Five acts who stole the show at Womad: Harpers Bazaar
"Fantastic Negrito knows how to deliver a dynamic set of compelling tunes that transcend from foot stomping blues to a funk stampede… He sings about racism, the evils of capitalism and slavery, turning heavy topics of rage into infectious rhythms of love and light. He is the real deal.” Read more...
“A stellar new album from Fantastic Negrito. Combining different corners of the Black musical world… timeless quality” – NPR Music
“A vibrant mix of raw blues, Prince-like funk and Stones rock’n’roll….Quite unlike anything else out there, it is a bit of a revelation” - The Times 4 Stars
“This tremendous synthesis of righteous rhetoric and gnarly, funk-flecked blues-rock… a potent tour de force” – MOJO 4 Stars
“Album number five finds him crafting a musical and thematic groove that thrusts his music further… a combination of Frank Zappa and Prince” – American Songwriter 4/5 Stars
“The project is Negrito’s manifesto, a literal shout against oppression. His delivery system belies the lyrical impact with royal influences from Prince and Queen, jabbing you to set you up for lyrical body punches” – No Depression
“His most career-defining album to date… a searing, provocative impact” – GLIDE Mag
SF Chronicle: Fantastic Negrito Wins Another Grammy Celebrates with Party in Oakland
April 14, 2020
On the corner of 32nd Street and San Pablo Avenue in West Oakland, a small homeless encampment stretches along the edge of a parking lot of a building that used to be a seedy liquor store in the neighborhood where blues musician Xavier Dphrepaulezz, best known as Fantastic Negrito, grew up. Read more...
The Journal of Roots Music: No Depression
August 12, 2020
"Healer, entertainer, shaman, funkateer, and prophet, Fantastic Negrito is a demon-chasing, street-wise preacher who delivers the goods with funk and soul and a big dose of social consciousness to help us all get through these troubled times."
Rolling Stones: "Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?"
August 11, 2020
"Modern electric blues as Prince and George Clinton would have it."
GRAMMY.COM: Fantastic Negrito On How His New Album, 'Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?', Is A Timely Commentary On American Society
June 25, 2020
"There's something very sick and wrong with a state-sanctioned police force that arbitrarily murders people disproportionately," Dphrepaulezz tells GRAMMY.com in a recent interview. "I feel that there has to be a significant movement against this and something that's tangible that people will be able to hold onto after this is all said and done and quiets down. I think Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? is completely in step with our current situation because people—yes, they have lost their mind. They expressed it in the streets, and as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, 'Rioting is the voice of the unheard." Read more...
NPR: all songs considered - Music for right now
June 10, 2020
Fantastic Negrito puts himself in the position of a violent perpetrator on "How Long?" Read more...
Pollstar: Fantastic Negrito On ‘How Long?,' Hope And Healing
June 5, 2020
“I’m saying how long are you going to buy this shit? It’s easy to kill this brother because you’ve dehumanized him. That’s who I’m singing to in this song. Because he’s the perpetrator of the crime. … There are good police officers and I’m not going to become the evil that I rally against. I’m not going to become the destruction that I oppose. ... But artists have to speak the truth. Are we enraged? Yes. Are we fed the fuck up? Yes, we’re fed up. Are we hurt? Yes, we are crushed. OK, now what’s next? What do we do with that?"
“There’s so much we can do with it. You have power. I have power. Every one of us has power. Every one of us is a part, and all these parts can have power. I can reach across the aisle and make a friend. We have so much power but we’re made – made – to feel like we are powerless. The first thing we have to do is acknowledge it. The same way that you have to acknowledge white privilege. Or the same way I have to acknowledge my bullshit. It’s how you begin to heal. The same way people have got to acknowledge we have to stop living in a culture of victimization and instead acknowledge our power. It is vast and it is deep. And it is healing." Read more...
RIFF Magazine: Fanatstic Negrito on protest, growing up on the street, and the George Floyd video
June 4, 2020
"Every day that we wake up, we’re decision-makers. If every one of us says, “You know what, I’m gonna be honest to these people. You know what, I’m not gonna think of just myself. You know what, I’m gonna look this person in the eye. You know what, I’m gonna start a conversation with this person. You know what, I’m gonna live my life a little bit for other people and not just think about how everything should benefit me.” Because we are trained in this society to just be, like, “Me, me.” And now even more with social media it’s like [Negrito pulls out his phone and pretends to scroll through it], “Me, my account, my Facebook, my Twitter, my likes.” Read more...
DATEBOOK: Oakland's Fantastic Negrito: ' Great opportunities to just be a human being right now'
April, 14, 2020
“I can’t believe I wrote an album called ‘Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?’ because it’s just so aligned with the universe,” the 52-year-old musician told The Chronicle in a recent phone interview at his home in Oakland. “I really believe in this thing, that these things are sent to us … and I think that’s why we are here. That’s the mystery of life.” Read more...
THE SIX FIFTY: The 650 Stay-At-Home Playlist: plug in with the Bay Area's one-and-only Fantastic Negrito
March 19, 2020
After a major record deal in the 1990’s — and a near-fatal car accident that left him in a month-long coma — Xavier stepped away from music, and spent his days growing cannabis. He came back to it by way of his idea for a man and his guitar as a superhero-type origin story. That’s when he hit the streets. That’s when Fantastic Negrito was born. The long hours of busking on the sidewalks of Oakland and the subsequent self-titled album that followed set him up for an early 2015 breakthrough via NPR’s Tiny Desk performance series.
