Blues rocker Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz is readying his fourth album as Fantastic Negrito, White Jesus Black Problems. As a preview, check out “Highest Bidder,” which you can listen to below.
As always with Fantastic Negrito, White Jesus Black Problems is an ambitious, political project, based on the true story of Dphrepaulezz’ seventh generation white Scottish grandmother, an indentured servant, who lived in 1750s colonial Virginia in a common law marriage with his seventh generation Black enslaved grandfather. The album also comes with a “mid-length movie,” a visual that a press release describes as “a cross between Lemonade and Hamilton.”
“Highest Bidder” previews White Jesus Black Problems with fluid blues guitar and lively, African-inspired drums. “I say the same thing to myself every day,” Fantastic Negrito repeats, reminding himself that money rules all. “Everything goes to the highest bidder.” In the music video, people from all walks of life — white doctors, Black dancers donning traditional face paint — unite in their dance for cash.
“That song’s as true today as it’s ever been. 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,” Fantastic Negrito explained. “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.”
White Jesus Black Problem and its companion film will be released on June 3rd via Fantastic Negrito’s own label, Storefront Records. The album serves as the follow-up to 2020’s Grammy Award-winning Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?, which featured the songs “Chocolate Samurai” and “I’m So Happy I Cry.” Last summer, Fantastic Negrito joined Dr. Mike Friedman on the Going There podcast, where he called himself a “recovering narcissist.”