Artist News

Racism to blame for Tupac musical closure, says star Saul Williams

By | Published on Wednesday 23 July 2014

Saul Williams

The star of the Broadway musical based on the music of Tupac Shakur, ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me’, has blamed racism for its early closure. Rapper Saul Williams told Rolling Stone that “there was something deeply embedded in a lot of the reviews that went deeper than just a dislike of the play”.

Elaborating further, he said: “The idea of having a play that centers around, ‘How do you stop the cycles of gun violence in our community?’ It’s weird to hear someone feel like the story is generic when it’s the front page of every fucking paper to date. And when you look at the reviews and compare them to everything from ‘Do The Right Thing’ to ‘Menace II Society’, it’s always the same fucking review. There’s actually a generic response when I don’t think critics realise they’re playing into the hands of something that runs deeper than how this made you feel”.

The lukewarm reviews, he said, were then used by tickets sellers on Broadway to dissuade people from buying tickets to ‘Holler’, suggesting that it wasn’t as good or fun as other shows on offer.

He added later: “There is no disconnect between [the play closing after two months] and Iggy Azalea, an Australian girl rapping with a southern accent, being number one on the charts. It’s all related to where we are right now as a culture and within the culture of the arts”.

Read Williams’ full interview here.