Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday music

You may have heard today's music recommendation on a current Nike commercial. Saul Williams is awesome. I don't know how else to put it. I guess if I had to put a genre label on him, it'd be hip hop, but I don't know if that entirely describes his sound. His latest album, The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust, employed Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor as a producer, and his influence is definitely heard. Industrial hip hop, maybe? Industrial pop hip hop? I don't know. All I know is that it's good stuff. Here's what Williams had to say about the album, released late 2007

My Dearest Friends and Fans,

It is my greatest honor to present to you The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!, my new album produced by Trent Reznor and mixed by Alan Moulder. The wall of sound that we've created is tagged with such graffiti that a passerby would seek out doors and ways to ENTER. Once inside a world defined by dreams come true they'd find aligned with the simplest act of sharing what we treasure. Most people aren't aware of the world of art and commerce where exploitation strips each artist down to nigger. Each label, like apartheid, multiplies us by our divide and whips us 'til we conform to lesser figures. What falls between the cracks is a pile of records stacked to the heights of talents hidden from the sun. Yet the energy they put into popularizing smut makes a star of a shiny polished gun. The ballot or the bullet for Mohawk or the mullet is a choice between new times and dying days. And the only way to choose is to jump ship from old truths and trust dolphins as we swim through changing ways. The ways of middlemen proves to be just a passing trend. We need no priests to talk to God. No phone to call her. And when you click the link below, i think it fair that you should know that your purchase will make middlemen much poorer...




And, from his myspace
As far as the way we’ve decided to release the album, we’re aware that it’s pretty risky, but are even more aware that we cant turn to the so-called powers that be of the industry for answers. Someone has got to be willing to take chances. I was very inspired by the recent Radiohead release and felt compelled, almost instantly, to follow my gut and expand on their concept. Obviously, independent artists have been around for years. My indie film, Slam was in fact what opened so many doors for me. yet, the stigma of being an indie artist in the music world hasn’t always been rewarding. This time I feel different. I feel like the times have conspired to make this album an important part of history.
He released it in a similar manner as Radiohead's In Rainbows, online, with a lower quality 192 kbs version available for no charge, a higher quality 320 kbs version available for only $5. The free download is no longer available (it was limited to the first 10,000), but all versions can still be purchased for $5 at

Here's a promo video for a track from the album, a most excellent cover of U2's "Sunday, Bloody Sunday."

You can follow the links in the player for more info.

If nothing else, read his words, listen to his music, watch the video, and, hopefully, enjoy. His words may be brash, his sound isn't for everyone, but I dig it, and I definitely respect his message.

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