Last month the great poet, singer/songwriter and actor Saul Williams presented a Boiler Room Session dedicated to lyricism and spoken word in London, which the good folks at Okayplayer presented last month. The set up of the evening was deeply influenced by Def Poetry Jam with the show being split in two distinct parts –the first being artists (emcees, poets, spoken word artists, etc.) sharing their favorite and/or brand new verses and poetry in a theater-like environment and the second half of the night had the same artists taking part in a large cypher, backed by a DJ. Williams along with Aja Monet recently brought the carefully curated Boiler Room In Appreciation of Lyricism session to Miami for Art Basel and while having an incredibly diverse list of artists performing — from including Allan Kingdom, a Kanye West collaborator; Wifisfuneral, a trap hop artist, Melo-X and a ton of local talents; however, the biggest highlight of the session was Yasiin Bey (he’s still Mos Def to me) making his first Stateside appearance in over 5 years, performing completely new material, including a new piece “No Time to Pretend,” which he performed acapella in front of an awed and completely surprised audience.
Williams will be taking to the Boiler Room series to NYC on the 14th and I guarantee that it’ll be an incredible night.