Insane Clown Posse Talk Juggalo Magic, Justin Bieber, Trekkies, and Being Rich
"Juggalos are not just ICP fans. They're much more than that. They're not the Deadheads, they're not the KISS Army, they're not hippies. Juggalos are something that's never happened in the music industry. Juggalos are AMAZING!"
As Juggalo week at Sound of the City draws to a close, we give you this.
You may've noticed that Insane Clown Posse, the Most Hated Band in the World, have hijacked this blog, this paper, this life. The two questions we've encountered in this process have most frequently been: 1) Insane Clown Posse are still around? 2) Are these guys serious? The answers are yes and yes. As this edited transcript of our hour-long conversation with the blazingly passionate Violent J and his equally devoted life partner, Shaggy 2 Dope, suggests, these two men aren't joking. Discussed below: Method Man, Tila Tequila, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Trekkies, their Gathering of the Juggalos performer wish list, why a Juggalo is different than "a regular person," how clown love is supernatural, why haters opened "a can of whoop-ass" on the "Miracles" video, and so so much more.
This year, when Method Man kept shouting out, "Illinois" at the Gathering of the Juggalos and seemed confused by their repeated "Whoop! Whoop!," I couldn't help but wonder, do you let performers know what to expect from the Gathering? Or do you assume they know?
Violent J: [With Method Man and Redman] we didn't just book them and assume they'd know what a Juggalo is. We actually sent them the documentary, A Family Underground, which explains what the Gathering is. The other thing is that their booking agent is a guy we've been booking acts through for years. We thought for sure that guy would explain to them what this was. We figured they wouldn't even say yes unless they knew what it is.
Also, usually we go [backstage] and give [performers] a quick brief. We tell them what's up, what this audience is like, and who they are.
Shaggy 2 Dope: But [Method Man and Redman] just pulled up in their bus. It was just another date they were playing.
Violent J: They just pulled up, and we were in our bus getting ready. [Insane Clown Posse headlined the last night, after Method Man and Redman's set.] There're groups all weekend, so we didn't talk to everybody, and unfortunately that's what I apologized to [Method Man] for. I said, "I'm sorry we didn't come over and give you a quick briefing on what's up." But we really honestly assumed they knew and they didn't -- and that's unfortunate because one asshole made the Juggalos look bad. [Method Man] told me it almost knocked him unconscious it hit him so hard. And that's fucked. I don't want him to think that's all Juggalos. We all didn't throw that.
A lot of Juggalos I talked with couldn't understand why you invited "mainstream" performers to an "underground" festival.
Violent J: We like it to be a four-day festival. When it works, it's a beautiful thing. Look at Tech N9ne -- they love Tech N9ne. Look at Bones Thugs-n-Harmony. For some reason, Bones Thugs-n-Harmony can murder it every time they do the Gathering. They kill it. Bones Thugs-n-Harmony have a lot of slower pop songs, lot of r&b influence.
It's hit or miss. Andrew WK didn't do so well. Vanilla Ice turns it out every time. You don't know who else they're gonna wanna see. Usually, gangsta rap works. But you can't be sure of that, either. One year, Too $hort went up there, when the Gathering was about 50 miles away from Cleveland, and Too $hort kept saying, "Cleveland!" And they were throwing shit at him the whole time. And that's Too $hort, man! How could you throw shit at Too $hort?
Shaggy: We had Ice Cube up there [last year] and not one thing [was thrown at him].
Violent J: They were throwing shit at the Ying Yang Twins two years ago. We figured, "The Ying Yang Twins, they got fun anthems!" We didn't pay the Ying Yang twins 30 grand for them to come in and get booed offstage! You can't guess who it's going to happen to.
Some artists go up there and seem to not have a clue [about Juggalos]. And that insults Juggalos, I think! When they're at their own festival and the artists don't have a clue. It's obvious they're there just for the money.
Other artists seem to care more. Other artists seem to take an interest in the Juggalos and they want to prove themselves to Juggalos. And Juggalos can feel that.
I was just talking with Tom Green and he said he made an effort to research the Gathering.
Violent J: That's what Juggalos can detect. They know when somebody's up there with no respect for them. Juggalos aren't the most popular people in the United States. So when somebody's up there, showing them respect, they respect them back.
One thing I do know is if anybody does a little bit of investigation, they will be able to tell you, Juggalos are not just ICP fans. They're much more than that. They're not the Deadheads, they're not the KISS Army, they're not hippies, Juggalos are something that's never happened in the music industry. Juggalos are AMAZING! They're an incredible phenomenon.
Juggalos are picked on, they're fucked with, they're the black sheep. When they come together, there's so much love because they know what each other goes through. When there're 800 Juggalos, it's just the magical feeling. It's like, "OHHH, FINALLY WE'RE WITH FAMILY!"
Being a Juggalo says a lot about somebody. It says that they like more to their music than just a fancy hook. It says that they have a deeper imagination. It takes more to entertain a Juggalo. They're into showmanship, theatrics, facepaint, background story -- it takes more to entertain a Juggalo. In return, Juggalos are faithful. Their support is tremendous. Their loyalty is 100 times that of a regular person.
Regular people, they'll like you when your shit's on the radio. As soon as the radio and MTV stops spinning it, they forget about you. Juggalos don't work like that. They're down with you and they support you. As long as you provide that fresh produce -- not that stale shit, not that, 'Oh I got a fancy hook.' You need a whole story. Juggalos are awesome, awesome people.