Ignored Obscured Restored
In 2015, Fantastic Negrito (Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz) won a contest to be the first NPR, undiscovered artist, Tiny Desk performer. The Oakland based musician was initially signed to Interscope in the ‘90s, but became disillusioned with the record industry and was further sidelined by a car accident that caused serious injury and left him in a coma for several weeks.
Fast forward to 2014 when the socio-political state sparked FN to revive his musical career. He’s recently released his second album from his second round in “the business,” called Please Don’t Be Dead.
The opening song on the album is “Plastic Hamburgers.”
“Plastic Hamburgers” is a powerful blues track that brings masters like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters into the 21st century. I hear a contiguous line from Led Zeppelin to Lenny Kravitz to Jack White.
The lyrics speak to the current American social condition:
Americans pills will wreck and kill
American pills will wreck and kill
Automatic weapon in a twitching hand
The 50-foot wall of addiction, man
Do you, do you understand?
Let’s break out these chains, let’s burn it down
You don’t have to be a genius to understand what he’s getting at! He told NPR “I wanted to come out swinging. With everything happening in the world, I wanted to take it head on. Addiction, guns, censorship, overconsumption. I wanted people to feel like this is our song, our rallying cry: Let’s tear down the walls that separate us and face who we really are.”
The music world could use more artists with the courage and integrity to make recordings like this.
Enjoy… until next week.