The Retrospective

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Saul Williams – The Invetible Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust

November 1st, 2007 by

Saul Williams

Way back in high school is when I first got into Saul Williams; I’m not sure how, but at some point I got a hold of his first CD Amethyst Rock Star; I’m not going to lie it changed my life. Not really because of the subject matter, but because of the delivery. If you you’ve never heard Saul Williams before you are missing out on some serious stuff; he can transcend most mediums, he is a Writer, Musician, Poet, Actor. His last album self titled Saul Williams; was a reaction against the “gangster play” of both our country and popular music; songs like Grippo, Telegram to Hip-hop, African Student Movement all dealt with politics in this country and also and at times more importantly inner politics. At times it takes on some very heavy social matters but delivered in a way that you could bob your head to. Saul Williams is not just Hip-Hop, he transcends genres without even trying, the very nature of his art is the knowledge of self. His new and most ambitious album to date called The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Stardust is produced by both him and Trent Reznor. Take a look at the track listing and our probably going to be baffled (if the name of the album hasn’t already) if your not familiar I think it’s a play on The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust the seminal album by David Bowie. With songs like Tr(nigger), Raw, Skin of a Drum and Raised to be Lowered its definitely an intense album and a more focused one. The influence of Trent Reznor can be heard all over the place but the focus is still on Saul, his words never disappoint.

Nothing comes off as trite or unfocused, its definitely the work of an artist developing himself and his sound. There is more singing on this album than previous albums and at first it threw me off, but Saul’s voice is very developed and is very good; It sort of reminds me of seal without the cheesy subject matter. Also the singing is offset by hard songs like DNA and Skin of Drum. Lyrically there is layers and layers that’s hard to even delve to into relatively deep in this little review. The album is being released through Saul’s site, and he has taken a more independent route this time, you have the option of purchasing the album for 5 dollars or for “free”. I would recommend supporting him and his endeavors and just pay the five bucks, its well worth it. Oh, and there is a interesting cover of Sunday Bloody, Sunday by U2, sort of Tv on the Radio meets UGK. On a side note, can some one please remix this album, unless your that French dj duo which will remain nameless; definitely some club bangers that would work in a club, wouldn’t that be some crazy shit, Saul being blasted in a club with some girl grinding to DNA or some thing?

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  • 1 Chion Wolf Nov 8, 2007 at 11:21 am

    oh man, i first heard of saul in san francisco back in the day, and was completely awed. thanks for letting me know he’s got new stuff out!!! i’m on it… 🙂