Amethyst Rock Star

Saul Williams

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Amethyst Rock Star Review

by Steve Kurutz

The art of spoken word is a terribly delicate one. For every Jack Kerouac or Gil Scott-Heron -- writers who were able to bring a melodicism and added dimension to the spoken word -- there are a million bad poets who highjack open mic nights, making audiences cringe all across this great land. Saul Williams is a step above those, but this record isn't recommended unless you've got a jones to get in touch with your inner Bobby Seale or have plenty of pent-up rage you'd like someone else to excise. Instead of giving his spoken poems a melody and rhythm, Williams prefers to use words as clubs, beating the listener over the head with abrasive, staccato runs while heavy hip-hop beats blast in the background. Some of the language is downright laughable (see the trite themes of "Fearless" for example) in any context, and the rest is mediocre at best.

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