Hip-Hop Artist Entertains Packed Hall

Poet, rapper and actor Saul Williams recited poetry and discussed the state of the hip-hop music industry before a crowd that filled Longfellow Hall last night.

In between his poems, Williams, the author of two books of poetry--The Seventh Octave and She --gave candid answers to audience questions that spanned from his upbringing to his belief in God.

He told the audience that his poetry was primarily inspired by the hip-hop music movement.


"What made me first put my pen to paper was hip-hop," he said. "I started taking a dictionary, finding words I didn't know and putting it in raps."

When he was starting to rap, Williams was also studying Shakespeare at school--something that he said helps explain the blurred line between his music and poetry.

"By the time I was eleven, I was trying to write rhymes in old English," he quipped. "I was blessed to have a wonderful education, but the soundtrack to all of that was hip-hop."

But since the time when he began writing, Williams said hip-hop music in has deteriorated significantly.

"What you see in mainstream hip-hop is not a natural evolution," he said. "What's now popular is like some type of caricatured offshoot."

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