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File:Insane Clown Posse 3485.jpg


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Influences:

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Related Acts:

  • Golden Goldies (Joe Bruce, Joey Utsler, Mike E. Clark)
  • Dark Lotus (Violent J, Shaggy 2 Dope)
  • Psychopathic Rydas (Joe Bruce, Joey Utsler)
  • Soopa Villainz (Joe Bruce, Joey Utsler)
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Consisting primarily of two people, Violent J (Joseph Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (Joseph Utsler), Insane Clown Posse are a Hip Hop group from Detroit, and the cofounders of the independent record label, Psychopathic Records. Their music is generally placed in the "Horrorcore" category, and is focused heavily around Circus of Fear elements. They're also occasionally subject to Fan Dumb. Of course, some of their detractors aren't much better, either. Fans that are not Fan Dumb prefer to be called Juggalos, but since some of their Fan Dumb call themselves this as well, their Hate Dumb tends to lump all their fans together.

ICP originally formed as a Gangsta Rap group called "Inner City Posse", derived from the name of a Detroit gang formed by Bruce. The music group's increasing popularity resulted in the gang becoming the target of growing violence, leading its members to abandon gang life and adopt a Geto Boys-esque horror rap style. The success of a former clown painted hype man and a dream Bruce had involving a clown running around in Delray, led the group to adopt the name Insane Clown Posse.

After releasing an album, Carnival of Carnage, original member John Kickjazz quit the group, and ICP became a duo. The release of the EP Beverly Kills 50187 and album Ringmaster gained ICP an increasing group of dedicated followers. The larger distribution of Riddle Box and The Great Milenko increased awareness of ICP, turning the group into one of the biggest underground rap acts in the country. During this time, a feud was started between ICP and fellow Detroit rapper Eminem, which has since died down.

Recently, ICP has been the subject of a number of parodies, including a music video parody on Saturday Night Live. Their albums The Amazing Jeckel Brothers and Bang! Pow! Boom! each peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200.

They have also produced two movies, Big Money Hustlas (an exploitation parody) and Big Money Rustlas (a Western parody).

ICP has also been active in the world of Professional Wrestling; they have wrestled for both WWE and WCW in the past, and currently run their own promotion, JCW (alternately, Juggalo Championship Wrestling or Juggalo Championshit Wrestling)

Members:

  • Violent J
  • Shaggy 2 Dope
  • Mike E. Clark is often called "the third member of ICP" by J and Shaggy, who credit him as being a major part of the band's sound, although they briefly had a falling out with Clark and have worked with other producers as a result.
    • Before Mike E. Clark, they actually did have two different third members of the group. The first one, Shaggy's brother John Kickjazz, left before the Carnival of Carnage was released due to him not really getting into the whole clown business and it feeling like it was taking too much of his life away (although he can still be heard in a few songs there). The second one, Greez-E, left after their first EP Beverly Kills 50187 was released due to things not really working out, since he only did one song there.

Discography:

  • Carnival of Carnage (1992)
  • Ringmaster (1994)
  • Riddle Box (1995)
  • The Great Milenko (1997)
  • The Amazing Jeckel Brothers (1999)
  • Bizzar/Bizaar (two albums with a shared theme but different songs) (2000)
  • The Wraith: Shangri-La (2002)
  • Hell's Pit (2004)
  • The Tempest (2007)
  • Bang! Pow! Boom! (2009)
  • The Mighty Death Pop! (Covered, Smothered, & Chunked/Freaky Tales/Mike E. Clark's Extra Pop Emporium[1]) (2012)

Filmography:


This group and its works are related to the following tropes:

The band members themselves/live performance

  • Ascended Fanboy: Temporary third member Greez-E was a fan of the group when he joined them.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Averted; Shaggy 2 Dope has the higher voice, but plays the more evil role.
  • Fat and Skinny: In recent years, Violent J gained some weight, thus fulfilling the role as the fat one, while Shaggy remains skinny.
  • Food Fight: Countless gallons of Faygo soda are sprayed into the crowd during ICP's live shows.
  • Long Runner Lineup: Since 1994, the group members have consisted solely of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope. Impressively, this group has been around for over 20 years.
  • The Merch: ICP and Psychopathic are known for this.
  • Monster Clown: Their image is based on this, though they're more Heroic Comedic Sociopath Clowns.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Invoked, with "Miracles". [2]
  • Stout Strength: Violent J. On the occasions he wrestles, one of the moves he uses is a gorilla press slam to samoan drop. That involves shoulder pressing another person above his head. Even though the "opponent" is cooperating, that's no easy feat.
  • White Gang-Bangers: Both members of ICP were this in real life, in their gang the Inner City Posse, which was also the original name of their rap group, before it was changed to Insane Clown Posse, with added fantasy themes.


Media and fandom

  • Howard Stern: One of ICP's biggest supporters. He was initially skeptical of the duo during their first appearance on his radio show, but they impressed him enough that they were repeatedly brought back to the show, both due to the entertainment value, and because Stern highly respected their independence.
  • Juggalo: They're the creators of this fanbase.
  • Rockumentary: Shockumentary is this.
  • Updated Rerelease: Bang Pow Boom: Nuclear Edition, a three-disc set. The first disc is the original album, with the three separate Track Twos from the three original versions blended into one song; the second disc contains all three "hidden tracks" from the originals and three unreleased tracks; the third is a DVD.
  • X Meets Y: The Gathering of the Juggalos has been described as a Juggalo Woodstock.


Lyrics/Themes/Concepts

 I'll pull a big ass beehive out of a tree, drop my drawers and hump it.

