Saul Williams is the voice of rebellion. He's been the star of the stage, the screen, and the creator of two critically acclaimed albums. He has no fear, taking on hip-hop, the Black community, the White community, and America itself. Recently, Saul toured with the heavy metal group and he released his third book, The Dead Emcee Scrolls.
So I was reading your bio and it was saying that your mom was rushed from a James Brown concert to give birth to you... What is that all about?
I don't know, I was in the belly (laughs).
Well… on the 27th of February, 1972, when the concert was getting good, my mom had to get rushed from the hospital. I started kicking her like crazy.
So you were are revolutionary in the beginning?
First of all, I don't think of myself as a revolutionary. I think of myself as ME. My parents were activists. My dad was active on several fronts and at rallies. He was beside Dr. King and Jesse Jackson. My mom brought the Black History Month celebration to our school district as well. We had guests at the house like Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan. I grew up interacting with these cats. They were my heroes growing up.
Were they also the inspiration for your poetry?
Not at all. All that shit was cool to me but I didn't give a fuck. I started out as an MC, not a poet. I was inspired by Run DMC, but when KRS One dropped I was inspired… When I was 13, I was rappin' about cars, girls, sneakers, and even fuckin' grills. I got jumped in 8th grade and they took my Gucci pouch, my jewelry, my nameplate, my fake Gucci watch. That's one of the reasons I don't bling today. I don't bling, I blame. My dad would ask me to write rhymes for these community events he would be putting on. And I was like "Hell yeah!" I would say some rhymes about "Say No To Drugs" or something like that, and then I realized that I could be political and rock the house at the same time.