ORIGIN Art Contributor

Saul Williams is an American poet, writer, actor and musician known for his blend of poetry and alternative hip hop and for his leading role in the 1998 independent film Slam.

In 1995, he had become an open mic poet and, in 1996, he won the title of Nuyorican Poets Cafe’s Grand Slam Champion. The documentary film SlamNation follows Williams and the other members of the 1996 Nuyorican Poets Slam team as they compete in the 1996 National Poetry Slam held in Portland, Oregon.

The following year, Williams landed the lead role in the 1998 feature film Slam. Williams served as both a writer and actor on the film, which would win both the Sundance Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Cannes Camera D’Or (Golden Camera) and serve to introduce Williams to international audiences.

Williams has performed with such artists as Nas, The Fugees, Christian Alvarez, Blackalicious, Erykah Badu,KRS-One, Zack De La Rocha, De La Soul, and DJ Krust, as well as poets Allen Ginsberg and Sonia Sanchez. After releasing a string of EPs, in 2001 he released the LP Amethyst Rock Star with producer Rick Rubin and in September 2004 his self-titled album to much acclaim. He played several shows supporting Nine Inch Nails on their European tour in summer 2005, and has also supported The Mars Volta.

Williams latest album, Volcanic Sunlight was released November 11, 2011. Williams showcased the album at London’s Hoxton Bar Kitchen. Livemusic.fm interviewed Williams on the evening and made a subsequent film. Artist Alex Templeton-Ward produced the film.

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