Saul Williams

  • Aired:  05/01/14
  •  | Views: 13,173

Poet, actor and musician Saul Williams chats about his role in the Tupac Shakur-inspired musical, "Holler If Ya Hear Me." (3:52)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,EVERYBODY, MY GUEST TONIGHT

IS A PIONEER OF SLAM POETRY

PLEASE WELCOMESAUL WILLIAMS.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)SAUL, THANK YOU FOR COMING

ON, THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEINGHERE.

>> HELLO.

>> Stephen: YOU'RE ANAWARD-WINNING AUTHOR, ACTOR,

MUSICIAN.

ONE OF THE BEST SELLINGPOETS ALIVE.

WHAT DOES THAT FEEL LIKE?

BECAUSE WE HOLD POETRY UPHERE IN OUR CULTURE

WE DON'T READ A LOT OF ITBUT WE SAY IT FANCY.

AND YOU'RE ONE OF THE BESTSELLING POETS ALIVE.

YOU HAVE CLASS COMING OUTYOUR ASS.

>> YEAH, YEAH, SO I MEAN IREALLY VALUE THE $3.68 THAT I'VE

EARNED.

>> Stephen: THAT'S MAYAANGELOU MONEY, MY FRIEND.

>> EXACTLY.

I GOT THAT MAYA MONEY.

>> Stephen: THAT'SINCREDIBLE.

NOW YOU ALSO ARE STARRING,YOU ARE AN ACTOR AND YOU ARE

STARRING IN A NEW MUSICALCOMING TO BROADWAY CALLED

HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME.

>> Stephen: YES.

>> AND THIS IS NOT BASED ONTHE LIFE OF TUPAC BUT IT'S HIS

MUSIC.

>> THE STORY IS NOW. THE MUSICIS TUPAC.

>> Stephen: HOW DID YOU GETTHIS PART AND WAS IT HARD TO

BEAT OUT HOLOGRAM TUPAC?

>> NO.

>> Stephen: HOW DOES TUPACTRANSLATE TO BROADWAY

BECAUSE WE'RE USED TOSOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME,

YOU KNOW.

IN FACT TUPAC WORKSBEAUTIFULLY ON STAGE, I

THINK PEOPLE'S MINDS WILL BEBLOWN.

I DON'T THINK THEY'REACTUALLY PREPARED.

THIS IS THE FIRST HIP-HOPMUSICAL TO EVER HIT BROADWAY

AND I DON'T KNOW IF PEOPLEWILL -- BEFORE THEY

GET A CHANCE TO SEE IT,UNDERSTAND THAT IN FACT I

FEEL LIKE TUPAC'S MUSIC WASMADE FOR THIS.

WAS MADE FOR THIS.

>> Stephen: YOU STARTED OFFAS A SLAM POET.

YOU WERE ONE OF THE FATHERSOF SLAM POETRY?

>> WELL, I STARTED OFF INOPEN MIKE.

A SLAM-- A POETRY SLAM IS A COMPETITIVE POETRY READING.

>> Stephen: OH, I LIKE THAT.

>> OKAY.

>> Stephen: BECAUSE I LIKEEVERYTHING TO BE A CONTEST.

SOMEBODY HAS GOT TO WINEVERYTHING.

>> I'M GOING USE MY HANDSMORE THAN YOU RIGHT NOW.

>> Stephen: REALLY.

>> EXACTLY.

>> Stephen: GOOD LUCK WITHTHAT.

>> GOOD LUCKY, BUDDY, ALLRIGHT, ALL RIGHT.

ALL RIGHT, SO HOW DO YOU WINA POETING, HOW DO YOU WIN

ONE.

>> A POETING.

BASICALLY THREE MINUTES.

IT'S SO THERE-- THERE ISREALLY NO SUCH THING AS A

SLAM POEM.

IT IS JUST A POEM AND IT HASTO FIT WITHIN THE 3 MINUTE

GUIDELINE.

>> Stephen: DOES IT HAVE TORHYME AND HAVE METER.

>> IT DOES NOT HAVE TO RHYMENOR HAVE METER.

>> Stephen: DOES IT HAVE TOHAVE RHYTHM.

>> NO, YOU COULD DO IT.

>> Stephen: I GET A LOT DONEWITHOUT RHYTHM.

WELL, YOU MAY BE A POET OFTHE STREET OF HIP-HOP, OF

THE SLAM, ARE THERECLASSICAL POETS THAT YOU

ADMIRE, LIKE DO YOU LOOK TOYEATS, CUMMINGS, OR FROST, LIKE

THAT.

>> TO BE FAIR, I'M PRETTYACADEMICALLY STRAPPED

>> Stephen: I DON'T KNOWWHAT THAT MEANS.

>> IT MEANS I'M NOT REALLYOF THE STREET.

>> Stephen: YOU'RE NOT.

>> ALTHOUGH I GREW UP IN NEWBERGNEW YORK AND THE WHOLE NINE, I

WAS ALSO AT UNIVERSITY, I WENTTO GRADUATE SCHOOL.

>> Stephen: I DIDN'T SAY YOUNEVER WENT TO SCHOOL

>> Stephen: I'M NOT A RACIST.

>> I WOULD NEVER SAY THAT.

>> Stephen: I WOULD -->> I WOULD NEVER SAY THAT

MR. STERLING.

>> Stephen: WHAT?

HEY, MY FRIEND.

THIS WEEK SO FAR I HAVE HADTWO AFRICAN-AMERICAN GUESTS

AND A LATINO GUEST, HAVE IDONE MORE TO END RACISM THAN

BARACK OBAMA?

(LAUGHTER)>> WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK WITH

A PERFORMANCE BY SAULWILLIAMS.

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