The track – which features powerhouse vocals from Tarriona ‘Tank’ Ball of New Orleans’ Tank and the Bangas – is joined by an equally colourful companion video, streaming now at the official Fantastic Negrito YouTube channel.
Ball said of the song: “‘I’m So Happy I Cry’ to me is about being so overjoyed when change finally comes from living a life of constant fear and survival. It’s the truest testament in believing not only is change gonna come, but it is here."
“I was really inspired to write ‘I’m So Happy I Cry’ the day after reading of Juice WRLD’s death,” Negrito says. “There are so many young artists suffering from what I perceive as mental illness. 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.
“I mention them because this current movie that’s on repeat, I’ve seen it before, I’ve been in it, and I want to speak out. I want to warn them that they are surrounded by people and companies who profit from the destruction of their mind, bodies, souls and ultimately their community. I’m a middle-aged guy. I have small children, so I try to be very careful about what I’m putting out into the universe. If I feel like I have some experience or wisdom on an issue, I try to make a contribution.
“Working with Tank was such a joy,” Negrito adds. “She is a powerful, dynamic artist, and we made a little bit of history together. It was the first time that two Tiny Desk winners collaborated on a song. I think it really gives validation to how important Bob Boilen and the NPR Tiny Desk Contest are. None of this would have happened without them.”
HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND YET? arrives everywhere via Cooking Vinyl and the artist’s own Blackball Universe on Friday, August 14th.
The album is available for pre-order now, with all pre-orders joined by instant grat downloads of ‘I’m So Happy I Cry’, as well as the recently released tracks, ‘How Long?’ and ‘Chocolate Samurai’. The latter track is currently ascending at US radio following a spectacular #PlayAtHome performance on CBS’sThe Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
In addition, ‘How Long?’ – which brilliantly confronts those behind school shootings, police brutality, and other acts of senseless violence – was recently joined by a starkly powerful companion video, directed by Isaiah Frazier and is streaming now at YouTube.
HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND YET? marks Fantastic Negrito’s most far-reaching work thus far, fusing elements of hip-hop, R&B, funk, soul, and rock ‘n roll into an incendiary synthesis all his own. Inspired by and reminiscent of the socio-political albums coming from black America in the late 1960s and into the 70s, the album sees Negrito exploring the struggle and complexities of mental health issues while continuing his long running lyrical examination of America’s increasingly broken social and political state of affairs.
“On the first two albums I wrote about broad topics,” Fantastic Negrito says. “The proliferations of gun violence, the evil NRA, gentrification and homelessness, pharmaceutical companies that prey upon the people. On this album I wanted to write about people I knew, people I grew up with, people whose lives I could personally affect, and whose lives have impacted me. It was the hardest album I’ve ever written.
“What do I want to say to these people, and to the world? If I had the chance, I would tell them the pain they are feeling, the darkness they are going through is temporary – especially if you consider the span of a human life. I would tell them we can’t fight these obstacles alone. We need each other. Get offline. Talk to people. I would tell them I am here for you. We can’t hide from the pain. We need to look right at it. To really look into someone’s eyes is to feel their power and their vulnerability, to feel humanity, and to feel love.”