There is desperation and urgency in Fantastic Negrito's new album Please Don't Be Dead, out June 15 via Cooking Vinyl and Blackball Universe. For anyone who ever felt like it was over yet hoped it wasn’t, this is your music. “I wrote this album because I fear for the life of my black son,” said Negrito. “I fear for the lives of my daughters. I am uncertain about what kind of future they will face. Will someone shoot up their school? Will they become addicted to prescription pills? Will they wind up on the street, sleeping under freeways and overpasses? Will the police murder my son? I came up with the name Please Don’t Be Dead because I felt like we’d lost our way as a society — and I know what happens when you chase the wrong things. It’s the story of my life.”
Please Don't Be Dead – which follows 2016’s Grammy Award-winning The Last Days Of Oakland – is heralded by the lead track, ‘Plastic Hamburgers’, out now. “With 'Plastic Hamburgers' I wanted to come out swinging,” added Negrito. “With everything happening in the world, I wanted to take it head on. Addiction, guns, censorship, over-consumption. I wanted people to feel like this is our song, our rallying cry: lets tear down the walls that separate us and face who we really are.”
Fantastic Negrito – a.k.a. musician Xavier Dphrepaulezz (pronounced Deh-frep-aw-lez) – is truly an artist for these times, a multi-talented, genre-agnostic original whose life and work embody the struggle, energy, truth and creativity of black music. Negrito was raised in an orthodox Muslim household, the eighth of 14 children of a deeply religious Somali-Caribbean immigrant. The family moved from western Massachusetts to Oakland, CA, when Negrito was just 12 years old, his new hometown’s vibrant black community providing a massive culture shock after what was an extremely conservative childhood.
Fantastic Negrito has spent much of the past two years on the road, including sold out headline shows, stage-stealing festival performances, and a series on North American and European tours supporting his great supporter and friend, the late Chris Cornell as well as Cornell’s legendary supergroup Temple of the Dog. He also opened for Sturgill Simpson and many others.
23rd – Nottingham, Bodega
24th – Manchester, Night & Day
26th – Baden, Blues Festival
30th – Glasgow, King Tuts
1st – London, Dingwalls
2nd – Bristol, Thekla
8th – Winchester, Boomtown Fair