Oakland, known in local parlance as “The Town,” is often defined by its distinction from San Francisco across the bay. But the city – the birthplace of the Black Panther movement – is the bubbling cauldron of valuable creative energy in its quest. Xavier Amin Dofrepoliz, more known as Fantastic Negrito, An Oakland-based musician who sees himself as a bridge between Oakland’s past and present. From the early days of hip-hop and punk to the city’s current gentleness, he is a true believer in the city’s drug power.
“Oakland is amazing and it’s good. I remember the crack epidemic of that day hit. However that dark energy has given birth to a great music and art movement. “
Blaze Negrito’s burning brand blues-infused rock earned him two Grammys; Of 2019 Please don’t die And his 2017 debut album, The last days of Oakland, Both received awards for the Best Contemporary Blues Album. Despite his worldwide following, he is a true product of his hometown. The fictitious Negrito of Somali-Caribbean descent found his sound boxing on the streets of Oakland, where he began his career as an artist and creator. His family moved to the city from Massachusetts when Fantastic Negrito, at the age of 12, did not have a lucrative but creatively satisfying music life in Los Angeles. Now 52, he has been back to Oakland since August 28, 2008 and “will not choose another place.”
“I embrace it and I support it!” Here he shares his five favorite places.
The fabulous Negrito loves this extra cafe for its healthy, delicious options. He loved to walk there via West Oakland via San Pablo Avenue, a mix of his artists, and started his walk through the studio, the Blackball Universe (between 34th and 35th streets in San Pablo). “I call it the Lower East Side,” he says. “You’re in the front row to see something happening. It feels like New York in the 70s.
1825 San Pablo Avenue; plentyoakland.com
2. Reinhart Redwood Regional Park
“You can go 10 minutes and be in the entire wilderness,” he says of the mountain park east of downtown Oakland. “It is based on you and comes in contact with the vibrations of the earth. That’s what makes the bay so special; We are surrounded by nature. “
7867 Redwood Road; ebparks.org/parks/redwood/
Spending time in this vibe surrounded by artists surrounding Fruitvale in Oakland, one of the favorite ways to experience Oakland’s “history and culture of art galleries” is to visit the second Friday of the month, especially when the diverse community comes together at Jingletown and Alameda Art Walk.
4. Merritt Lake
This urban lake is the “one of the center of Oakland” for the Fantastic Negrito. “It’s been there since I was a kid.” He recommends taking a walk around and seeing what you are looking for. “There is a bird sanctuary here. You will hear Haitian drummers on weekends. Walk down Grand and Lake Shore; There are many different shops and restaurants.
There are so many places to explore “The Hatch’s A Good Jumping Pointback” to experience Oakland’s fast-changing suburbs! Go to Latham Square, walk along Broadway, into the numbered street. Get the real taste of Oakland, where everyone mixes together. “
402 15th Street; thehatchoak.com