Saul Williams wants to take money away from the middlemen and bring awareness to "the world of art and commerce where exploitation strips each artist down to nigger," so he's offering his new album, The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!, for a five dollar donation or for free online. He worked with Trent Reznor on this, and Reznor's involvement is apparent throughout. It's also a great match since the gritty, sinister, and hard sound that Trent is known for is a perfect fit for Saul's subject matter on this album.
Saul is first and foremost a poet, and Reznor is smart enough to keep Saul's words as the focus of each song. Musically the album doesn't fall under one genre but instead utilizes numerous genres as needed. Just like Bowie used Ziggy Stardust as an alter ego for artistic expression, Saul is using Niggy to share how one man found personal liberation. The listener doesn't have to be an African-American spoken word poet to identify with this album; because all of us are held back by others while also being our own worst enemy and it's this bullshit (and how to liberate oneself from it) that he is addressing.
This album deserves to be listened to all the way through at least once because it is a chronological personal journey. The album begins with "Black History Month" and the key line, "Sometimes I find it very hard to be...Me." It's followed by a fast, gritty rock song called "Convict Colony" that looks at where Niggy began his life, and then it goes into "Tr(n)igger," the most hip hop influenced song on the album ("The trigger is you/The nigger is you/so what you gonna do?"). Next is an amazing cover of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (less Bono, more electronic crunch). Saul keeps on with eleven more songs and just when you're thinking, " Damn, he said it"; he goes and SAYS IT, and then SAYS IT AGAIN.
There was a few times I noticed too much Trent and not enough Saul on this album ("WTF!" and "Raised To Be Lowered"), but this is a minor complaint. I honestly cannot remember the last time I heard an album this powerful. Even though Saul will give you this album for free, it is definitely worth the price of a five-word latte.