We are so excited about the lineup of Bay Area folks that we are bringing: Arisa White, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Kwan Booth, Cassandra Dallett, Freddy Gutierrez, MK Chavez, Paul S. Flores, and two of the Oakland Youth Poet Laureates. Music by the wonderful Hip Hop for Change!
We are thrilled and honored to announce that Fantastic Negrito will be performing to celebrate the launch of their upcoming album, The Last Days of Oakland, at our June First Friday street festival.
Fantastic Negrito will be playing a full set at the dusk of dawn (around 8:15).
Prior to the performance, the evening will feature Zakiya Harris and interactive art by 1AM SF and spoken word by Nomadic Press (featuring Oakland Youth Poet Laureattes), and more!
Much of the art and performances will be themed around the title of Fantasic Negrito's album: THE LAST DAYS OF OAKLAND
It means something to be from Oakland. The tiny city that birthed the Hells Angels, the first sports team in black, and America's oldest street dance has always been ground zero for counter culture. It is a place where violent crime, art, and swagger converge. It has always been diverse. It has always understood that danger and edge are critical ingredients for art and culture.
But Oakland is changing. As its neighbors, San Francisco and Silicon Valley, spill over with money, the economy in Oakland is soaring. Young entrepreneurs and aspiring artists are attracted by the city's perceived "renaissance." Oakland is becoming whiter and safer. Now Oakland is ground zero for the national discussion on gentrification.
Fantastic Negrito is an artist who bridges Oakland's future with its legendary past. He is a wounded veteran of the city once claimed by Black Panthers and hustlers. He is a vital voice in what the New York Times called "the hottest city in America." His album, The Last Days of Oakland, is about the fallout and rebirth that comes in the wake of a seismic shift. It is intensely relevant -- the way his city has always been.
Come out to join the conversation about the changing landscape of our beautiful city. It's going to take all of us to perserve our city's diverse personality, culture, and richness. Let's do this. Together.
ABOUT FANTASTIC NEGRITO
Xavier Dphrepaulezz hailed from an orthodox Muslim household as a child. After relocating from rural Massachusetts to Oakland as a teenager in the 1980s, he quickly moved from strict religion to the music of Funkadelic; by the age of 20 he taught himself to play just about every instrument he came across, and in the `90s, he signed a multi-million dollar deal with Interscope Records performing under his first name Xavier. Dphrepaulezz’s life changed drastically when he was involved in a near death car accident resulting in a three-week coma, followed by intensive physical rehabilitation with his guitar playing hand permanently incapacitated. After a five-year hiatus, Dphrepaulezz created Fantastic Negrito. Inspired by all American music, most especially Delta bluesmen such as R.L Burnside and Skip James, he sought to modernize his compositions by sampling and looping his own live recordings. He told NPR that the name is “a celebration of blackness. The ‘Fantastic’ is self-explanatory; the ‘Negrito’ is a way to open blackness up to everyone, making it playful and international.”
Upon winning NPR’s inaugural Tiny Desk Concert Contest, Fantastic Negrito quickly won over critics with 2015’s self-titled EP. Consequence of Sound wrote of the record “Dphrepaulezz sings like a man compelled by a spiritual force…[his] voice is impassioned, somewhere between a croon and a scream,” and the Washington Post praised the EP’s “raw vocals and self-assessing lyrics.” The San Francisco Chronicle noted that “almost overnight, the singer-songwriter became an international sensation.”
Find our more about the band at http://www.fantasticnegrito.com/