Tupac musical star blames racism for failure of 'Holler If Ya Hear Me'

Saul Williams also states the musical was too adventurous for Broadway

Tupac musical star blames racism for failure of 'Holler If Ya Hear Me'

Photo: Getty

The star of the Broadway musical based on Tupac Shakur, rapper/poet Saul Williams, has blamed racism for its failure.

Holler If Ya Hear Me closed yesterday (July 20) after just six weeks. Williams, who played the lead character John, said the musical was bound to fail because theatre critics “played into the hands of the American race psyche”.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Williams explained: “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. I am speaking to that American race psyche; that thing that Harry Belafonte said to me after he saw the play, which is: ‘You took an Afrocentric-themed play and placed it on a Eurocentric stage. The problems you'll face are larger than you think.’”

But Williams said that Holler If Ya Hear Me – based on Shakur’s lyrics and life, rather than a straight biography – would go on to survive after its 55 Broadway performances. Williams claimed producer Eric Gold knew it would fail after opening on Broadway, rather than building up audiences with a tour of smaller theatres first. “They wanted that Broadway stamp,” said Williams. “This is the cost of that stamp… When you do something fresh and new, you're going to face obstacles and I promise you this story isn't over.”

Williams, who is now filming romantic drama Dreamscapes, has released seven albums. The most recent was 2011’s ’Volcanic Sunlight’.


Read More On This Artist

More News
Shakira partners with Fisher-Price for line of baby toys
Depeche Mode share live version of 'Enjoy The Silence' from Anton Corbijn concert film...
Tinchy Stryder and Chuckle Brothers share video for collaborative track 'To Me, To You'...
CMJ festival issues statement concerning Ebola scare
She And Him share cover of Dusty Springfield's 'Stay Awhile'
One Direction fan-fiction writer signs six-figure book deal
Klaxons hint at split: forthcoming UK tour will be their last
Panda Bear announces new album 'Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper' – hear first song now
Muse working with AC/DC producer on new studio album
Gerard Way covers Sleater-Kinney's 'I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone' – watch
Iggy Azalea teams with MØ for new single 'Beg For It' - listen
Thurston Moore criticises Twitter users who 'exist on scandal'
Brian Eno to reissue four albums with unreleased music
Lady Gaga helps gay friend propose to his boyfriend during Manchester gig
Everything Everything to complete new album in public during Manchester Library artist residency
Superfood stream debut album 'Don't Say That' – listen
Renowned music photographer David Redfern dies
Joanna Gruesome announce 2015 London residency
Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong performs live with Joan Jett – watch
Kenny G denies meddling in foreign affairs after attending Hong Kong pro-democracy protest
Ozzy Osbourne urges original drummer Bill Ward to rejoin Black Sabbath for final album
Courtney Love claims she and Dave Grohl have a £6k bet about strippers

More News

Comments

Please login to add your comment.

Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM