Underground Pick #6

November 29, 2009 at 9:08 pm (Uncategorized)

THE DEAD EMCEE SCROLLS by Saul Williams, 2006.

First off I think it’s time to define exactly what I mean when I say this, and what the purpose of these  “underground picks” are… the term’s not just meant to suggest attention to something simply not getting any – not just a list of things America’s slept on.  This is art that fights to take back some of our collective mental shelf space from the monotone hum of the mainstream. Saul’s book is the right piece of art to mention this on, because it’s published by MTV Books.  The Official Idea Killer corporation is the one footing the bill for this work.  But even Saul addresses this is one of his poems: “Here’s the key. DNA encoded in a beat. White rocks in a vial, NGH, ain’t got nuthin / on me. BCH, I’m free. Ask these editors at / MTV. Far as they know they’re publishing / some new school poetry. Let it be. ‘Cause / even that will do to turn the key. Doorways  / into other worlds. The truth shall set you free.”

I think the collection is brilliant.  It transcends slam poetry and hip hop lyricism, dropping tons of those same eternal bombs you find in classic poetry but updated for the digital generation. For hip hop heads who don’t read, (first of all you gotta, and) this book is a great, great place to start. It hits deep on so many levels. Plus, Saul Williams is the only hip hop artist I know that’ll rock a pink mohawk on stage. Check it out here.

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