Whereas most bands that came to prominence during the painful late ’90s nu metal scene went away quietly (thank you, Korn and Limp Bizkit), Insane Clown Posse is here to stay. Never heard of them? Here’s a little taste.
The Detroit rap duo’s history is a colorful one. Members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope aren’t what you would refer to as “refined gentlemen.” They’ve had beefs with Eminem and Sharon Osbourne, gotten arrested for fighting at a waffle house, and pulled down many other crowning achievements, including being very proud about not knowing how magnets work.
Over the years, ICP has shown a savvy business side, with its own wrestling federation, a popular merchandise line, constant new music, and a yearly event for its most ardent followers—Gathering of the Juggalos.
Through it all, the wicked clowns have been supported by a faction lovingly referred to as the Juggalos (or Juggalettes for the ladies), aka ICP superfans. These people live and breathe Insane Clown Posse. It’s not so much about just the music—this is a lifestyle, a surrogate family if you will. And they’re special, these people.
This video is SO not safe for work, FYI, so plan accordingly.
The FBI must have caught a screening of the above mini-doc because it’s scurred of the Faygo-drinking, face-painted tribe. In 2011, the organization’s National Gang Intelligence Center labeled the Juggalos a “loosely organized hybrid gang.”
That ruling sent ICP into a furious tailspin. Always protective of their fanbase, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope say the gang designation did a number on the lives of their fans and caused the cancellation of concerts. So the duo went after the FBI, filing a lawsuit to have the Juggalos removed from the gang list. A district court dismissed the case in 2014 because it found there was no proof of “injuries suffered.” However, on September 17, that decision was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati.1 A court date has not yet been scheduled. Still, the ICP fam is in full celebratory mode.
ICP stated on its website: “We’re thankful that the Juggalo family will finally get their day in court. Discrimination against someone based solely upon the type of music they listen to is just flat out wrong and it’s time that the legal system acknowledges that. The FBI’s labeling of Juggalos as a gang has wreaked havoc on thousands of lives, resulting in job losses, dismissal from military service, eviction, lost child custody, and constant harassment and profiling from law enforcement organizations all across the country.”