According to Jimmy McMillan, the rent isn’t just too damn high in his hometown of New York, it’s too damn high all over the world.

It’s part of the reason why the former gubernatorial candidate for the state of New York — who became an overnight sensation thanks to an infamous clip from a political debate that received some 14 million hits on YouTube — is pushing his new album The Rent Is Too DAMN High (Volume 1).

A collection of soul and hip-hop mixes about love, poverty and the rent (What else would it be about really?), the New York City native conservatively estimates the collection will reach his goal of 50 million sales worldwide once it hits the market on Dec. 7. But don’t get the martial arts expert, Vietnam War vet and political activist wrong. McMillan’s in it for the kids.

“It’s not about me, it’s about the children,” he says. “People can’t pay their rent and feed their kids. So we’ve got to get together. I pay my kids’ rent, and I want everybody to know that I do it. But as I say, it’s not about me.”

The subjects of poverty and rent prices are nothing new to McMillan. As a longtime resident of the Big Apple’s hard-boiled streets, he claims the skyrocketing cost of living plagues the poor of the city and has gone unnoticed by the powers that be — a cause he claims to have championed for the past 20 years.

“The message is clear: This is a cancer on our society and no one is talking about this but Dr. Jimmy McMillan,” he said. “When your car doesn’t work, you go to a mechanic. When you can’t pay the rent, when you don’t have enough to eat, you come to Dr. Jimmy McMillan. I am the rent doctor. Rent is a crisis sweeping across this nation, and I want the world to stand behind me.”

Too bad the worldwide attention (McMillan was even spoofed by Saturday Night Live’s Kenan Thompson) didn’t translate into votes. Despite his popularity, McMillan only garnered some 39,000 votes in the past gubernatorial election, losing to fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo. Evidently, New Yorkers don’t think the rent is too damn high. It won’t stop McMillan, however, and believes the fight for fairer rent has only just begun.

“New York State is a loser. They lost. They voted these losers into office. They don’t know what to do,” he said. “I just took advantage of that and ran with it, and I did it the way I’ve been doing it for years. The world finally got a chance to see, on Oct. 18, 2010, all hell break loose. A phenomenon! A man came to the stage by the name of Jimmy McMillan, representing the Rent Is Too Damn High Party, and blew it open.”

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