Fantastic Negrito wrote “How Long?” to confront the monsters behind school shootings, police brutality, and other acts of senseless violence. Negrito‘s official music video, directed by Isaiah Frazier, features close-ups of Xavier’s face, showing the agony of a man who has seen it, lived it, and now sings about it.
Negrito says, “When I wrote this song I was actually talking to the shooter … if I had the chance, I would tell the shooter he’s not in it alone. I would tell him I know despair. I would confess to him all of the horrible things I have done in my life. All of the darkness, the foster homes, the sexual predators, my past criminal activity. I’ve hurt a lot of people. I ran away from home when I was 12 years old. I saw my 14-year-old brother with his head blown open, and I helped my mother clean the blood off the floor. I watched my 16-year-old cousin get buried in a coffin. My best friend was murdered in a barbershop here in the liberal, peace-loving Bay Area. I survived a three-week coma. I lost my playing hand, and I felt like everything was over. But it wasn’t. Hopefully being able to survive those things and share them with people in despair can help ease all the pain.”
“How Long?” is the second song released from Fantastic Negrito‘s anticipated new album HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND YET? (Available on August 14th, 2020) Negrito shows off his musical chops on tracks like “How Long” and “Searching for Captain Save a Hoe.” (Feat. E-40) A modern reinvention of the legendary Bay Area rapper E-40‘s 1993 classic, “Captain Save A Hoe.” Additional highlights include “I’m So Happy I Cry,” featuring Tarriona “Tank” Ball of the New Orleans band Tank and the Bangas.
Per Fantastic Negrito, “On the first two albums, I wrote about broad topics. The proliferation of gun violence, the evil NRA, gentrification, and homelessness, and pharmaceutical companies that prey upon the people. On this album, I wanted to write about people I knew, people I grew up with, people whose lives I could personally affect, and whose lives have impacted me. It was the hardest album I’ve ever written.”
I listened to “How Long?” on repeat via YouTube, and then I let the algorithm work its magic. The next hour was filled with hitting songs from Fantastic Negritos previous albums. If you don’t already know Fantastic Negrito consider this your wake-up call. Based in Oakland, this musician is finally getting noticed after years of struggling to survive. Now a 2x GRAMMY® Award-winner, who recently performed on CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, if you don’t know him now you will. After years of struggling, his goals are finally focused, he’s releasing music regularly, and he’s hitting the scene with a message of hope.