The Juggalos Team Up With a Group of Thugs, the ACLU, to Smackdown the FBI

Credit: Nate "Igor" Smith
A Juggalo from 2013's Gathering
When news broke long ago that Insane Clown Posse and their dedicated fans, known as Juggalos, were to be classified as a "gang' by none other than our beloved FBI, most familiar with the group likely thought "Makes sense." These are hatchet wielding psycho clowns we're talking about, after all. They chug Faygo cola with little or no regard to their teeth and--in a true sign of psychosis--wear hockey jerseys as casual attire.

Well, naturally, ICP have not been thrilled about this classification, and are making good on their promise long ago to murder everyone sue.

See also: Insane Clown Posse Is Suing the FBI (!!!)

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Insane Clown Posse's Violent J: "I Feel Like God is Talking Through Me"

Ease into the weekend with this round-up of music writing we've been reading.

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We Test the ICP iPhone App (It Has A Grindr-Like Juggalo Locator)

While perusing Insane Clown Posse's Twitter timeline, like a person does, I came across something interesting: our favorite rap clowns announced a new update to their official smartphone app, which I didn't even know existed. For the advancement of pop journalism and human knowledge in general, I hereby volunteer to investigate.

See also: Our very thorough archive of Juggalo goings on.

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Juggalos Classify FBI as a Gang

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Juggalo wisdom

It's an annual tradition to tag the Port-a-Potties and shower trailers at the Gathering of the Juggalos. This year was no different, except that the graffiti's message shifted from its usual slate of insular rallying cries ("Whoop Whoop," "Down With the Clown," etc.) to focus on this past year's major development: the FBI's insistence that Juggalos are a national 'gang' who pose a security threat to this nation. Insane Clown Posse begs to differ, announcing on Friday they will challenge this gang-list distinction in court; as Shaggy 2 Dope told us "We're doing the American thing--we're suing." Juggalos don't agree either, and have a point: who's really the gang here?

Please enjoy the rest of this weekend's FBI-related graffiti below. Also, "Fuck the FBI" accented with a smiley face? Essential Juggalo.

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Insane Clown Posse Talk the FBI, Juggalos, and the Gang Classification: "We're Doing the American Thing--We're Suing"

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Nate "Igor" Smith
The faces of Juggalo justice: "Juggalo lawyer" Farris Haddad, Violent J, and Shaggy 2 Dope

"At first, I laughed! Just like everybody else," Insane Clown Posse's Violent J admits, seated on his tour bus. "Now I just realize how fucked up it is." It's this past Friday afternoon at the Gathering of the Juggalos and the Detroit horrorcore emcee is recalling his initial reaction to the news that the federal government officially considers his band's fans a national security threat. Less than 30 minutes ago, Violent J and his partner-in-rhyme Shaggy 2 Dope announced their plans to sue the FBI at their annual seminar and they're both still visibly reeling from the audience's joyously moving reaction. (Shaggy got goosebumps. Violent J's hand visibly shook.)

Spend an hour wandering around the Gathering and you'll hear story after story after story about cops, schools, and bureaucracies discriminating against Juggalos for wearing Insane Clown Posse gear and their label's Hatchetman logo. There's the guy who lost his kids to a foster home because of his tattoo. There's the Juggalo who was discharged from the United States military for having a Psychopathic Records CD. There's the Wisconsin kid who was forbidden from wearing Insane Clown Posse shirts to school, but didn't have money for new clothes, so he kept getting suspended.

"I know it's just Juggalos and to a lot of people out there, that's the lowest life form," acknowledges Violent J. "But they're being fucked with heavily. And this is some extraordinary shit that's happening to us."

The FBI's distinction also has personal and professional implications for the two entertainers: If their fanbase is a gang, that effectively makes them kingpins. For two fathers and ruthlessly independent company owners with real families and real names (Joe Bruce is Violent J, Joey Utsler is Shaggy), the 'gang' stigma could have seriously crippling consequences.

"You're trying to grow love in your country and shit," says Shaggy 2 Dope. "Then the head of your country--the FBI--just turns around and fucking kicks you in the nuts. How are you supposed to respond to that?" He and J could only identify one option. "We're doing the American thing--we're suing."

An edited excerpt of our conversation follows.

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Insane Clown Posse Is Suing the FBI (!!!)

