Saul Williams Covers U2, Talks NiggyTardust

We’ve unofficially handed Saul Williams a prize for the best album title of the year. The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust! also includes an amped cover of “Sunday Bloody Sunday.” Williams’s voice doesn’t hit those early Bono heights, but dig the the crunchy electro production and extra talky ending over at Hype Machine or Saul’s MySpace. Either/or, that label free and piracy promoting good samaritan Trent Reznor would certainly approve of you downloading it for zilch.

In other Saul and Trent news, the two sit down for an interesting Q&A with Billboard to discuss the pricing for Niggy, whether NIN would consider a similar pay-what-you-want format (“I’m just going to wait and see how it goes with Saul’s record”), the future of NIN (“Interscope will be putting out a Nine Inch Nails greatest-hits album and a remix record, both of which I hope to be involved in putting together”) and, most importantly, the story behind that Bowie-referencing title…

 

Q: Saul, the album title is a play on David Bowie’s “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust.” Is this record also a concept album? And Trent, having worked with Bowie in the past, did you talk to him about this?

TRENT REZNOR: I didn’t talk to Bowie about it. I was going to send him a copy of the record this morning, then the phone rang and I got distracted. (laughs)

SAUL WILLIAMS: The name came about as a joke, but there is definitely a strong concept running through the record. I created the character because I felt like there was nothing that was speaking to my experience as an African American. In the end, Niggy Tardust realizes that his only enemy is himself, and that he has to overcome the boundaries set before him in order to become liberated.

Hang on to yourself, Saul.

The Rise and Fall of Niggy Tardust is out now.