Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Saul Williams

Is one of my favorite spoken word artists.  Also, I loved him in "Girlfriends" as Lynn's celibate boyfriend.  :)




Saul Williams       (during a rap slam practice at the Portland Nationals) 

Whish-shhhh, whish- shhhh, whish- shhhh … 

If I could sample the wind I would loop it and 
let my life poem flow over its sacred beats. 
Using Kilamenjaro as my jembe I would drum rainbows 
out of the moonlight and use them as hooks in between verses. 
Verses of little girls spinning ropes in opposite directions 
waiting for an opening to jump in. 

As the world turns double dutch 
I jump double time over oceans and back 
the water waves and I wave back  
awakening echoes of sunshine, 
folks get ‘round in the sunshine, 
but the lightening FLASH three times and it’s time for the course 
which includes cornbread, candied yams, and all that good stuff, 
which black folks and Saturn are made of. 

As we approach the second verse 
the roots of trees are plucked from baselines 
which resonate and shake the earth 
devastating everything that’s not built in harmony in it. 

The second verse is a journey through the ruins 
of ruined souls that valued all that was nothing 
and nothing of the all-knowing, ever-flowing wind 
which is the undercurrent of this current 
blowing the funky drummer from here to eternity. 

But even as ruined souls back spin 
the wind mills forward and rocks steady till the sun 
hits the fader and the chorus kicks in then 
the moon yells, “Go!” and we all back spin, “Zulu!!” 
as the moonlight shines true blue silvery indigo light 
my spirit takes flight because the indigo moonlight is my endo, 
indigo, indigo-on-to-the-break-of-dawn, 
rock, rock steady steady to the early morn’, 

Word is born. 
I’m talking about seeing your nature 
in nature and nature in your nature, 
New York states of mind did not create ‘cha, 
neither ‘til you listen to rock hear mine care mine 
a rocky mountain top if you heard hip hop. 
It’s graduated urban an element that created it and 
let and open-wide countryside illustrate it. 

Riding in a freight train, listening to Coltrane 
my reality went insane and I think I saw Jesus. 
He was playing hop-scotch with Benny Carter 
who was cursing him out in a Scat-like gibberish 
for not saying, “Butterfingers.” 

And God created sand like seeds of time, 
the pains of man the frames of mind which built these frames 
which is the structure of my urban superstructure. 
The trains and planes could corrupt and obstruct 
your train of thought so that you forget how to walk through the woods,  
which ain’t good, ‘cause if you ain’t never walked through the trees 
listening to nobody beats the biz then you ain’t never heard hip hop. 

And it don’t stop and it don’t stop and it don’t, 
stop letting cities define you, confine you 
to that which is cement and brick. 
We are not a hard peoples. 
Our domes have been crowned with the likes of steeples. 
That which is our being soars with the eagles and 
the Johnathon Livingston Seagles. Yes. 
I got wings. 
You got wings. 
All got wings. All God wings. 
So let’s widen the circumference of our nest 
and escape this urban incubator. You see, 
the wind plays the world like an instrument, 
blows through trees like flutes, 
but trees don’t grow in cement. 

And as heartbeats bring percussion, 
fallen trees bring repercussions, 
cities play upon our souls like broken drums. 
We drum the essence of creation from city slums. 
But city slums mute our drums. 
And our drums become hum-drum ‘cause 
city slums have never been where are drums are from. 

Just the place where our daughters and sons 
become off-beat heartbeats, 
slaves to city streets, 
where hearts get broken and heartbeats stop. 
Broken heartbeats become break beats 
for niggers to rhyme on top. 
But they rhyme about – nothin’. 
They don’t got nothin’ to rhyme about 
‘cause you’ve never seen the moon, your styles 
can’t be universal if you’re not in tune with the 

whish- shhhh, whish- shhhh, whish- shhhh.  


It seems that a teacher had used this to teach about literary devices.  I think that would be brilliant and I would have loved to study Williams work as student.  

1 comment:

liberationtheory said...

*snap snap* He is one of my favorites as well. I watched "Slam" over and over again (I also loooooove Sonja Sohn). Now you got me wanting to rent Slam again!

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