Fantastic Negrito Plays the Early Show at Mercury Lounge on Sunday

October 7th, 2016

Singer-songwriter Xavier Dphrepaulezz was born in Massachusetts, but it wasn’t until he moved to Oakland during middle school that he began to get immersed in music, learning multiple instruments and writing songs. He put out an album on Interscope in ’95, but not much became of it. Record-label battles and a terrible accident and coma followed by rehab and recovery left him wanting to spend more time at home with his family. But sometimes you just need a fresh start, and so revitalized and inspired following the birth of his son, Dphrepaulezz began performing and recording under the name Fantastic Negrito a few years ago. What is essentially his debut full-length, the terrific The Last Days of Oakland (stream it below), filled with a mix of blues, folk, hip-hop and rock, came out earlier this year. NPR Music called it “a powerful document—if not a full-on rallying cry—about bulldozing all the roadblocks life piles up through sheer force of will, talent and song. It’s an angry album. It’s a righteous album. It’s a redemptive album. Ultimately, though, it’s a celebration of hard-fought survival, something Dphrepaulezz knows all too well.” Fantastic Negrito (above, performing “Lost in a Crowd” in studio for WFUV FM) is opening for Temple of the Dog’s eight sold-out shows, including their stop at Madison Square Garden on 11/7. But tickets still remain to see the dapper performer—about whom, Mother Jones claims, “America has lost its soul. This unforgettable new singer has found it”—on Sunday night at Mercury Lounge. Genre-spanning singer-songwriter Feral Foster opens the show.