stage personas, including with the Sibot-produced The Fantastic Kill and Markus Wormstorm-produced promo-only EP "Emmanuel Rothchild - My Favourite Songs" and "Markus Wormstorm Is Not Gay", and fronting such acts as The Original Evergreen, MaxNormal.TV, and The Constructus Corporation.[6] He is best known as Ninja from Die Antwoord.

Jones has embarked on various other endeavors, notably graphic art and stuffed animal making,.[7]

Yolandi Visser, Jones's former partner,[8] has been a frequent collaborator and is also a member of Die Antwoord. The two have a daughter together, named Sixteen.[9][10]

Max Normal[edit]

Jones was the lead vocalist of Max Normal, a live hip hop act, which released their debut album entitled Songs From The Mall in 2001. The band performed at various festivals around South Africa, including Up the Creek, Splashy Fen, and Oppikoppi. They also played in London and three shows at the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium.[11] A second version of this band evolved into the 'corporate' hip-hop group MaxNormal.tv in which they released an album, Good Morning South Africa, in 2008 with a sound not unlike the later-formed and more well-known group "Die Antwoord." They were a South African hip-hop crew that performed live wearing three-piece suits while frontman MaxNormal delivered his motivational speaking style raps to the audience. He also illustrated his lyrics to help the audience follow which were projected onto a big screen above the live performers and are triggered live to the beat by Max's personal assistant, Yolandi Visser, in a PowerPoint presentation style.[citation needed] Max Normal Also featured band members Justin de Nobrega, Jakob Basson, and Brad Armitage.

In early 2002, Jones disbanded Max Normal, just as the band was reaching South African stardom, headlining festivals like Oppikoppi and charting on 5FM (citing being creatively stifled as reason). He relocated to Cape Town and began collaborating with DJ Dope of Krushed & Sorted and Felix Laband on the music for a multi-media project he had conceptualised involving a graphic novel with soundtrack and live show. These sessions spawned the Man Who Never Came Back track on African Dope's Cape Of Good Dope compilation in 2002, but gradually mutated into The Constructus Corporation outfit. Yolandi Visser, listed as "Anica The Snuffling" on the credits, was also involved.[citation needed]

The Constructus Corporation[edit]

When Jones disbanded Max Normal in early 2002, he and long-time DJ partner Sibot invited Markus Wormstorm and Felix Laband to collaborate on his ambitious The Constructus Corporation project, which resulted in the concept album / graphic novel The Ziggurat (ADOPECD009 African Dope Records 2002).[12]

After a production process including mix and master by Krushed & Sorted, In 3 June 2002, "The Ziggurat" was released. This is an 88-page pink hard-covered book containing a hand-written hiphop fantasy story by Jones, which follows the adventures of two kids on a giant futuristic floating world / shopping mall called The Ziggurat, with detailed etched digital illustrations by artist Nikhil Singh, a soundtrack CD on which Jones plays several different characters, and a bonus blank CD at the back of the book with instructions on where to download an entire second album of music and narrations for free, with which to fill the CD. The Constructus Corporation disbanded in 2003 after releasing The Ziggurat.[citation needed]


In 2005, Jones resurrected and revamped Max Normal as the 'corporate' hip-hop group "MaxNormal.TV." The new lineup consisted of Watkin Tudor Jones revising as "Max Normal", and Anri du Toit as Yolandi Visser. The band also featured Neon Don, and Justin De Nobrega playing various recurring characters. Their 2008 album "Good Morning South Africa" contains many lyrical and visual clues signaling their upcoming transition to Die Antwoord. In 2009 the group evolved into Die Antwoord, with Jones assuming the character Ninja full-time, and du Toit becoming the zef version of Yolandi Visser previously seen in the "Total Fuckup" music video.

Die Antwoord[edit]

Die Antwoord [13] is a rap-rave group formed in 2008 and composed of Ninja, Yolandi Visser and DJ Hi-Tek.[14] The band self-identifies as a melange of several diverse cultures all mixed into one.[14] Die Antwoord toured Europe in April 2010 and the U.S. later that same year.[14] Their debut album $O$ was made available as a free download on their official website.[15] In late 2009 South African cinematographer Rob Malpage co-directed (with Jones), co-produced (with Left Films and Die Antwoord) and lensed the video for their single "Enter the Ninja".[16] The promo became a viral video on the internet nine months later, delivering millions of hits to the official Die Antwoord website, eventually crashing the website's server.[14] The video also features South African progeria sufferer Leon Botha, a prominent Cape Town artist.[17] Die Antwoord performs "Zef" music, zef being a South African slang term that describes a unique South African style which is modern while including out-of-date, discarded cultural and style elements.[14] Their lyrics are humorous and explicit, and performed in both Afrikaans and English.[14][15][18] Members of the band consider themselves as hip hop artists, but specifically refer to their music as zef rap-rave.[19]

