|With their sixth and final Joker record complete, the Insane Clown Posse has finished their mission. When they started in the crazy world of music, the one goal ICP had was not to just make the six Jokers, but to make them the way they wanted them made. And without the help of critics, television and radio, ICP self-promoted themselves to being a top draw and having a legion of followers many religions would love to have.
In Columbus, these legions came out with painted faces, bottles of Faygo and sold-out tickets to experience what the life and times of a Juggalo. The Juggalo life meant many things in the sold out Newport Music Hall that night. For those in the front, it meant being kicked in the head by body surfers, bruising chests as they were slammed in the barricade and being doused with Faygo in the steamy club only to freeze outside on the way to their cars. For those in the back, it meant actually being able to hear the music and experience the life from the outside. For us older folk, the outside is a fine place to be.
As usual, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope came out with full energy and excited the crowd with solid renditions of their six records. But much like Gwar seems to get more violent and wetter over the years, so has ICP. Never before had I experienced the dousing of Faygo that happened as both ICP and posse bounced on small trampolines and turned on fire hoses filled with the ever-sticky Michigan soda. It was almost impossible to shoot unless I wanted to risk the health of my camera, and at times, I did, but mostly the soaking was on from tone one until the end of the set.
But when the Faygo dries and the clothes are washed, there is still the fact that ICP is among the top when it comes to rap/rock. They are willing to say what they want, put down who they want, and commercially, that has led to their downfall. But Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have never much cared for commercialism and just did what they wanted, or rather what came to them in a dream known as the Dark Carnival.
After their local success in Detroit and the surrounding communities, ICP was signed to, of all labels, Hollywood Records owned by Disney. That became a 6-hour love affair and ICP then hooked up with Island/Def Jam Records and there came the release of the fourth card, The Great Milenko. Although ICP’s affair with Island wasn’t long-lived either, the major label along with the legion of already-Juggalo fans brought ICP into the national spotlight. And since then, ICP has not only finished the sixth and final joker, but started their own record label, Psycopathic Records, run a successful Wrestling Federation, introduce their own comic line and promote themselves like almost no one in the business.
ICP continues to surprise and bring out their legions but now have a label to showcase other talent. This night, there was