As far as the audience, my audience, they’re a strange tribe. They’re all over the world. They’re kinda scattered. They’re their own tribe, so they vary. My audience continues to be eclectic and they always find a way."
“If I had a grant, I wouldn’t shut my studio down. I’d load my shotgun up with producers, musicians, beat makers, make my dream happen, which is Motown in Oaktown. It can happen. We can do it.” Read more...
THE MERCURY NEWS: 7 awesome Bay Area things to do at home this weekend
April 2, 2020
THE NEW YORK TIMES: Five places to visit in Oakland with Fantastic Negrito Read more...
THE NEW YORK TIMES: Five places to visit in Oakland with Fantastic Negrito
Feb 7, 2020
"The Grammy-winning musician, a true believer in his hometown's intoxicating energy, riffs on his favorite spots." Read more...
HUCK MAGAZINE: Fantastic Negrito scares the shit out of the establishment
July 17, 2018
"After running away from home and hustling through music school, a car crash derailed the dreams of Xavier Dphrepaulezz. Then, at the age of 45, he reinvented himself as Fantastic Negrito to Grammy-winning acclaim. Now all he wants to do is save the world." Read more...
Improper Bostonian: Chain Breaker
July 20, 2018
"Blues rocker turns roller-coaster career into street-fed philosophy" Read more...
ESCUTA ESSA REVIEW: "Please Don't Be Dead" é o Fantastic Negrito revolucionando o blues - Escuta Essa Review
June 25, 2018
"Fantastic Negrito - Please Don't Be Dead (2018) Por Gabriel Sacramento Que discaço! Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, o Fantastic Negrito, quase desistiu da música várias vezes devido a uma vida difícil, que parecia jogar contra ele e contra seu sonho." Read more...
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Robert Plant, Los Lobos, Fantastic Negrito and more emphasize tradition at Arroyo Seco
June 25, 2018
"Music is medicine for the soul," declared the singer who performs as Fantastic Negrito, eagerly prowling a stage on Sunday with a revivalist's fury leading into the final hours of Arroyo Seco Weekend in Pasadena. There were bigger names at the Goldenvoice-presented festival, now in its second year, than the artist born Xavier Amin Dhprepaulezz, but the crowd was right there with him. Read more...
ROLLING STONE ITALIA: Fantastic Negrito ha vissuto dieci vite, tutte dedicate al blues
June 18, 2018
"Probabilmente non reggerei un minuto della vita di Xavier Dphrepaulezz senza mettermi a piangere. Invece Xavier Dphrepaulezz è uno che ha vissuto dieci vite di Xavier Dphrepaulezz, ed è arrivato a cinquant'anni in splendida forma." Read more...
EXCLAIM!: Fantastic Negrito Please Don't Be Dead
June 18, 2018
"With his fourth album as an artist, the musical reinvention of Fantastic Negrito is nearly complete. The man born Xavier Dphrepaulezz from O..." Read more...
How Cannabis Fueled the Rise of Oakland Bluesman Fantastic Negrito | Leafly
June 19, 2018
"When Oakland's Fantastic Negrito won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2017, for his debut LP The Last Days of Oakland, he didn't celebrate at a private party, surrounded by the Los Angeles music industry. No, he took his Grammy down to the local train station and busked, as he has done for years." Read more...
AFROPUNK: Soul King Fantastic Negrito crafts an anthem to resilience on 'Please Don't Be Dead'
June 20, 2018
"Take that bullshit / Turn it into good shit." The triumphant reinvention of Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz as Fantastic Negrito is one of the very few, if not only, 3rd acts in rock. After a twice-sidelined solo career, once by the coma that gives Please Don't Be Dead its album cover, Dphrepaulezz came roaring back in 2014 as one ..." Read more...
AP News: Review-Fantastic Negrito has great sequel to Grammy winner
June 13, 2018
"Fantastic Negrito, "Please Don't Be Dead" (Blackball Universe/Cooking Vinyl) Fantastic Negrito has an incredible, inspiring backstory but it would be a shame to unwittingly allow it to overshadow the issue at hand, the truly fantastic blend of blues, funk, rock and R&B created on "Please Don't Be Dead" by the man born Xavier Dphrepaulezz." Read more...
Hear Fantastic Negrito's Stomping New Song 'The Duffler'
May 11, 2018
"Fantastic Negrito's crunchy take on blues and R&B channels the paranoia and despair of present-day American life, and on new song "The Duffler" the results are as sinister as ever. The soon-to-be-released LP from Fantastic Negrito, Please Don't Be Dead, is front man Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz's plea to his country, one where he fears for the future and the safety of his children." Read more...
EAST BAY EXPRESS: Fantastic Negrito Pleads with His Country on New Album Please Don't Be Dead
Jun 13, 2018
"A lot has happened to Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz, a.k.a. Fantastic Negrito, since the musician won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album last year with The Last Days of Oakland." Read more...
SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER: Fantastic Negrito fights for survival, equality
June 13, 2018
"On his Grammy-winning 2016 debut album, "The Last Days of Oakland," Fantastic Negrito recorded his observations of Oakland's working class, festering away in poverty and under the constant threat of drug addiction and gun violence." Read more...
ROLLING STONE ITALIA: INTERVIEW - Fantastic Negrito jamais à court de vivre
December 6, 2018
"Sur le visuel de ce nouvel album, il apparaît abattu, rompu, le regard vide, le bras gauche et le poignet droit dans le plâtre, et avec en suppression, un bracelet d'hôpital annonçant, en plus de ce Please Don't Be Dead en guise de titre dudit album, une date d'admission : 25 novembre 1999." Read more...