Violent J: "In this song, I say 'fuck' 93 times!"
Fuck The World
  • Concept Cycle: The Joker Cards.
  • Continuity Nod: In several songs.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Hell's Pit album, which was to be expected, as the entire album is themed around hell, with many songs describing hell itself, or songs about brutally violent killing sprees, etc.
  • Deep South: In "Chicken Huntin'", "Your Rebel Flag", "Red Neck Hoe" and others.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Violent J's real life sister was addicted to drugs at one point, so he, Jumpsteady and Shaggy 2 Dope swore off drugs in RL. Within ICP's lyrics, there are several anti-drug stances in songs like "Halls of Illusions" and "Manic Depressive". Despite this stance, Shaggy later became a big time alcoholic.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: "Mom Song".
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Double subverted in the track "Echo Side." The first subversion occurs when the fate is shown to be accessed only through death; subverted again when the soul mentioned in the song enters the eponymous location, which is suggested to be 1.7 times more evil than Hell itself.
  • For the Evulz
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: The ICP completely fracture a tale about the "Three Little Pigs" in the rap song "Piggie Pie", about hunting down "piggies" (crooked/evil/racist cops whose houses are made of wood, bricks, and gold, rather than straw, sticks and bricks) in order to make a "piggie pie".
  • God: "The Carnival is God, and may all Juggalos find him!"
  • Gorn: It's not uncommon for the duo's victims to be reduced to bloody chunks. Seriously, almost every song at least makes reference to extremely violent things happening.
  • Groin Attack: Common method of torture used by the duo.
  • Hazardous Water: "Don't go in the water at Fonz Pond!"
  • I Have Many Names: Both of them.
  • I Love the Dead: "Cemetery Girl" and "In My Room" are examples of this. Also mentioned in "Dead Body Man".
  • "I Want" Song: "I Want My Shit".
  • Kavorka Man: In "The Neden Game" where the duo appear on a dating show... as contestants, and "Boing Boing".
  • Lighter and Softer: Many say Bang! Pow! Boom! is this compared to the group's previous works. Your Mileage May Vary, as many of the songs still work with the band's old themes; see "I Found a Body".
  • Losing Your Head: In "Headless Boogie", Violent J jumps into a graveyeard and witnesses headless bodies dancing. He gets his own head chopped off and joins in.
  • Made of Iron: J in "I Want My Shit" wherein he gets hit by a train and shrugs it off... and that's just in the first minute of a five minute song.
  • Measuring the Marigolds: "Miracles".
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Bang! Pow! Boom! The constant all-consuming living explosion.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: ICP collaborated with Jack White on an "interpretation" of a Mozart canon. The title of said canon? Leck mich im Arsch, i.e. "Lick Me in the Ass".
  • New Sound Album: The Dark Carnival doesn't truly enter the picture until Ringmaster.
  • Ninja
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Basically "Imma Kill You" is this in song form.
  • Obsession Song
  • Of Corpse He's Alive: "I Found A Body".
  • Paedo Hunt: Literally in "To Catch a Predator", though the chorus admits the singer's not doing it for the public's good.
  • Political Rap: Occasionally dips into this. Features heavily on their earlier albums, like Carnival of Carnage, Beverly Kills 50187, etc.
  • Really 300 Years Old: Violent J according to "I Want My Shit".
  • Refuge in Audacity: Every song is built on this to some extent.
  • Refuge in Vulgarity
  • Religion Rant Song: "Hellelujah" is a Type 3 rant against religious con artists that fleece their faithful in the monetary sense.
  • The Reveal: Thy Unveiling.
    • To summarize, the entire Dark Carnival is an allegory of judgment day; each of the albums starting with The Ringmaster referred to a specific judgment within the Carnival in reverse order, beginning with The Wraith, representing death. Shangri-La was a thinly veiled reference to Heaven, and the Carnival itself is representative of God, and almost no one pieced it together until Thy Unveiling.
  • Rockstar Song: "Radio Stars".
  • Running Gag: The various usage of the number 17.
  • Sad Clown: A few of their songs, notably those on Hell's Pit, particularly "Manic Depressive".
  • Sanity Slippage: "Under the Moon"
  • Satan: "The Witch", according to Hell's Pit; presented in a surprisingly Catholic fashion as being little more than a decent liar.
  • Science Is Wrong: If an article with the pair in The Guardian newspaper is anything to go by then they certainly hold this view.

 The song (Miracles) climaxes with them railing against the very concept of science: Fuckin' magnets, how do they work? And I don't wanna talk to a scientist, Y'all motherfuckers lying and getting me pissed.

 I'm the number one contender for a shot at the bible belt,

I swam between piranhas and assaulted a patty melt.

The red planet still remains in orbit,

Leavin' trash piles, cleaned up by A.J. Styles, Me, and J. Giles.

  • Your Head Asplode: Often. Almost every album has a song that involves one or more of these.


Music/Music referential

  • Cover Album: Covered, Smothered, & Chunked, which is a bonus CD in a specific version of The Mighty Death Pop!
  • Horrorcore
  • Public Medium Ignorance: Despite being rappers, a lot of people seem to think that ICP are a rock or metal band for some reason. A state trooper in the documentary A Family Underground, who hasn't heard ICP's music, thinks that it's "Psychedelic Rock Thrash Metal".


Music videos

Notes

  1. Each version of The Mighty Death Pop! has one of these three bonus albums inside it. Covered, Smothered, & Chunked is basically a cover album for rap artists that they've liked with a mix of a few pop songs there; Freaky Tales is a 64 minute dedication to the Too Short song of the same name, and Mike E. Clark's Extra Pop Emporium is remix album that also contained songs that almost made it to the main album, but weren't on there for various reasons.
  2. No, not in, with.
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