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Saul Williams is a man of many talents - an actor who has starred in hit movies and Broadway shows; a poet who made a huge impression on the spoken word and poetry slam scenes and has published multiple volumes; and a musician who has recorded five albums with collaborators like Trent Reznor and Rick Rubin.

It is this last talent that brought him to us for this episode. Saul has a brand-new album called MartyrLoserKing that brings together many of his career-long themes into its story. The record, along with an accompanying graphic novel and film, both in the works, tells the story of the titular character, a cyber hacker living in the East African country of Burundi. He builds a Frankenstein’s Monster-like super-computer from the parts of abandoned desktops, teaches himself how to code, and develops an online cult following. He’s in love with a transgender woman named Neptune Frost and hosts a cryptic and anarchist podcast. His eventual hacks into Google and the Pentagon turn him into Public Enemy No. 1, a kind of militant Edward Snowden. We talk to Saul about how the story came about, where it’s going, and his thoughts on recent events from David Bowie’s passing to the Paris terrorist attacks.

Tracks featured in this episode:

  1. Holler If Ya Hear Me, “Holler If Ya Hear Me”
  2. Saul Williams, “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
  3. TV On the Radio, “Province (feat David Bowie)”
  4. Tindersticks, “4.48 Psychosis”
  5. Patti Smith, “Tarkovsky (The Second Stop Is Jupiter)”
  6. Saul Williams - “The Announcement” - A Message from MartyrLoserKing
  7. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition
  8. Saul Williams, “Think Like They Book Say”
  9. African Burundi Drum Music
  10. Konono N°1, “Lufuala Nodonga”
  11. Kasai Allstars, “Beyond The 7th Moon”
  12. Saul Williams, “The Noise Came From Here”
  13. Saul Williams, “Homes/Drones/Poems/Drums”
  14. Saul Williams, “Groundwork”
  15. Saul Williams f/Haleek Maul, “All Coltrane Solos At Once”
  16. Saul WIlliams, “Ashes”
  17. Saul Williams, “Look To The Sun”
  18. Saul Williams, “Think Like They Book Say”
  19. Saul Williams, “Ohm”
  20. Saul Williams, “Amethyst Rocks”
  21. Saul Williams Performs Said the Shotgun to the Head
  22. Saul Williams, “The Bear / Coltan As Cotton”
  23. Lupe Fiasco, “The End of the World”
  24. Saul Williams f/Haleek Maul, “All Coltrane Solos At Once”
  25. Saul Williams f/Haleek Maul, “All Coltrane Solos At Once”
  26. Saul Williams f/Emily Kokal, “Burundi”
  27. T La Rock, “It’s Yours”
  28. Saul Williams f/Haleek Maul, “All Coltrane Solos At Once”
  29. Eric B. & Rakim, “Paid In Full”
  30. Saul Williams f/Haleek Maul, “All Coltrane Solos At Once”
  31. Rammellzee f/K-Rob, “Beat Bop”
  32. Saul Williams f/Emily Kokal, “Burundi”
  33. Alain Resnais & Chris Marker - Les Statues Meurent Aussi (Statues Also Die) - 1953
  34. downtown 81 trailer
  35. Saul Williams, “Roach Eggs”
  36. Saul Williams, “Horn Of The Clock-Bike”
  37. Saul Williams, “Down For Some Ignorance”
  38. Saul Williams f/Emily Kokal, “Burundi”

Show notes:

  1. Saul Williams’ MartyrLoserKing Tumblr
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