Saul Williams

The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust (n / a)

SXSW Platters

Saul Williams

The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust

Like Radiohead's In Rainbows, Saul Williams' Trent Reznor-produced The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust is available by a payment-optional download. Most critics zero in on distribution method because, frankly, the music's bloody complicated. The moment the chaotic machine-gun drums of "Black History Month" assault your eardrums, it's obvious this isn't your average hip-hop album. And yet when the renowned poet starts rapping about "trill niggas" and "shell toes," it's easy to see how the average Nine Inch Nails fan might get lost along the way. A nod to Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, Niggy's a very loose song cycle about freeing yourself from conceptions of race, gender, sexuality, and realness ... err, something. Williams covers U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and pays homage to Bomb Squad-era Public Enemy on "Tr(n)igger." It's uneven but easily one of the most ambitious projects of 2007. (Wednesday, March 12, Vice, 1am.)


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Saul Williams

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