The Fantastic Negrito Takes on America’s Unbridled Capitalism in ‘Highest Bidder’

Welcome to Pass the Aux, where KQED Arts & Culture brings you our new favorite tracks from Bay Area artists. Check out past entries and submit a song for future coverage here.

Fantastic NegritoThe rise of has been fascinating to watch. And now that several years have passed since he went from busker to Grammy winner, the Oakland blues musician isn’t resting on his laurels. On the contrary, he releases some of the most compelling works of his career, songs that chew through some of the heaviest issues of our time and move both body and soul.

Late last year, Fantastic Negrito and Oakland country singer Miko Marks teamed up for “Rollin’ Through California,” a rousing organ-driven track that takes stock of the damage wrought by the endemic wildfires of our state. (Look at him and his band play it live at KQED headquarters.)

And today, Fantastic Negrito released their new single and video for “Highest Bidder,” which, with lyrics in the vein of D’Angelo’s classic “devil’s pie– remarks on the corruption of America’s unbridled capitalism. “Ohhh this bank is a serial killer / Trying to build more prisons for your children,” Fantastic Negrito sings in falsetto over an African drum pattern and funk guitar.

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