Die Antwoord
Yolandi during a gig in Vancouver, BC 
Yolandi, Ninja, and DJ Hi-Tek at El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles 
Ninja crowdsurfing during a gig at Coachella 

Television and film career[edit]

Pre 1995: Jones has appeared in nonspeaking roles in various South African Nando's commercials.[20][21]

1995: Kickboxer V, Kickboxer 5,[22][23] Jones had a supporting role as a prison inmate.[citation needed]

2010: Jones co-starred with du Toit in the short documentary on the South African "Tokoloshe" [24]

2011: Jones along with du Toit (Yolandi Visser), starred in the short film "Umshini Wam" which is a popular Zulu struggle song meaning "bring me my machine gun" and was directed by Harmony Korine.[citation needed]

2015: Jones, along with du Toit (Yolandi Visser), costarred in Neill Blomkamp's science-fiction film Chappie.[25] The film features the songs "Baby's On Fire", "Ugly Boy", "Cookie Thumper" and "Enter the Ninja" from his band Die Antwoord.[26] The film also co-starred Hugh Jackman[27] and Sigourney Weaver.[28]

Personal life[edit]

On 26 September 1974, Jones was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He spent most of his youth living with his father, mother, and younger brothers. Jones started Parktown Boys' High School in the autumn of 1989.[citation needed]

In 1992, upon leaving school before graduation, Jones moved out of his parents home to a small travel-all close to Alexandra and 19th Streets near the Jukskei River. During this time, Jones struggled with being successful, starting his first project "The Original Evergreens", which was not a successful venture. With the failure of The Original Evergreens, Jones again tried to have a successful band; "Max Normal" was next. Although short-lived, Max Normal was a mild success, but still a failure. After his second attempt at creating a band, Jones was not discouraged and attempted to start another entertainment empire with "The Constructus Corporation", which showcased Jones's musical talent. Unhappy with the direction in which "The Constructus Corporation" was going, however, Jones decided to disband it. After this, Jones formed MaxNormal.tv. Wildly successful, although not in the direction Jones wanted to go, he again cancelled MaxNormal.tv, but keep a few of the key members of that project, especially Anri du Toit (Yo-Landi Visser) and Justin de Norbrega (GOD aka DJ Hi-Tek).[citation needed]

Jones and du Toit have a daughter named Sixteen Jones, born 15 January 2005. Jones has stated that he and du Toit (Visser) have not been in a romantic relationship since 2009.[29]

Jones frequently contradicts himself about his personal history: he has stated that he and Yolandi have known each other since childhood,[30] but has also said they met as adults. He has stated that his father has been shot and his brother took his own life.[31]


As a solo artist[edit]

  • Memoirs of a Clone (2001 Chameleon records)[32]
  • The Fantastic Kill (2005) [33]
  • Cryptycism on Cape Town Beats (2007) single [34]
  • MC Totally Rad And DJ Fuck Are Fucknrad (2007) [35]

The Original Evergreens[edit]

  • Puff The Magik (1995) single [36]

Max Normal.tv[edit]

  • Songs From The Mall (2001 Chameleon records) [37]

The Constructus Corporation[edit]

