He was after all, 1/2 of the local rapper group Argyle Pimps, which was known for being off-beat and nonsensical in its approach to the genre. He continues working the theme in a new solo project, Cockamamie Jamie, which plays 7 p.m. Saturday at Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero Street. The show is a fundraiser for the Catacomb Party music festival, being held July 20 on Fresno’s Fulton Mall. Its also Cockamamie Jamie’s live debut.
We emailed Nelson to find out more.
He replied with appropriately oddball answers.
Tell us about Cockamamie Jamie. Who is this guy and what’s he all about?
Cockamamie Jamie is lifelong resident of Fresno, who has written and recorded rap music for the better part of 18 years. He writes quirky songs, records them to beats and performs his music to throngs of gawkers, and onlookers in the Central Valley, and beyond. He’s a runner, who runs about 200 miles a month in the Old Fig Garden area, and has specifically requested that people stop throwing both: items, and insults at him while he is running.
They both hurt.
He’s got a new album out called “Survivor Series,” and he wants you to know that it is available digitally on iTunes, Spotify and Amazon. Or, you can score a limited edition (1,000 made) compact disc via Bandcamp. If all of this terrifies you, just Google search: Cockamamie Jamie, and watch stuff happen.
People probably know you best from the Argyle Pimps. Does this new project pick up where the Pimps left off?
Yes, without a doubt, I am best known for my work with The Argyle Pimps. Boney Beezly, and myself tried with all of our hearts to establish a different sound for the area, to have a good time with our fans, and from 2005 to late 2011, we had the time of our lives … an absolute blast. My record is an extension of that sound, for sure, and features some amazing local talent, including: Beezly, Abigail Nolte (Gayle & the Bowties), Amanda Valdez (Fierce Creatures), and local musicians Gary Anderson (trombone) and Sam Rocha (bass). I fell in love with writing oddball, comedic-based stories (examples from the Argyle Pimps album: “Geezers,” “Japanese People,” “Old School Metallica”), so I decided to write an entire albums worth of those tales.
Speaking of: There is talk (on Facebook anyway) of the original Argyle Pimps album being released in Japan. A.) What the heck? How did that come about? And B.) Would that facilitate y’all playing together again?
Right now I am in talks with a label in Japan about re-releasing the Argyle Pimps album “Invisible Jet-Ski’s,” and my solo album, with hopes of touring overseas. We’ve been working with a very talented artist since the inception of the Argyle Pimps, Kenn Stollery-Jones, who had some connections with this label (Romantic Productions), and pitched our stuff to the label head. I’m not sure if this would bring the group back together for one last ride, but my hope is that it would.
Obviously, you do hip-hop. But it’s probably not the hip-hop most people are used to. How do you describe the style? Musically, lyrically and otherwise?
I tend to use terms like “oddball” or “comedic” hip-hop when asked what kind of rap I do. Then I make a gassy face, and try to take the attention off of me, and my rap stylings. This usually leads to the dreaded follow-up question “Well, can you rap something right now?” Which leads me to explain how adult men do not just rap on call like wind-up dolls in public, without coming off as socially underdeveloped, and or, arrogant. After I explain this to them, I blaze their faces off with a hot freestyle about how dope I am. It’s sad … like pro-wrestler-in-his-50s-type sad. Me-me-me, all the time.
You spent some time in the rap-battle scene. How does that affect how you approached this batch of songs?
I got my start doing full-on Christian rap in my teens (seriously). The first 6+ years of writing songs, doing shows, was spent in the church. I believe I am now what’s referred to as a backslider, which sounds a lot like the Moonwalk, so I’m okay with that. I got into the battle rap scene in the mid-90s, had some success with it, which gave me some confidence. It let me know that I can do this rap thing a little bit.
A follow up: Did you really pee yourself to win a rap battle? I mean, I’ve seen the video, but …
Yes indeed, I peed my pants and won a rap battle. I didn’t need to pee my pants to win the battle. I did it and still won. Hip-hop heads don’t take kindly to things like that. It made the rounds there for a bit: Tosh.O flirted with airing it, TruTV aired it, Worldstarhiphop.com put it on their front page, break.com ran it, Web Soup did too, I heard. I made a cool $1,600 off that thing. I bought a new TV with that money. My Trader Joe’s trips never felt so good, my friend. It’s amazing to read all of the conspiracy theory posts and comments from people on Youtube that swear they have it figured out, and that it’s not real. They act like I performed some demonic act of sorcery on stage that night, like what I did was not humanly possible. I asked my opponent to be my boyfriend in my rap, and told him if he didn’t do it, that I would soil my britches. He declined the offer so I peed my pants. It was rapper’s braggadocio taken into uncharted lands. I knew it had not been done before, so I did it. People thought it was impossible.
“Not possible, dude.”
It totally is. You should try it. It’s empowering … and warm.
Fill us in on Saturday’s show.
I will be performing new music from my album for the first time, a teaser of sorts to the Catacomb Party show. Local boys, Le Wolves will also be performing that night. DJs Mr. Leonard and Meatball Magic will be there as well. It’s going to be dope. If you want some food, get there early. If you want to see me eat an entire monkey on stage, then do a Jeff Hardy-like Swanton Bomb onto Le Wolves merch table, get there around 10 p.m. If you want to show off your new pair of dress slacks on the dance floor, get there whenever you feel like it.
And because you know you want to watch, here’s the notorious “pee” video (it is NSFW):