Oakland singer-songwriter Fantastic Negrito will release his fourth studio album, White Jesus Black Problems on June 3. The first single “Highest Bidder’ was released this morning, alongside the album announcement.
This genre-traversing track explores themes of racism, capitalism, and the true meaning of freedom. The accompanying video follows Fantastic Negrito displaying various material and cultural desires, and how these luxuries always go to the “highest bidder.”
“That song’s as true today as it’s ever been,” Fantastic Negrito said in a statement. “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. 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 Problems is based on the artist’s seventh-generation Scottish white grandmother (Grandma Gallamore) who was an indentured servant in a common-law marriage to his enslaved grandfather (Grandfather Courage) in 1750s colonial Virginia.
In addition to the album, Fantastic Negrito created a film set to the music of White Jesus Black Problems. The film is will also be based on sharing the singer-songwriter’s ancestral narrative of his seventh-generation grandparents. The artist released a preview of the film on his website here.