Through all the harsh hiss and static of our culture, Saul Williams‘s moves are becoming all the more clear. The actor, poet, songwriter, activist and conceptual artist has been working for years on his new project, MartyrLoserKing, and is now primed to bring what was once a thought experiment into a more vital–and perhaps more violent–state of being.
On Tuesday afternoon, Williams shared a new “announcement” video related to MLK, which has thus far been billed as a sort of patchwork album/website/performance/written multiform piece. It it we see him once again presenting himself as a hacker, one that usurps the normative codes of society and lobs his theses like bricks through tall tinted windows. He’s after “a platform to be able to talk about all the shit that [he] had been experiencing and reading about on the world stage,” Williams told HipHopDX in a new interview, clarifying that MartyrLoserKing will be a kind of culture-wide diss record. “I’m going to spend the next two years being a beef rapper. On my 50 shit.”
For those seeking a bit of context, we invite you to look to the past. Williams video for “Burundi” presented his hacker motif in fraught vibrancy: this character is a dangerous one, and something we all have the potential to be. Then, in early July, we were hit with “Colton as Cotton,” a video missive from Williams presented as a piece of MartyrLoserKing that took direct aim at the strictures of late Capitalism–and then fired. But the new “announcement” video scrambles things. “We’ve just received word that Martyr Loser King is dead,” Williams tells us, just before professing the idea’s immortality. “Matyr Loser King said it himself, he said I’m a candle. Chop my neck a million times, I still burn bright and stand.” New parts of the MLK picture are being filled in, but much more remains shrouded in mystery, and it seems that Williams wants it that way, daring us to dive into the dark unknown, forsaking both our nets and our chains.