Once Oakland’s best-kept secret, Fantastic Negrito (aka songwriter Xavier Dphrepaulezz) started making waves in the mainstream last year when he won NPR’s inaugural Tiny Desk Concert Contest and followed that up with 2015’s blistering self-titled EP. Dphrepaulezz may feel a bit like the flavor of the week in light of all this hype, but his explosive fusion of gospel rock, delta blues, and straight-up soul has a way of sticking with you long after the first listen.
Never has it stuck harder than with “Hump Thru the Winter”, the new single Fantastic Negrito recently premiered via SF Weekly. This isn’t the kind of track to sweep you along on a current of good vibes; on the contrary, its scorching social commentary and howling vocals combine to form a slice-of-life portrait that’s too stark — too powerfully real — to ignore. Check it out below.
Fantastic Negrito’s debut full-length record, The Last Days of Oakland, is out June 3rd via Blackball Universe. Previous singles include “Working Poor” and “About a Bird”. Dphrepaulezz and his band will celebrate the album’s release with a free record release show at Oakland First Fridays on June 3rd. The group is also slated to appear at BottleRock and Outside Lands this summer.