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Most performers out there would baulk at the idea of taking on the role of Tupac Shakur. But if there's a man for the job, it's Saul Williams. The versatile rapper is a fiery whirlwind of confidence and self–belief, so it comes as no surprise to us that producers chose him to take on the role of the iconic rapper Tupac, who was killed in 1996.
Producers say that the musical, due to premiere in June, is “a non-biographical story about friendship, family, revenge, change and hope.” Williams is best known for his collaboration with Trent Reznor for The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust!, his lead role in the film Slam and his last album, 2011's Volcanic Sunlight.
In a 2011 interview, he told Dazed: "Fela Kuti said, ‘Music is the weapon of the future.' It’s true. There are soundwaves that can make the earth vibrate and respond the same way a piano chord would if you plucked it... You can make someone laugh, you can make someone cry and you can help someone get it. You can flick that switch on that helps them look at their life in a different way."
In other musical news, a North American tour of Jesus Christ Superstar has landed plum roles for ex-Sex Pistol John Lydon, Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd and Michelle Williams, the other one from Destiny's Child.
Let's face it, Holler If Ya Hear Me sounds better. Watch Saul Williams perform a poem in the movie Slam:
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot