Multiple Grammy-winning bluesman Fantastic Negrito has released a video for Highest Bidder, the first single to be taken from his upcoming album White Jesus Black Problems. It's super-funky collision of Afrobeat rhythms and Delta blues, with lyrics that address an age-old problem.
“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."
The theme continues on White Jesus Black Problems, a concept album exploring the story of Negrito's white Scottish grandmother, an indentured servant who lived in a common law marriage with his African American enslaved grandfather, in defiance of the racist laws of colonial Virginia in the 1750s.
Negrito has also produced a full-length film to accompany the album, shot in his home city of Oakland, and has released a trailer for the film, which you can watch below.
White Jesus Black Problems will be released via Storefront Records, the label and community space Negrito set up last year in West Oakland to promote Bay Area artists, on June 6. and is available to pre-order (opens in new tab).
Fantastic Negrito has also announced two UK shows, which will take place at London's Jazz Cafe on July 26 and 27. The two shows follow a run of dates in The US and Europe. Get tickets (opens in new tab).
Fantastic Negrito: White Jesus Black Problems tracklist
1. Venomous Dogma
2. Highest Bidder
3. Mayor of Wasteland
4. They Go Low
6. Oh Betty
7. You Don’t Belong Here
8. Man With No Name
9. You Better Have A Gun
11. In My Head
12. Register of Free Negroes
13. Virginia Soil