Read The Dead Emcee Scrolls Online

Authors: Saul Williams

The Dead Emcee Scrolls


The Dead Emcee Scrolls
The Lost Teachings of Hip-Hop
And Connected Writings


“Saul is every kind of great artist combined into one.”

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 process 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.

“A profound poet who inspires us. He challenges us to be individuals.”

—Russell Simmons

Cover design by John Vairo Jr.

Author photo by: katina parker

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“Saul Williams is the prototype synthesis between poetry and hip-hop, stage and page, rap and prose, funk and mythology, slam and verse … he avoids classifications, and empowers the human voice. All of this is represented in Williams's newest book,
The Dead Emcee Scrolls.
” —Mark Eleveld, author of
The Spoken Word Revolution: Slam, Hip-Hop and the Poetry of the Next Generation

“Once again one of the finest minds in the country has put pen to paper, voice to verse, and dug into the deep, rich planet better known as the souls of black folks.” —Nelson George, author of
Hip-Hop America

“One of the most inspiring voices in American hip-hop.” —Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails

“An astonishing … poet. The internal rhyme, metrics, and imagery are so fleet … that they're humbling.”
—The Washington Post

“Hip-hop's poet laureate … Saul Williams isn't out to save hip-hop, but he is out to elevate the art form [and] is effectively breaking boundaries while blurring the line between poetry and rap.” —CNN

“[Saul Williams] is a mighty talent. He takes readers on epic voyages into frontiers that offer a refreshing awakening of the mind and a roller coaster ride into an abyss of demons, deities, occult symbols, and more.”
—Amsterdam News

, one of America's bestselling poets, is the author of three previous books of poetry:
, said the shotgun to the head
(both from MTV/Pocket Books) and
The Seventh Octave
(Moore Black Press). His music albums,
Amethyst Rock Star
Saul Williams
, earned him great critical acclaim, as did his starring role in
Williams also cowrote that film, which garnered the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and the Camera D'or at the Cannes Film Festival.



, said the shotgun to the head.

The Seventh Octave

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Copyright © 2006 by Saul Williams

MTV Music Television and all related titles, logos, and characters are trademarks of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

ISBN: 1-4165-2304-9

POCKET and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Excerpt from
courtesy of Columbia Pictures.

“Funky Drummer” words and music by James Brown. © 1970 (Renewed) Golo Publishing Co. All rights administered by Unichappell Music Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-2304-8 (eBook)


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This book is dedicated
to the dedicated:
Afronauts of over-
crammed space, those of
sewed-in creases and
ironed shoelaces, Gazelle
framed screw-faces.

Way before court cases
were platinum sales,
quest for mix-tapes like
the Holy Grail. Retro
earthquake fitting.

Metro landmark bidding.

NGHs was wiggin out!
Newburgh know what
I'm talking bout. B-
boys! B-girls!
Caesars and Jheri curls.

This book is dedicated
to the under-rated
hustler, high school
dropouts, school dance
shoot-outs, NGHs with
Uzis! Bitches and
This book is dedicated to
y'all too! Pull your
panties up and feel me!
Help me, lord. Heal me.

This book is dedicated to
the Sunday preacher:
the original pimped out,
laid back hustler, with
God on his side and
Italian leather in his ride.

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