Tag: Saul Williams

Live Footage: Yasiin Bey Returns for His First Stateside Performance in 5 Years

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.

Live Footage/Throwback: Saul Williams performing “Telegram” at Afropunk Festival 2013

Over the past twenty plus years, poet, singer/songwriter, emcee and actor Saul Williams has developed a reputation for being one most inventive, challenging and uncompromising artists and poets of his generation; but perhaps just as important, he’s proven to be a thoughtful and incisive social critic, who’s frequently commented on Donald Trump and the 2016 election cycle. In honor of his much-anticipated SummerStage set at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park, I think it’s fitting to check out some live footage of Williams with Dragons of Zynth performing “Telegram” at 2013’s Afropunk Festival. Also if you pay close attention, I’m pretty certain that you see me in the photo pit snapping as many pictures as humanly possible during an incredible and comprehensive set featuring material from both Williams’ self-titled effort and The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust.

Perhaps best known as a member of Karen, The Late Late Show¬†with James Corden house band fronted by Reggie Watts and a weekly residency with Watts at El Cid, drummer and vocalist Guillermo E. Brown’s solo musical project Pegasus Warning has received musical industry nods through collaborations with an impressive list of artists including Twin Shadow, Das Racist, Gordon Voidwell, Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor, Saul Williams, Mocky, Spoek Mathambo and others.

“Come Close” Brown’s latest single is about longing, “that oh-so-human feeling of missing someone to the brink of collapse like singing in the rain in the desert,” as Brown explains in press notes, and as a result his vocals possesses an urgent and plaintive need and an aching vulnerability. Paired with¬†cascades of shimmering synths and a sinuous bass line, the single is both ethereal and undeniably sensual — and in fact, manages to channel Quiet Storm-era R&B. Or simply put, you should play this the next time you plan to have a romantic evening of naughty fun with that someone special.