Saul Williams has a lot to say and he certainly does not hold back on his upcoming release, MartyrLoserKing. His proclamations throughout the 12-track album are nothing short of intense; he’s clearly looking to make a point, trying to grab the listeners’ attention and make them take notice of what is going on in the world. Whether you agree with him or not, that’s up to you, he just wants you to engage. In an age where Taylor Swift rules the airwaves and the music industry is controlled by songs that create dance crazes that can’t even be killed by Hillary Clinton performing them on Ellen, you have to give him credit for staying true to himself and taking a chance on a jarring, lyrically focused record.
I must admit that before checking out this album I was unacquainted with Saul Williams. I had no idea about his extensive career, not only as a musician, but as a poet, writer and actor. His power as a poet stands out on this album, as he is able to weave even the most aggressive and confrontational lyrics so nimbly. Coupled with the extraordinary instrumentation and Justin Warfiend’s stellar production, MartyrLoserKing is a worthwhile listen.
I hate to compare artists but I tend to do it all the time anyway. We’re all hypocrites, deal with it. With that being said, as I listened to this album I couldn’t help but think that I was listening to Gil Scott-Heron and TV on the Radio’s love child. I’ll be the first to say that this album is not for everyone, but if you’re searching for some 90s punk-style, bellicose lyrics with soulful instrumentation, this is probably for you.