Cockamamie seems like a fitting word to describe Jamie Nelson -- or at least his hip-hop alter ego.
He was, after all, half of the local rap group Argyle Pimps, which was known for its offbeat and nonsensical approach to the genre. He continues working the theme in a new solo project, Cockamamie Jamie, playing 7 p.m. Saturday at Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero Street. The show is a fundraiser for the Catacomb Party music festival on July 20 on Fresno's Fulton Mall and 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 a 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 Valley and beyond. ... 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 as part of 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 I 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 album's worth of those tales.
Obviously, you do hip-hop. But it's probably not the hip-hop most people are used to. How do you describe the style?
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.
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.
Do you know a local musician people should be familiar with? Send details to Joshua Tehee, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JoshuaTehee on Twitter.