Real girls in their own place.
Not too crazy and just a pinch of naughty...
pictures by @SaulWilliams
words by Falene
Saul Williams is smarter than you!
The problem is he’s smarter than me too and I’m interviewing him. Usually chatting with complete strangers never intimidates me, in fact there’s nothing I rather do. There’s a certain intimacy to a phone conversation with a person you have never met. This time however in the back of my mind with every “silly” question I ask (not that that’s ever stopped me before), there’s a little voice taunting me. “Saul Williams is smarter then you! Yeah - that’s right! Saul Williams is smarter than you” and for some strange reason it’s to the beat of “You Can’t Wu Tang Better Than Me.” WTF? Perhaps it’s because Saul is not only creatively quite the genius, but academically he’s pretty impressive too; with a B.A. in philosophy from Morehouse and that Masters from NYU. When it comes to debating a topic, he’s usually got you beat, or at least in a quandary. Which of course adds to his mischievous charm and striking good looks. Not too far back the blogosphere was ablaze, how could he let “List of Demands” (his damning tune on over-consumption), end up as a commercial soundtrack for Nike? Intentional irony? Was it part of his satirical plan all along? Or was he just letting the most well intentioned progressives know, not even they have the right to dictate to Saul what’s cool or acceptable.
Influenced as much by Allen Ginsberg as Public Enemy, he’s collaborated with everyone from Erykah Badu to Trent Reznor. Emphasizing his utter refusal to be artistically contained. His is a voice that can contribute as easily to popular men’s mag Esquire, as the more highbrow New York Times and African Voices. He’s published 5 critically acclaimed poetry books, won the coveted Grand Prize at Sundance and the Cannes Camera D’Or, while shaking up the literary academia in his spare time. My brain matter got greyer just thinking about it! Now after the irreverent “Niggy Tardust” (an eff you to musical genres) he brought out “Volcanic Sunlight,” a personal music collection of sorts. For Saul Williams it’s more important to get people thinking, then talking. Whether you agree with him or not, really isn’t the point.
He skypecalls me from Paris. I suddenly feel terribly cosmopolitan.