Saul Williams

The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust

Combine the poetics of Saul Williams with the industrial beats of Trent Reznor, and you’ve got Niggy Tardust: “Ghetto gothic millionaire / a super-duper star.” Williams offers a refreshing approach—from source material to distribution—reinterpreting musical greats like U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” while using samples from Public Enemy’s “Welcome to the Terrordome.” Thankfully, Reznor packs Niggy Tardust with gritty NIN-isms, most notably on “Convict Colony” and “Banged and Blown Through.” The album, like its two militant craftsmen, creates a sonic package that’s refreshingly intelligent and raw. Niggy Tardust is well worth the $5 “donation,” but for the skeptical or just plain cheap, the album can be downloaded for free at via the Radiohead distribution method.