By Corey Tate
Stand-up comedian Jamar Neighbors, has been making a name for himself for a while now. Jamar is a regular performer at Los Angeles comedy staple, The Comedy Store, and has made several appearances on Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher’s “The Champs” podcast . For Neighbors he also can be seen in the upcoming Key and Peele movie, “Keanu”. On stage, Jamar has a style of comedy that some may call “Brash” or “Offensive”, while others may simply refer to it as “Honest” and “Refreshing”. But no matter how you feel about it, we can all agree, that you can’t stop paying attention to Jamar Neighbors, as he delivers his jokes.
Recently, Jamar released the album, “AmeriKKKa’s N*gga”. This album is a goldmine for comedy fans who want to enjoy an anti-pc style of comedy. Jamar addresses topics such as, the infamous Bill Cosby case, Jared Fogle’s child porn charges, mass shootings and unarmed police killings. Aside from topical issues, Jamar also inserts some of his erratic, fictional stories into the album. We caught up with Jamar to talk about about his new project.
CH: Your new album, “AmeriKKKa’s N*gga”, is very innovative. It’s very different from a normal comedy album and also different from your previous album, “Naked”. For example, the strategically placed music and sound clips that correlate with the material that you’re delivering. What inspired the sound that you were going for on this new album?
JN: Hey Comedy Hype! Thanks for the love! I must admit I was only the voice. DJ Coach Tea (house DJ at The Comedy Store) is the real genius. He had the idea, made the beats and put it all together. He felt my voice perfectly matched what he was going for, so we came together and made art! Any one who knows my work knows that I try to be a progressive and an innovator. I hope this album was a reflection of that.
CH: Your style is no-holds-barred. You say whatever you feel, which is incredibly refreshing, considering how everything is so politically correct nowadays. How did you develop this raw style of comedy?
JN: There’s always been a degree rawness to my style. I just always aimed to be the comedian I would want to see onstage. I never aim to be offensive, nor do I aim to be politically correct. I leave political correctness up to the politicians. I’m a comedian and an entertainer and that’s all I ever aim to be. I go for what’s going to be effective and thought-provoking.
CH: You’re a comedian from Compton, California. Hip-Hop artists like N.W.A, or more recently, Kendrick Lamar have always given us their take on being from Compton. But the world hasn’t heard of many comedians from Compton. How did growing up in Compton, California influence your style of comedy?
JN: Compton is place with lots of history. It’s also famous for being a bad neighborhood. Compton wouldn’t be such a bad place, if it wasn’t commercialized so much. But because of the commercialism, kids are trying to be what they think Compton is, instead what Compton could be. I know Compton has potential, because there’s been some really successful products of Compton. Like, Venus and Serena Williams, NWA, Kendrick Lamar and DL Hughley. As far as my experience in Compton, I just remained a goofy kid that just wanted to make people smile and laugh and not take themselves so seriously. I always was able to look at things objectively and kept a keen sense of self awareness.
CH: “AmeriKKKa’s N*gga” is a title that lets listeners know beforehand, that your album is not only going to make them laugh, but it’s also going challenge them, too. As the artist, what is your goal with this album and what would you like listeners to take away from it?
JN: We want a damn Grammy, hahaha. With this album, I was aiming to make art. The album cover artwork is actually a Norman Rockwell painting called, “Freedom of Speech” with my head photoshopped over the original guy’s head. Essentially, I just hope that “AmeriKKKa’s N*gga” sparks ideas, challenges perspective. Or even if it does nothing but make the listeners laugh, that’s fine with me. I just hope “AmeriKKKa’s N*gga” provides the same level of entertainment value, as some of my favorite comedy albums did. Like, Richard Pryor’s “That N*ggers Crazy”, Chris Rock’s “Bigger & Blacker” and Martin Lawrence’s “Talkin’ Shit”. You can hear Jamar Neighbor’s new album, “AmeriKKKa’s N*gga”, below.
By Corey Tate