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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Saul Williams -- s/t (Fader) 2004

I never listened to Williams until seeing him at SXSW, where he showed how to work a hip-hop crowd while dropping smart, conscious rhymes. His self-titled album from last year's practically a must-have if you're into this type of hip-hop. "Grippo" stands out, with its booming chorus, and "Black Stacey" works as a strong statement of self-empowerment, and the uses and abuses of language. Williams performs as much as a spoken-word poet as a rapper, blurring a distinction that's still fuzzy in some circles. Musically, the beats are pretty varied, and Williams makes great use of electric guitar (much better than, say, Mos Def did on The New Danger).


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