Like anyone so original, there are so many things you could compare Jeremy Paul to: Rudy Ray Moore’s party records, Thom Yorke going solo, Richard Pryor not giving a fuck (Live and Smoking), a heretofore unimaginable combination of Frank Zappa AND Wildman Fischer or the RZA AND the ODB.
An outsider artist making inside jokes — somehow unhinged enough to be the subject of his own Charles Bukowski-honest stories while also having the wherewithal to self-produce them in a comedy/music format so perfect no one else could’ve thought of it. The biggest trick: Throughout Jeremy Paul’s trilogy of albums in this one-of-a-kind format, he’s never anyone but himself.
“Have you ever had to borrow electricity?” Paul asks the audience in “The Projects,” the first comedy track on Genocide. The audience, laughs, applauds along. Whether they can relate or not, everybody can while Paul’s sharing his history. Whether he’s talking about being dropped on his head as a baby (“Hallucinations”) or the lessons he’s learned watching George Clinton, Digital Underground, Buddy Guy & BB King play live (“Three Concerts”), Paul’s punchlines land like the best free jazz licks — they only make sense after they’ve hit. “Everyone and everything I’ve ever voted for has lost,” he laments on “Politics,” and as you might expect by this point, the track — referencing Bob Dole, condoms in porn, and an Illinois governor in prison for blackmailing a children’s hospital — isn’t what you expect.
Compiled from recordings of roadshows, the audience reactions are secondary to your own — the beats underlying his onstage riffs give the album a “hanging out in the parking lot” vibe, like he’s telling you these highly personal, too-unbelievable-to-be-anything-but-true stories over a boom-bapping stereo system. As always, Paul puts it best: “At some point in my time up here I’m going to go too far, and I won’t know till it’s too late,” he says in the midst of the three-part title track, which also puts forth the idea that anyone who can define their own comedy should quit.
The closest Paul can come to defining his own: “I’m like that feeling a woman has after she’s been in a gang bang,” he says. “You look back on me and realize I could’ve been much, much worse.”
Company Name: The Akaaba Group
Contact Person: Jeremy Paul
Country: United States