The Last Days of Oakland is an album by Fantastic Negrito. It earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
After winning his second 'Contemporary Blues Album' Grammy for the acclaimed Please Don't Be Dead, Fantastic Negrito is back with his new album Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?. This album focuses on mental health, while providing commentary on the political and social state of America. Lead track I'm So Happy I Cry features fellow Tiny Desk winner, Tank, from Tank and The Bangas. Additional focus tracks Chocolate Samurai, Searching for Captain Save a Hoe (featuring E-40) and How Long? see him exploring hip-hop, R&B, and rock in a way like never before, providing a glimpse into the full versatility of Fantastic Negrito as an artist.
There is desperation and urgency in Fantastic Negrito's new album "Please Don't Be Dead." The record sees the Devil around the corner, and each song is plea to make you aware of what's waiting for you. The artist is screaming at you because he knows what comes next. The album art features a real life photograph of Fantastic Negrito waking up from a three week coma. His body is shattered, his eyes are staring past you. They're staring at the Devil. But with his new album we hear the voice of an artist who put that Devil in the rear view. Now he's asking America to do the same. Like Negrito in that photograph, our country is driving off a cliff. We're letting our worst inclinations lead us: hate, division, greed, superficiality. It is going to be a fight to pull ourselves from this toxic mire, and this album is a roadmap by an artist who survived the same journey…battered, scarred, but determined to wake us all up. "Please Don't Be Dead" is a man standing over something wounded. Something he cares about. He's looking around, and he's saying: "do something."
I'm astonished at two things: One, that it's taken me so long to discover this amazing album, and two, that the music on here is so incredibly good. Truly, this was a trailblazing album, fusing country, folk, and bluegrass, and making it palatable for rock audiences. It helped of course that Gene Clark of the Byrds was sitting in with the Dillards, giving this project more street cred for the folkies and rockers. The musical virtuosity on here, the soaring harmonies, and the high quality of the songs, is most impressive.