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Saul Williams, Oddity

11:02 AM Thursday 1/22/09 | |

Poet / actor / hip-hop innovator Saul Williams has signed on as support for Les Claypool's The Oddity Faire: A Mutated Mini Fest.

The 16-stop tour starts March 7 in Los Angeles and wraps the 28th in New York City. Other artists performing on select dates along the way include DeVotchKa, Yard Dogs Road Show, The Mutaytor, Secret Chiefs 3, and O'Death.

Williams is no typical MC. He earned his chops as an open- mic poet, and his spoken word skills landed him a role in the 1998 feature film “Slam,” which won both the Sundance Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Cannes Camera D'Or.

His work in “Slam” was a breakthrough for Williams, leading to his debut as a recording artist, the Rick Rubin-produced Amethyst Rock Star, in 2001 followed by a critically acclaimed self-titled album in 2004.

In 2005, Williams crossed paths with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.

"I met Trent when he asked me to fill the opening slot of his European With Teeth tour," Williams said. "After only the second show he asked if I might be down to collaborate on a song or album, whatever I saw fit."

Williams and Reznor's relationship progressed as they found common ground in a belief "in the power of music and the intelligence of the masses."

The NIN mastermind produced Williams' album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust, which was released on Fader as a DRM-free download last winter. Listeners could download the tracks for free or pay $5 for a higher-quality download.

On the touring front, Williams recently completed a successful U.S. trek. Over the course of his career, Williams has shared the stage with a variety of artists, including The Mars Volta, Cursive, My Morning Jacket, Serj Tankian, Nine Inch Nails and Blackalicious.