Thursday November 19, 2015

Saul Williams on how to 'give your life' while you're alive

Saul Williams on the Paris Attacks and the role of the Artist 20:32

Listen 24:17

Poet and performer Saul Williams swings through studio q to discuss his razorsharp poetry album MartyrLoserKing — a title that makes him break into uproarious laughter. 

In an energetic and wide-ranging conversation, Williams explains how poets are like hackers, why losers are the real winners, and how to hand your life over to service. 

"You don't have to be dead to be a martyr," he says. "You can give your life while you're alive ... in fact I would say that is a more honourable way of doing it. Trying to do it through life rather than provoking death."

He also delivers a rousing performance of his poem, Look How They Treat Us

Saul Williams reads "Look How They Treat Us"1:13

WEB EXTRA | Did Williams give you whiplash with all his rapid-fire cultural references? As promised on air, here's a quick list of the people, issues and texts he mentioned. 

Plus, watch Williams perform his latest genre-defying track, Horn of the Clock-Bike.


Shad and Saul Williams

Poet and performer Saul Williams joins Shad in studio q. (Fabiola Carletti/CBC)