Grammy-winning Oakland musician Xavier “Fantastic Negrito” Dphrepaulezz released the third single from his upcoming album Have You Lost Your Mind Yet, “I’m So Happy I Cry,” which features Tarriona “Tank” Ball of Tank and the Bangas. It’s the first collaboration by two NPR Tiny Desk Contest winners. Fantastic Negrito won the inaugural contest in 2015 with “Lost in a Crowd,” while Tank and the Bangas won in 2017 with “Quick.”
“I was really inspired to write ‘I’m So Happy I Cry’ the day after reading of Juice WRLD’s death. There are so many young artists suffering from what I perceive as mental illness,” Dphrepaulezz said in a news release accompanying the song. “Imagine having everything you want in the world and still feeling the need to medicate until it kills you. There is something very sick—and tragic—about that.”
Ball, on working with Dphrepaulezz, said, “Fantastic Negrito from a distance is plain ole weird. But when I met him, I found that he was brilliant in his own way. He believes in unity, self-determination, music, community, family and he makes you feel comfortable to be yourself and create timeless music.”
“I’m So Happy I Cry” follows “Chocolate Samurai” and its crowd-sourced video, which was made during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and “How Long,” which was released in late May. The album is set for release on Aug. 24.
Tank and the Bangas’ latest single, “For André,” is a tribute to André 3000 of Outkast in honor of his birthday.
The accompanying music video was filmed in Latham Square at 15th and Broadway in Oakland, a location from several memorable scenes in Boots Riley’s 2018 film debut, Sorry to Bother You.
— Daniel J. Willis