Oakland’s Fantastic Negrito, (Birthname: Xavier Dphrepaulezz, it’s pronounced “dee-FREP-ah-lez”) is a former major league east bay drug dealer that faced death multiple times before a light went off over his head and he took up music seriously enough to win multiple Grammy Awards in the blues category and have a very successful music career.
My son Justin turned me onto Fantastic Negrito and we’ve gone together to see him play at the New Parish in Oakland and at the Hardly Strictly Blue Grass concert in Golden Gate Park. “Dad, you’ve got to see this guy- ‘Fantastic Negrito!’” he told me. “He’s a cross between Jimi Hendrix and Prince!” That may be true that these guys were major inspirations for him but Fantastic Negrito is an absolute original to himself!
Our exclusive BAM interview with Fantastic Negrito happened before the virus hit the world, at his Oakland Studio/Office. It was recorded and edited by Craig Abaya.