Best Album Recorded In Oakland 

Please Don't Be Dead by Fantastic Negrito

Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz (aka Fantastic Negrito) has never really liked musical genres. Is he playing blues, rock, folk, funk, gospel, or country? The answer is yes. This genre line infidelity made it really tough for him to get a foot in the fickle music industry for decades. Then, in 2015 he won NPR's first-ever Tiny Desk contest. Last year, he released his third record under the Fantastic Negrito moniker, the brilliant Please Don't Be Dead. He continues to blur the line between Delta Blues and Prince-level grooves, but this time around he tosses in some hip-hop influences in there with the rest of the hodge-podge of musical styles. As much as the music is hard to label, so is the emotion driving it. It's both angry and joyous, and deals with issues like addiction and the misery of guns while upholding the possibility of change. Anyone that listens to this record will immediately get swept up in Dphrepaulezz's world and be glad that they did.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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