The Dead Emcee Scrolls by Saul Williams
The Lost Teachings of Hip-Hop

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In the underground labyrinths of New York City's subway system, beneath the third rail of a long forgotten line, Saul Williams discovered scrolls of aged yellowish-brown paper rolled tightly into a can of spray paint. His quest to decipher this mystical ancient text resulted in a primal understanding of the power hip-hop has to teach us about ourselves and the universe around us.

Now, for the first time, Saul Williams shares with the world the wonder revealed to him by the Dead Emcee Scrolls.

I have paraded as a poet for years now. In the proc ess of parading I may have actually become one, but that's another story, another book. This book is a book that I have been waiting to finish since 1995. This is the book that finished me. The story I am about to tell may sound fantastic. It may anger some of you who have followed my work. You may feel that you have come to know me over the years, and in some cases you have, but in others...well, this is a confession.

About Saul Williams

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Acclaimed poet and musician Saul Williams’s open-mic escapades with the Nuyorican Poets peaked at Sundance when Slam won the Grand Jury Prize, and the art world celebrated the arrival of a whole new kind of talent. He defied his genre’s precious reputation and tore voraciously into the guts of life, groping after the exalted and transcendent sex sensations that make it all worth living. His early success led to collaborations with the likes of Erykah Badu, Nas, The Roots and Zack de la Rocha, and, descended as much from KRS-One and Public Enemy as Allen Ginsberg and Amiri Baraka; he was a new kind of poet. With each of Williams’s great successes has come abrupt change. He has pinball bounced from Morehouse philosophy scholar to cerebral street sermonizer to breakout indie actor, from hallucinatory hip-hop alchemist to dreadlocked, mohawked rockstar, vibing Nine Inch Nails, scurrying across tones, modes, and media to defy categorization. He has read published poetry volumes to opera house audiences with full orchestral backing. He has contributed to The New York Times, voiced Jean-Michel Basquiat in Downtown 81, and cut records with Rick Rubin and Trent Reznor. Throughout all these chaotic ventures, Saul Williams has been one steady thing: an uncompromising voice determined to tap the adrenaline center of his existence with any tool he can get his hands on. Saul Williams is the author of four books of poetry. He lives in Paris. His website is:
Published February 1, 2006 by MTV Books. 208 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Dead Emcee Scrolls

Publishers Weekly

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Williams is not the first to take hip-hop diction and rhyme to the page and make beautiful stanzaic poetry (see everyone from Gil Scott-Heron to Thomas Sayers Ellis), but he creates, in this third book, a kind of "In Memorium" for hip-hop's redemptive promise, trying, as Tennyson did, to find lig...

Dec 19 2005 | Read Full Review of The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The L...

BC Books

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Whoever reviewed this book completely missed the reason for how the book is written.

Feb 06 2006 | Read Full Review of The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The L...

BC Books

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There are, of course, times when traditional poetry and slam poetry coexist - such is the case of Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (a.k.a.

Feb 06 2006 | Read Full Review of The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The L...


in his rare love poems (not counting the many love poems to hip-hop), he shows again his knack for imagery, drawing, for instance, interesting parallels between sex and God: he begins one poem with a short, startlingly blunt sentence, “God and pussy.” He builds the metaphor over the course of the...

Mar 13 2006 | Read Full Review of The Dead Emcee Scrolls: The L...

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