Insane Clown Posse Talk Juggalo Magic, Justin Bieber, Trekkies, and Being Rich

But you guys are the leaders in this culture.

Violent J: Actually, we don't look at ourselves like that. We look at ourselves just like you. We're standing there looking at it all. Serious! We don't think this shit up -- we hear about it. We don't think of what hits and won't hit. We thought Tila Tequila would turn it out -- we didn't know that was gonna happen. Juggalos knew that was gonna happen. We watch in amazement.

When this shit is around us, this shit is mindblowing. This shit is. A. Lot. For Us. To Take. Both of us are on medication for this shit. It's too overwhelming. This shit is -- [long pause] -- unreal! Everyday. Is Breathtaking. Every day, it's amazing -- that Juggalos even exist. And we appreciate it. We don't control this. We're not the leaders of this. All we do is provide a soundtrack.

Shaggy: We're a part of it.

Violent J: We're promoters, we promote events that bring us all together. But Juggalos are their own beast. Their own movement.

But you definitely tapped into this thing, this "movement."

Shaggy 2 Dope: We are Juggalos.

Violent J: The difference between us, and all those other bands that Juggalos love, is we are Juggalos. I don't think these other bands are. They have Juggalo support, Juggalos love them. But they themselves, they turn it on and off, depending on where they're playing. We don't turn it on and off. It's full-time for us. It's in our blood.

Shaggy 2 Dope: We represent Juggalos no matter what we're doing or where we're at. We could go to an award ceremony -- which we never do -- but if we did, we'd be repping to the fullest.

Is there a shared life experience to being a Juggalo? For example, most of the Juggalos I talked with had a hard time growing up.

Shaggy: A lot of Juggalos have, but it's not necessary. You don't have to grow up in a broken home or nothing like that.

Violent J: You might have grown up with a silver spoon in your mouth, but still been the black sheep of your family. Or fucked with at school. You might've grown up with everything, but still relate to being a clown.

That's the mystery of Juggalos: trying to define what it is. Years and years and years we've been pondering -- years we've been trying to answer this. That's why after all these years, our simple response, is "It's super-natural." We've thought of it all and tried to explain it all many many many times. Not just when talking to people, but just home alone, thinking about it.

Shaggy: It's like trying to explain love to somebody. There's many different explanations for it, but unless you experience it, you just don't know.

Violent J: Why does somebody fall in love with somebody else? It could be because you have stuff in common, it could be because they are beautiful, but the magic happens when you fall in love with somebody. That's what it is to be a Juggalo. It's this love for each other, it's this love for being a Juggalo, the magic comes in somewhere in the equation.

So specifics don't matter? Some Juggalos I talked with were like, "You can't be a rich Juggalo."

Violent J: You can't be a racist Juggalo. It sort of defeats the whole thing. If you call yourself a Juggalo and you have a racial prejudice, it's just not making sense to me.

What about class? You guys do rap about targeting rich people -- "richies" -- though.

Violent J: People that have it all and don't realize it and take it for granted. Absolutely. People would consider us "richies" now, you know what I mean?

Sure. So "richies" suck, but now you're "richies"? How does that work?

Violent J: There's a big difference. Most richies will tell you they're not rich. Well, me and Shaggy are sitting here telling you, "Yeah, we're rich." We're not gonna sit here and be like, "We're just average." Because then people who have less than us have to take the role as poor, when they want to be average.

But on a side-note. You would be very, very shocked to find out how little money we have. I think all of the Juggalo world would be very shocked.

Just a small example, we're celebrating over here, because when the whole Gathering was said and done, Psychopathic Records only lost 15 grand. It's true. I swear to you, it's true. We only lost 15 grand. That means we came that close to breaking even. Yet in everybody else's mind, they're sure we came home with half a million. "Here's your money, Shaggs! Here's mine!" It just ain't like that.

So the Gathering is a labor of love?

Shaggy 2 Dope: Absolutely.