Die Antwoord[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Anything But Normal (archived)". Levi's Original Music Magazine. 9 September 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-03-24. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Donker Mag (album), Raging Zef Boner (track 5), line 1 and repeated throughout track (lyrics)
  3. ^ "Die Antwoord to sign with Interscope, Neill Blomkamp to direct next video". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  4. ^ "Max Normal - Music, Movies, Merchandise". Web.archive.org. 2007-03-05. Archived from the original on 8 December 2007. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  5. ^ "Die Antwoord". 23 March 2017 – via Wikipedia. 
  6. ^ Barker, Jean. "24 Facts: Die Antwoord". Channel24. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  7. ^ Jones, Watkin. "MaxNormal.TV Krismis Time!". MaxNormal.TV Official Blogspot. Retrieved 2008-01-12. 
  8. ^ Daryl Keating (2016-09-12). "Die Antwoord: The Complete Interview". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2016-09-28. 
  9. ^ Coetzer, Diane (31 January 2012). "Die Antwoord: The Rolling Stone Interview". Rolling Stone Magazine (South African Edition). Rolling Stone. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 
  10. ^ Archived version of South African Rolling Stone interview - given original link was not working. Retrieved on 2017-03-24 from https://web.archive.org/web/20120313205112/http://www.rollingstone.co.za/musicrev/item/529-die-antwoord-the-rolling-stone-interview?.
  11. ^ Retrieved from http://www.sovereignexpress.com/?w=epk&b=760.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Ziggurat - African Dope Records". Africandope.co.za. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  13. ^ "Security Check Required". 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "S.African Afrikaans rappers takes Internet by storm | Oddly Enough | Reuters". Af.reuters.com. 2010-02-05. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  15. ^ a b "Die Antwoord | 15 Minutes with a NINJA". Mahala. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  16. ^ "Die Antwoord - Enter the Ninja Music Video". Dontparty.co.za. 2015-09-02. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  17. ^ Jardin, Xeni (2010-02-03). "Die Antwoord, S. African zef-rap, and Progeria survivor Leon Botha - Boing Boing". M.boingboing.net. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  18. ^ "Wat Pomp Lyrics | Die Antwoord English Song Translation". Latinrapper.com. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ "Security Check Required". 
  21. ^ "Security Check Required". 
  22. ^ "Ninja prison fight in Kickboxer 5". YouTube. 2012-10-17. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  23. ^ "The Redemption: Kickboxer 5 (1995)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  24. ^ Die Antwoord World Wide Fans (31 December 2015). "Die antwoord Tokoloshe" – via YouTube. 
  25. ^ "Meet 'Chappie', the Real Gangster In This New Clip". Bloody-disgusting.com. 2015-02-20. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  26. ^ "Die Antwoord Featured In Latest 'Chappie' Featurette". Bloody-disgusting.com. 2015-02-20. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  27. ^ "Hugh Jackman". 24 March 2017 – via Wikipedia. 
  28. ^ "Sigourney Weaver". 25 March 2017 – via Wikipedia. 
  29. ^ "Die Antwoord ~ Straight From The Horse'S Piel". YouTube. 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  30. ^ "Die Antwoord - Zef Side (Official)". YouTube. 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  31. ^ "Die Antwoord Mu nosic Video Commentary - Meltdown Event". YouTube. 2015-01-31. Retrieved 2015-09-06. 
  32. ^ piotrkitlarz (6 November 2010). "Watkin Tudor Jones - Memoirs of a Clone" – via YouTube. 
  33. ^ bvh13 (8 March 2010). "WATKIN TUDOR JONES - VISITOR" – via YouTube. 
  34. ^ FearNoGrave (28 August 2010). "Man Who Never Came Back - Crypticism (Watkin Tudor Jones)" – via YouTube. 
  35. ^ x. heesy (6 November 2012). "Mc Totally Rad and Dj Fuck are Fuck N Rad - Swiss" – via YouTube. 
  36. ^ J4YVSJ4Y (30 May 2012). "The Original Evergreen :: Puff The Magik" – via YouTube. 
  37. ^ RAH-B (14 April 2013). "Max Normal - Songs From The Mall [Full Album]" – via YouTube. 
  38. ^ J4YVSJ4Y (10 September 2013). "The Constructus Corporation :: The Ziggurat FULL ALBUM" – via YouTube. 
  39. ^ Andrash88 (7 August 2013). "Die Antwoord - $O$ (full album) + bonus tracks" – via YouTube. 
  40. ^ Ssangre Friia (7 February 2016). "Die Antwoord - 5 - EP - 2010" – via YouTube. 
  41. ^ Andrash88 (7 August 2013). "Die Antwoord - $O$ (full album) + bonus tracks" – via YouTube. 
  42. ^ Ssangre Friia (6 February 2016). "Die Antwoord - Ekstra - EP 2010 - FULL EP." – via YouTube. 
  43. ^ Free Música (28 January 2013). "Ten$ion - Die Antwoord (Full Album) 2012" – via YouTube. 
  44. ^ "YouTube". 
  45. ^ Die Antwoord (19 May 2016). "DIE ANTWOORD - DANCE WIF DA DEVIL ft. The Black Goat (Official Audio)" – via YouTube. 
  46. ^ Die Antwoord (23 September 2016). "DIE ANTWOORD - ALIEN (Official Audio)" – via YouTube. 

External links[edit]