The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust

Interview with Saul Williams regarding his most recent album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust and the thought process behind it. Props to Ken Wilber and the Integral Institute. Link (via)

Part 1: The Rise and Liberation

Part 2: Deconstructing Niggy

“Niggy Tardust is about what it means to look at history and the present as a whole, as opposed to running away in disgust or bowing one’s head in guilt—saying ‘yes’ to all that has been, in full acknowledgement; saying ‘yes, all of those things convene in me….'”

In this talk, Saul describes his creative process while recording Niggy Tardust, and how he has been able to turn his life on and off the stage into a sort of “walking meditation,” so that he can harness all of the energy from performance, and focus it all into his creativity while working on the new album. He also discusses the connection between his poetry and his dancing, using his body to dictate the rhythms and cadence of his voice, whether he is rapping, singing, or reciting. By consciously bringing Spirit, mind, and body into mutual synchrony, we can open ourselves to a vast field of creative potential—and by creating from this transcendent space, the very same consciousness can be directly transmitted through artistic performance, as artist, artwork, and audience melt together into an absolutely singular experience, effortlessly unhindered by the this and that of dualistic thinking.

Saul offers an incredible walkthrough of The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust, discussing the overall concept of the album, as well as an in-depth look at many of the songs. The album is about transcendence, pure and simple, as the title clearly states—whereas David Bowie used the Ziggy Stardust character to challenge people’s notions of sex, gender, and image, Niggy Tardust uses Hip Hop to challenge our attitudes of race, racism, and identity. It forces us to confront our accumulated fears, discomfort, and victimhood around some extremely sensitive issues, without the Novocain of political correctness or identity politics to numb our exposed nerve endings. He explains his effort to redefine the “N-word” itself—liberating a word synonymous with human oppression by allowing us to fully feel its power, its violence, and its pain. It is an attempt to infuse the profane with the sacred, a Tantric impulse to recognize all of existence as truly not-two, where Spirit can fully embrace even the darkest regions of our soul.