ICP will sue the FBI: pretty huge announcement is right

CAVE-IN-ROCK, ILLINOIS -- Last fall, the FBI officially named Juggalos "a loosely-organized hybrid gang." This afternoon, Insane Clown Posse announced at the annual Gathering of the Juggalos "seminar," a veritable State of the Juggalo Union address given to "the heartbeat of the entire Juggalo world," that they were planning to sue the FBI in response.

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That Silly Thing About the FBI Classifying Juggalos as a Gang? It's No Joke.

This is an actual figure from a U.S. government document.

Last week, the U.S. Marshal's Service issued a press release with this headline: "Gang Member Removed from New Mexico's Most Wanted." The apprehended menace in question was 20-year-old Mark Anthony Carlson, a white 140-pound male wanted on a felony bench warrant for missing probation. His gang affiliation? The "Insane Clown Posse 'Juggalo'" gang.

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Danny Brown Calls Playing the Gathering of the Juggalos "Kind of Cool"

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Danny Brown is down with the clown

The highlights of Danny Brown's 2012 summer performance schedule are fairly predictable bookings for the sort of skinny-jeans Fool's Gold rapper who's a part of what SPIN's taken to calling Rap's New Underground: Berlin's street-fashion orgy Bread & Butter, Chicago's indie party Pitchfork Festival, this past weekend's nu-rave grind Hard Summer. But then this Thursday, the Detroit lifer will play Insane Clown Posse's Gathering of the Juggalos, a five-day psycho-porn amusement park that Tom Green once compared to the cinematic disease-apocalypse 28 Days Later.

"It's kind of cool to me," Brown admitted to us last week over the phone. "I was like, 'Damn, you know, that's kind of crazy.'"

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Your Frighteningly In-Depth Guide To Insane Clown Posse's Upcoming Record The Mighty Death Pop!, Featuring Kreayshawn, Ice Cube, Color Me Badd, and a Christina Aguilera Cover

photo by Nate "Igor" Smith
Clown-fingers crossed "Ghetto Rainbows" is a sequel to "Miracles."

On August 14, Insane Clown Posse will deliver their 12th studio album, The Mighty Death Pop! The last time Detroit's finest punching bags released a full-length original album, September 2009's Bang! Pow! Boom!, they gave the world "Miracles," an unintentionally hilarious viral-video ode to giraffes, "fucking rainbows," and the magic of natural phenomena that brought the wicked harlequins a flood of renewed mainstream attention/derision. Throughout the ultimately favorable 18 months that followed -- as Insane Clown Posse went from mean-spirited meme to unlikely Jack White collaborator to Kitchen-sponsored performance-art indulgence -- the facepainted white-rap scrubs haven't had a new traditional product to sell. So the Saturday Night Live ribbing, the George Lopez cameo, the recent Tosh.0 appearance has mostly been a result of ICP's evergreen existence, bolstered by those unbelievably unbelievable YouTube clips and the band's annual tradition of staging the Gathering of the Juggalos -- a primal, affordable, independent, and somewhat hazardous music festival that atrocity-minded tourists could easily infiltrate.

So what to make of the fact that Insane Clown Posse will finally have a new product on shelves of your local Best Buy? One with guest appearances by Color Me Badd, Ice Cube, and Kreayshawn, plus covers of Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" and Tears for Fears' "Shout"? One with tracks entitled "Juggalo Juice" and "Scrubstutite Teachers"?

Let's not answer that now. Let us instead examine The Mighty Death Pop!'s contents.

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Geto Boys, Danny Brown, Bobcat Goldthwait Playing the 2012 Gathering of the Juggalos

Never forget 2011

If the Internet meme machine has seemed a little slow this summer, it's probably because the Gathering of the Juggalos is less than a month away and Insane Clown Posse's industrious label, Psychopathic Records, has yet to release 2012's endlessly watchable Juggomercial. That's already more than a month later than last year, when the 27-minute "earf"-bound spaceship scene revealed the nearly complete line-up on June 3. But this time around, the Midwestern company has not only been preoccupied with the upcoming release of ICP's next studio album, The Mighty Death Pop, but its Michigan headquarters just endured a days-long power outage. So even though we haven't been able to watch Sugar Slam narrate this year's bill, a handful of booked performers have separately announced their Cave-In-Rock commitments. This amounts, as usual, to an amazingly random list of names that would basically never appear together anywhere else in the entire universe.

So far:

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