Friday, March 1, 2013

Saul Williams - The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! (2007)

The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! is an album from New York born rapper, slam poet, and actor Saul Williams. He released his first album, Amethyst Rock Star, in 2001. Three years prior he starred in the movie which would launch his career, Slam, it won a Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance awards and raked in about $1,000,000 at the box office. If you enjoy this album I would highly recommend watching the film because it features a lot of great poetry from him. After Slam he released a few albums, including Amethyst Rocks Star, which, while not nearly as acidic as this, still has a bit of an Industrial influence. 

Anyway, NiggyTardust marks the start of a much more Industrial-influenced period in Saul's discography, his next album, simply called "Saul Williams," also saw similar caustic production like this album. The album starts out with the bombastic "Black History Month" (and it also so happens I'm reviewing this on the last day of Black History Month) the way he belts out the chorus may turn some people off of the song but I quite enjoy. Another thing to note is that the album was produced by Trent Reznor, leader of Industrial Rock band Nine Inch Nails. His ability shows as this album has some really splendid, abrasive production. A few tracks into the album Saul does a cover of U2's Sunday Bloody Sunday, which is a really, really, really strange choice in my opinion. I really don't care for U2 at all, but Saul kills it (in a good way) and it kinda feels like he's giving the song his own meaning, so it ends up working out in the end, and although it's one of the weaker tracks on the album it's still pretty damn good. Saul's flow is pretty nice and he has a great amount of depth in his resourceful lyrics. The parts where it become almost like an, a capella almost I guess, are really lovely. His actual singing is very smooth and nice. Which I'm not sure if it seems fitting for an album like this, but he certainly does make it work. My favorite tracks off of this album are "Black History Month," "WTF!" "Raised To Be Lowered," "Skin of a Drum," and "NiggyTardust." The whole album is good so I can't really pick favorite that easily. If you like both Industrial music and Hip-Hop, this album was basically made for you. I would also recommend this to anybody who enjoys Death Grips, this album is pretty similar to The Money Store or No Love Deep Web. Saul truly brings a lot to the table on this album, cementing it in a spot in my top 10 favorite Hip-Hop album.

Hail Mary, Mother of God
Got the whole host of angels shuffling in my iPod