"DNA" was produced and co-composed by Trent Reznor for Saul Williams' third studio album, The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!.
Saul Williams on "DNA"
"Aint nuthin really harder than this. Musically, the idea came from a song Thavius played me from what I believe was his Lab Waste album, a collaboration with him and LA rapper, Subtitle. We were looking for something to use on stage to update my song "Our Father" from Amethyst Rock Star. I had grown tired of the original music, but wanted to perform it. Once we brought it onstage I found myslef freestyling to it everynight until one night I read chap.9-12 of the Scrolls over the beat and it worked magically. I was listening to a lot of Screw music at the time, especially the chopped and screwed version of TI's album with Motivation and ASAP on it. We recorded the lyrics and then I asked Thave if he knew how to screw my voice which he did on some nerd program Later, Ikey from the Mars Volta came over my house and I askled him to play over the track, which is what u hear in the choruses. I remember being skeptical about playing this one for Trent because I thought it might be too ghetto for him. Wasn't sure if he'd understand it. He loved it and came up with some great ideas so that it didn't sound so stagnant. Its actually the biggest collaborative effort on the album. Thavius, Ikey, CX, Atticus, Trent, and me all ended up bringing this song to life. I've jokingly referred to it as my street credibility track. Although I think everyone or many can appreciate it, I think this song resonates from a very particular experience that cannot be found by watching repeat episodes of Good Times. If ur a white dude and u wanna impress a black girl, try this or Scared Money in ur car when u pick her up and she might make u the exception to her rule..... what y'all aint into interracial dating? This is hybrid music. Make babies. End race."
- Music by Thavius Beck (1001:1 Publishing/ASCAP), Isaiah 'Ikey' Owens (Songs for Luna/ASCAP) and Trent Reznor (Leaving Hope)
- Keys: Ikey Owens (Songs for Luna/ASCAP)
- Additional Programming by: Trent Reznor, Saul Williams (Punk Rock of Gibraltar/EMI) and CX KiDTRONiK (Boykins Bar B Que Music/SESAC)
- Words by Saul Williams (Punk Rock of Gibraltar/EMI)
- Vox: Saul Williams
This version is heard on The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of NiggyTardust!.
(NGH WHT: chaps. 9-12) Feel the music. Son, we got you programmed like a beat. When I press snare, Yo, guard your grill. ‘Press kick, you move your feet. You can’t compete. I got my hydrants parked on every street. I’m federal NGH. Son of Sun. Come close and feel the heat. I am the streets. The white lines only separate me from me. You hydroplane in false gods name and still crash into me: Sign and Tree; Mountainside; Guard Rail; The Sea. They thought they stole you from my arms then carried you to me. Here’s the key: DNA encoded in a beat. White rocks in a vial, NGH, ain’t got nuthin’ on me. BCH I’m free. Ask these editors at MTV. Far as they, know they’re publishing some new school poetry. Let it be. ‘Cause even that will serve to turn the key. Doorways into other worlds. The Truth shall set you free. YOU are me, I am you, but also I’m (s)he. She-pherd of a bastard flock that grazes in the streets. Feel the beat. Nod your head. Lean back, yo. Touch your feet. Let me see you pop that thang right there girl in your seat. Feel the heat. Count this page amongst your whitest sheets. Comfort in my every word. Slide under. Countless sheep. Hail Mary, Mother of God. Got the whole host of angels shuffling in my ipod. NGHs learned to raise their voices when I lowered my rod. Staff of Moses. Pharaoh knows it. Son, my word is my bond. Tune my heart with mind. Speak my nature: Divine. With the future in my pocket tightly gripped like a 9. Keep my finger on the trigger waiting for the right time. Ancient NGHs align! Path of Cosmic Design. Blood of kings ‘cause Saturn’s rings don’t need no diamonds to shine. Yes, the reason for the season, ornamented divine. Coded Language of the mystics with my fist in the sky. Keep your head up. We represent The Real, my NGH. Dead up. Book of the Dead. History bled. This NGH fed up. Led us to despair, some into prayer, and they won’t let up until they got us worshipping them false gods instead of The Realness. God of the streets. My NGHs feel this. We nod our heads and worship through beats. Go ahead and kneel. It’s the LOVE that makes the cipher complete. And it’d displayed through the way the bass line marries the beat.