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This week, we talk to the incredible poet, emcee, actor, and musician Saul Williams. Williams, who had been an emcee since his teenage years, first rose to prominence on the slam poetry circuit, winning acclaim in the mid 1990’s. He was a co-writer and star of the award-winning 1998 film Slam, which increased his profile and led to him getting a record deal.
Williams’ first album, 2001’s Amethyst Rock Star, was a mind-blowing melding of poetry, hip-hop, and rock. That record and its follow-up, a self-titled 2004 album, were in part jeremiads about the state of hip-hop from someone who loved it but was severely disappointed in what it had become. Williams has released two more albums and four books of poetry over the years, and his latest work is a “literary mixtape” called Chorus.