Violent J: I don't think we've ever in our lives made money off the Gathering.

Shaggy 2 Dope: That's why we're so geeked because we didn't lose our fucking asses.

Violent J: The way we look at it, we paid 15 grand to give everybody that awesome experience.

Shaggy 2 Dope: It's like our tickets to the Gathering were 15 thousand.

Violent J: Another thing people think -- and I'm just shooting with you, being totally real -- is people think that we get paid when we tour. Not true. We never get a penny for touring. It's the same thing. When we come off a tour, if we can come close to breaking even, it's a success. Because we bring all these extra guys to be clowns. And we bring this huge stage set. Every time we go on tour, we bring a different stage set, all the time. We never use the same thing we always switch it up.

Shaggy 2 Dope: And we go out like three times a year.

Violent J: We bring never-ending amounts of Faygo, which costs beacoup money, just to have a semi carry that shit over the country. And we're not playing arenas, we're playing 1,500-seaters. And when we're done, if we can not lose our ass, like if we can not lose 80 grand, then we're doing great. That's the way it is.

The tour you've got coming up in October ["ICP: The Old Shit"] is deliberately stripped down. You'll make some money from that.

Violent J: We want to make money for once in our lives. We're doing a cool set, it's gonna be old-school, but there's a chance we could make some money, and that's what we're trying to do. For once, we want to go out and come back and put something in the bank.

Shaggy 2 Dope: Mind you, there's only a chance.

Violent J: That's not including any of the surprise costs. There's a chance. Usually our goal is to break even. But this time, we're gonna try.

If you were to take Juggalos from 1995 and compare them to Juggalos of 2010, how would they be different?

Violent J: I just remember getting our dreadlocks pulled out of our head and stuff like that in 1995. Back in the day, when we used to do shows, there wasn't even a barricade. People were able to get up on the stage, run around for a minute, grab a Faygo, and then dive off the stage.

Shaggy 2 Dope: It was a lot more chaotic.

Violent J: Now, when we're coming to town, the venue knows who we are. They know to put the barricade 15 feet back from the stage.

Shaggy 2 Dope: Insurance is ridiculous.

Violent J: They double the security up. People know now.

Shaggy 2 Dope: Now it's like organized confusion, when before it was just straight chaos. Bones broken.

Do you think it's hard for Juggalettes?

Shaggy 2 Dope: [Pause.] I don't think so.

Violent J: I don't think so, either. I don't like the reputation that Juggalettes don't get no love. We're not exactly sex symbols or anything like that, so we don't have a super amount of Juggalettes -- they don't outnumber the Juggalos or anything like that.

I definitely got treated differently at the Gathering because I'm a girl.

Violent J: It might be like that, and that's unfortunate. But Juggalettes, from us at least, receive just as much love as Juggalos. We're guilty of saying "bitches" and "hoes," just like any other rapper. Not every one of our lyrics has some deep meaning behind it. A lot of it is what is.

Psychopathic Records really hasn't had a female face.

Violent J: We've tried, we've tried. We tried to sign a female rapper and we're always looking for a female emcee. We're waiting for the perfect opportunity to come along. We're trying to open up. That's why we've been doing things with Sugar Slam lately -- to put a female face out there to let people know we don't like the reputation where it seems like we don't have no love for females. We're trying to change that. Like with Ladies' Night.

But then on Psychopathic's first Ladies' Night, one of your female guests gets pelted with rocks.

Violent J: It didn't work out. But we'll try again next year. [Long pause.] That was Tila Tequila's fault. She didn't have to go up on that stage. She was told that was happening, that she wasn't popular. Her exact response was, "I ain't no bitch like that."

Shaggy 2 Dope: She'd already got her money.

Violent J: She already got paid, nobody was gonna be mad at her. She wanted to go up there. Tila Tequila lives off press. If she doesn't have press, what does she have? She went up there strictly for that and she knew what she was doing.

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