Saul Williams Burundi Video Square
Saul Williams Burundi Video Square

Saul Williams Corrupts The Status Quo In His New "Burundi" Video

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

The Martyr, Loser, Kingdom movement continues. Slam poet/actor/MC/writer Saul Williams has only minutes ago shared the official video for "Burundi" with the world, and it's an absolutely dazzling spectacle. Visions of computer motherboards, burning cars and aerial drone strikes shoot past as the clip rolls with an intensity like hot licks of flame. Ever since it dropped two months ago, "Burundi" has proven to be kind of new, post-digital rallying cry for those that refuse to let the state, the military, the brands and the rest of the status quo to have business proceed as usual (that is, brutal and unjust). Williams has been teasing the video on the tumblr page dedicated to Martyr Loser King (which is both the artist's new album and an amorphous, multimedia art project all at once). On that page, Williams wrote this about the new "Burundi":

The power of being will always prevail over the powers that be, but not without effort on our end to connect our voices & struggles. Staying informed about the happenings in the world is no longer difficult. Connect the dots & uplift the consciousness of the entire fucking world. (Side-effects may include getting shot by over militarized police who kill with impunity, facing serious time because of unchecked hacking & surveillance laws that were passed under our noses while the media preached fear….).

In a recent interview with SF Weekly, Williams opened up about the moments that inspired his new music, recalling his multiple recent trips to Africa. "I was encountering a lot of kids and cell phones were everywhere," Williams said. "iPhones were everywhere. Technology was everything. Africa as a continent has the highest number of people connected to the internet because of it's size. It is also the only continent where the majority of people are under 25. I realized, 'Ok, this is who I have to talk to.'" The "Burundi" clip premiered over at Vice Tuesday afternoon, but watch it below and enjoy the brilliant direction work of Kivu Ruhorahoza and graphics work by Antonio Ribeiro.