New Yorkers did not hear the last of Jimmy McMillan when he lost his bid to govern the state. Perhaps the most popular of the recent guberrnatorial race for Albany, the vociferous, debate-stealer to articulate the mission of the Rent Is Too Damn High Party McMillan is following up with a debut as a recording artist. This time he is not just talking he has written and recorded an album’s worth of songs about his experience as a candidate.
McMillan’s debut CD is entitled — you guessed it — The Rent Is Too Damn High (Volume 1). Slated for a Dec. 7 release, the CD will be available worldwide on iTunes, Amazon.com and other digital music outlets. While McMillan has received a lot of media coverage, most may not know that he was a singer in the 70’s under the name Jimmy Mack. Allegedly, he had a popular single out in 1975 on Hamster Records.
His single, which was leaked to the N.Y. Times is called “What is This.”
Most of his songs are urban and contemporary and highlights include tracks like “R.E.N.T.,” “This is what I like,” and “Vote for Me.” The record also features a romantic composition: “My Place.”
Of his road to the recording studios, McMillan admitted “I like to listen to myself.” He said while campaigning for NYS number one job he drove around listening to himself. “It kept me focussed and got me really pumped up. I wrote and recorded all these songs myself and never thought anyone would like them.” McMillan said. “The guitar is my main instrument but I play everything from drums to the violin,” he explained.
McMillan’s not just an up-and-coming politician, karate master, former stripper and titan of he’s also a talented musician who cites Otis Redding and Ronald Regan as his main influences. He is also responsible for writing and recording all of his songs in his home studio, in his apartment that he may, or may not pay rent for in Brooklyn.
The album will be out in time for the holidays and the rent-centric recorder made sure to include the could-be-holiday-classic “Rent Too High Christmas,” in which McMillan sings his favorite topic.
He has transformed himself from unlikely gubernatorial candidate to world wide celebrity after amassing more than seven million YouTube views in three days, being the third most Googled topic last week and the subject of a stellar parody on Saturday Night Live. Some say he is on minute 14 of his 15 minutes of fame, but McMillan disagrees.