I paid 0.00. I think that was fair because the opportunity was there and the only thing I know about Saul Williams is his name turning up on articles next to Trent Reznor. And I think with that being the case for a lot of people, it must’ve been the more popular choice. The delivery method is akin to that of shareware; “if you like it show us some dough or just forget about it – but at least you’ve tasted it.” Good choice.
I’ve heard it once or twice and it’s not bad. I don’t think I’ll be playing it too much (the latter half of the album is quite decent though – Skin Of A Drum to The Ritual) or paying for it though.
The last time I really liked hip-hop was in the 1980s as a child, so that’s why you can dismiss my assessment.
The problem for me is that it sounds like Nine Inch Nails b-side stuff musically (and I’m not a particularly heavy NIN fan, but I respect some material), mashed up with a different voice. I can hear the joins.
The lyrics are interesting but I have to say I’m not engaged by Saul Williams’ voice. His delivery doesn’t come out and say “boo!” to me out of the dark, in say, the way Ice T does, nor is it as playful as LL Cool J (see, I can name check the classic guys).
It does however make a change from all the blinging provocation material that completely turned me off the genre via MTV saturation, but that’s about it.
The music that interests me most recently is away from the west entirely (particularly Yasmin Levy’s Mano Suave).
But I must say something positive. It was a good move and I think a smart way to swell Saul’s audience, who are undoubtedly out there. And kudos for bit rate/format choice and the addition of a PDF booklet and art.