“I Have a Medium Sized Dick”

On December 16th, New York City based rapper, Champagne Jerry will be performing at the Kitchen, along with feminist Punk band “Penis”and Berlin-based electronic pop artist Tami Tamaki.

Champagne Jerry has been named one of the top 10 best performers in New York by Time Out, and has been profiled by Rolling Stone. He can be seen very frequently at sold-out shows at Joe’s pub, and has also played the Brooklyn Academy of music. His unique sense of rap is contagiously funny, and definitely worth checking out.

I caught up with Champagne Jerry and was able to have a very humorous conversation with him about rap, inspirations, and  new projects on the horizon….and about Penises …

So tell us about your upcoming appearance in New York City.
We have a show at the Kitchen on December 16th,  Wednesday at 8 o’clock.  It’s a triple bill with myself, the band Penis, and performer Tami Tamaki.

I love the name Penis.
It’s a good name.

How long have you been been rapping?
The last few years, I guess since 2012. The guy that makes all of my music Max Tannone,  he had the idea after seeing a show that I did where I was rapping , incidentally at the  Kitchen also, and he asked me if I would like to write something together. I was bored in the hotel, and I listened to his music, started writing things, and I haven’t stopped.

What do you like best about rapping and performing, and what inspires you?Lots of things. I used to do a lot more work with cover songs. Then I started doing this, and it’s exciting to me, because with rap you can fit a lot of things into a song, and you can really kind of bounce all over the place. And, I always just love the way you can boast  that yourself. I really like to boast about myself.

I’ve noticed.
Well because I’m proud of all of those things. I feel like when you’re not doing that you always have to act like, “oh I just try to work hard”, or ” I try my best”, but when you’re making the songs you get to be like, “I’m the best”.

So you and Max write all of your songs?
I write with a couple of different people. Max is sort of the main person and he produces everything. Then also we’ve worked with Adam Ad-Rock Horovitz, of The Beastie Boys.

It sounds like you’ve been entertaining for a while, what made you decide to choose this field?
I’ve been doing it for a while. One of the main things when I was a kid, I saw Michael Jackson on that Motown celebration and I thought “oh my God, I need to do that”. A lot of it was when I was a kid I grew up in a really small town.We just had a pop radio station, and I would imagine all sorts of crazy things along with all the songs that would come on the radio. I think that because it was before the Internet I didn’t know what people were really doing on stage, and I just had to imagine. It was always something that I wanted to do, so I was in theater, I was in a bunch of bands, but that wasn’t as satisfying. I decided to just start doing it on my own, like changing clothes and jumping off of things, just doing all the kinds of performances that I used to imagine.

E. So where are you from?
I grew up in East Texas, between Dallas and Shreveport Louisiana. Pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

Do you have any albums or recordings out?
Yeah we have an album out, which is available online. We will be selling the physical album at the show on the 16th. We have a new record that is going to come out in March. We also have a big new stage show that is going to be at the New York live arts in March, and then a new album and a whole new set of videos to go along with that. That is the big thing we are building towards.

Do you plan to tour along with that?
Yeah, we did a summer tour last summer when we went from Maine to Texas, and also lots of different places. We performed in parking lots of Walmart, and did a bunch of crazy stuff. Then after the album comes out this coming spring we will tour again. Probably in the Midwest.

Are you sure the Midwest will let you in? I’ve heard your songs.
We will see, you know will try.

What do you think of Eminem?
Oh I like Eminem. He’s very technically talented and his first couple albums were hysterical. Being a white kid growing up in the south, and growing up working class, you know that kind of level of crazy, I knew a lot of kids like that growing up.

You are a new addition to a crayon box, what color are you?
Gold. My own color of gold, champagne gold.

Do you really drink champagne?
I really do like champagne. Now people give it to me a lot. I have a refrigerator full.

What can you fans expect on the 16th?
Oh it’s going to be a lot of fun. We’re going to be doing a lot of stuff from the first album, we’re going to pull out a lot of exciting things. We have my entire onstage entourage, which are all pretty exciting characters in their own right, going to be there. The Kitchen is such an amazing venue to perform at.

If you were a porn star, what would your name be?
Oh wow what would it be? I think I would probably go with medium Max, because I have a song about my penis, saying I have a medium sized dick.

Do you really have a medium sized Penis?
It is yeah, based on Internet research. I have not actually measured it a whole lot against other people. That’s some research that I plan on doing soon.

Are you single?
No I am married.

If we could look into your heart right now, what would be find?
Well lots of alcohol, and some dreams, and blood.

Are you based in New York?
I am yes. I’ve lived here for 14 years now.

Do you have a favorite bar in New York?
I love Joe’s Pub. We perform there all the time. The bartenders treat me really nice, and they have a drink named after me. It’s called the Champagne Jerry, and it’s just two glasses of champagne.