Even though he wasn't able to perform at Outside Lands and his injured shoulders were pinned back for three hours in handcuffs over the weekend, Oakland’s artist known as Fantastic Negrito is not angry or disheartened.
In fact, he said that his well-publicized police citation – after his intern admitted on Saturday to scalping an Outside Lands wristband on Craigslist – is actually helping his reputation.
“What band do you think everyone’s Googling?” asked Xavier Dphrepaulezz – whose stage name is Fantastic Negrito. “It’s all OK. I feel good. I'm alive. People still support what I'm doing. That's what's important."
Fantastic Negrito was asked to go on the radio Monday morning to air his tale, and was getting showered with love from many fans who thought his weekend detention was unfair.
San Franciso police issued citations on Saturday afternoon to Dphrepaulezz – who had his 15 minutes earlier this year when he won NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Contest- along with band friend Alistar Monroe and his intern, 22-year-old John Beckmeyer for illegally “peddling without a permit.” The wristbands are "non-transferable."
The three were released after they were handed their paperwork. In a statement, Outside Lands said, "We are so sorry the artist was not able to perform due to this unfortunate breach."
Police did not think they owned the musician an apology. In an email, Sgt. Michael Andraychak said that the "police department had nothing to do with his show being cancelled. (sic) The production company cancelled (sic) his act. The police department has nothing to apologize for. I am not aware of any prior injury."
As Fantastic Negrito explained during a series of tweets and interviews, his intern, whom he called a “nice kid,” admitted to scalping a concert wristband to police who got a tip from Another Planet Entertainment to investigate. The intern said he acted alone, Fantastic Negrito said. Monroe said that he and Fantastic Negrito were "wrongfully accused." He also said the intern was crying and felt horribly about what he did.
Police, however, said in a statement said that Fantastic Negrito "played a role" in the ticket scalping and defended their actions by saying they were acting on a tip "provided by concert promoters."
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Still, despite the intern's admission, police put all three in cuffs, and held Fantastic Negrito so that he couldn’t perform at the sold-out outdoor show in San Francisco. Fantastic Negrito said he had arrived at the festival area around 11 a.m. in order to perform at 3 p.m. But he was held by police until 2:30 p.m. and didn't have time to make the show. "It's disappointing," he said. "Some people came all the way from Mexico City."
Both the Oakland Tribune and East Bay Express reported that medics advised police to switch the handcuffs to the front of the musician’s body because of a 1999 car accident injury resulting in shoulder pins.
But that didn’t happen, Fantastic Negrito said.
Fantastic Negrito’s fans have taken to social media to show their support for the blues-y musician who takes to street corners to bang out raw, passionate tunes. “You are loved, “ tweeted Paula Moore. “Music can be magic. Yours is.”
As for wanting some type of karmic retribution for what happened to him, like an apology from someone, Fantastic Negrito simply answered, "I don't like wanting something from anyone. I'm not thinking about that."