Oakland, CA-based songwriter and electric guitar player Fantastic Negrito – aka Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz – has announced the release of a new album and accompanying movie, White Jesus Black Problems.
Set for release on June 3, the project was inspired by the tale of the Grammy-winning artist’s seventh generation grandparents. Grandma Gallamore was a white Scottish indentured servant, while Grandfather Courage was an enslaved African American. The two lived in a common law marriage in Virginia in the 1750s, defying the era’s racist laws.
The accompanying film documents the story to a soundtrack of the album’s music. The first taster comes with new single Highest Bidder – a funky, wah-laden melding of delta blues and disco, which examines the commercial forces that often propel humanity’s worst behavior.
“That song’s as true today as it’s ever been,” says Negrito. “The Egyptians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Americans, everything goes to the highest bidder. It’s human nature. People always want to have the best.
"It’s all predicated on extracting the most out of other people for the least. In this country, we worship billionaires while parts of some cities look like what we’d call the third world. I’m trying to convey what I see when I walk down the street here in Oakland.”
Negrito reportedly wrote around 50 songs, all rooted in the story of his ancestors, but the final album takes it down to 13 and features drummer James Small, bassist Cornelius Mims, guitarist Masa Kohama, keyboardist Lionel LJ Holoman and cellist Mia Pixley. Small was also cast to play the role of Grandfather Courage in the accompanying film.
Fantastic Negrito – White Jesus Black Problems:
- Venomous Dogma
- Highest Bidder
- Mayor of Wasteland
- They Go Low
- Oh Betty
- You Don’t Belong Here
- Man With No Name
- You Better Have A Gun
- In My Head
- Register of Free Negroes
- Virginia Soil
Pre-order or pre-save White Jesus Black Problems via stores or a streaming service of your choice.