Inspirational Artist: Saul Williams

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This new feature we’re introducing to our entertainments section is all about showing some loving to those inspirational artists who deserve some glorification.

What better way to kick off this feature than with the recognition of one of the most multi-faceted artists to ever walk this planet, the man himself Saul Williams.

His talent is so beautiful, so pure and so potent that even just calling him an artist feels like an understatement.

Who is he?

To those who haven’t heard of Saul Williams and are wondering what he does, the simple way of putting things is that he does everything.

More specifically he’s an American rapper, singer, songwriter, musician, poet, writer and actor.

He’s best known for his impeccable combinations of heart-felt and topical poetry infused with trendy hip hop beats and his lead roles in the 1998 film ‘Slam’ and ‘Holla if ya hear me‘, which was released in 2013.

Budding poet becomes film star…

During 1996 Williams collaborated with a number of other budding poets to create the Nuyorican Poets Slam Team.

Their battle in the 1996 National Poetry Slam was documented in the ‘SlamNation’ documentary.

This boosted the reputation and respect for the Nuyorican Poets Café which was founded in 1973 as part of the Nuyorican Art Movement in New York.

Following this rise in recognition, Williams featured as the lead role in the 1998 independent movie ‘Slam’ which follows the story of a young African-American man who’s social background restricts his passion and talent for poetry.

He also contributed to writing the movie which won the Sundance Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Cannes Camera D’Or.

Then came the music…

During the beginning of his experimentation with music, Williams managed to perform with a huge range of timeless artists from hip hop trio De La Soul to inspirational Beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg.

He released his first LP ‘Amethyst Rock Star’ in 2001, followed by his critically acclaimed self-titled album in 2004.

He later collaborated with Trent Reznor to produce his album ‘The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!’ which was released in 2007.

The name was a reference to David Bowie’s legendary 1972 album ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’ and many of the lyrics were adapted from Williams’ 2006 poetry book ‘The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The Lost Teachings of Hip-Hop’.

After touring and sharing the roar emotion of NiggyTardust! to masses of live audiences, Williams began work on his fourth album ‘Volcanic Sunlight’ which was released in 2011.

Williams kicked off the new year of 2016 with his fifth album ‘MartyrLoserKing’ which was released on the 26th January 2016.

It doesn’t end there…

Alongside his expressive and captivating music and film appearances, Williams has also released four poetry collections and managed to tour and lecture across the globe.

When LiveMusic interviewed Williams and asked him what the point of poetry was, he responded: “it is the window that opens, that allows some air in, some other insight, some other possibility so we can explore all that we feel, all that we think but with the space to see more than what we know, because there is so much more than we know. If I didn’t open myself to the possibilities of the unknown, then I would be lost.”

In his interview in the book ‘Words in Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam’, Williams discusses his reasoning behind his choice to use a variety of arts for his expression.

He stated: “all the different arts balance me out. So, that there is a certain type of emotion that is more easily accessible through music than poetry…some things are meant to be written, some are meant to be sung, some things are meant to be hummed, some things are made to be yelled, and so that’s just how life works.”

His passion for the art of expression alone is truly refreshing and liberating.

Williams is also a vegan and a vocal critic of the War on Terrorism and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

At 45 years of age he continues to work as an inspirational icon to many, a man who’s incredible talent and versatility cannot be questioned.


Words by Maisie Green


To experience his incredibility, check out:

His official website here.

His Spotify here.

Twitter: @saulwilliams here

Instagram: @saulwilliams here

Featured image from twitter.com









Khushi is your entertainment editor

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