Jesse Camp's Album Turns 15--A Look Back at The Gangly MTV Legend

Categories: Nostalgia

In 1999, the music industry was as big as it had ever been, and that May was a gigantic month for releases. Two weeks prior, Ricky Martin's American debut topped the charts, followed by the release of Backstreet Boys' record-setting Millennium. Camp's album was to come out on one of the industry's loaded "Super Tuesdays" on May 25th which also saw heavily anticipated releases from Jordan Knight, the Insane Clown Posse, JT Money, Dave Hollister, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Oleander, and Slick Rick's first album in five years.

Camp's album didn't crack the top 200, moving only 2,600 copies and shocking Holmes. "I was legitimately surprised about that. I honestly really like the record. It's really fun, there's a couple legitimately good songs on it. There's a thing he does that I love where there's characters in the songs and in the videos. He mentions people, like 'Who the fuck is Stitches?' that weave in and out of the songs. It's like a Hold Steady record. I should be struck by lightning for saying that, but it does a lot of the weird things that I like. I thought it was going to be huge, like 'how much of a number one album is it going to be?' He had the ultimate platform to promote it from and it did not crack the top 200."

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Chaz Kangas
Jesse Camp Post-It Notes and other promotional items.
Even the Best Buy tie-in of free promotional Jesse Camp Post-It Notes weren't enough to keep the record afloat.

In the years since, Jesse's appearances have become a thing of urban legend. Some say he's working at a pet shop somewhere in Los Angeles. Some say he was an active volunteer in rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He has recently made appearances at the final episode of "TRL" in 2008 and in VH1's "The TRL Generation" special in 2012. We have a theory he may be Macklemore, but that's purely unfounded speculation on our part.

If you go to St. Mark's Place, you can see plenty of Jesse Camp look-alikes still living as "8th Street kids." We don't know if Jesse will release another album or when he'll resurface again, but when he does, we'll be happy to see him around.

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