Rapping clown duo garners insane following
Insane Clown Posse, better known as ICP, is an underground phenomenon. It doesn’t get much radio airplay, it doesn’t produce popular videos and its lyrics are highly controversial but, if success is measured by influence on fans, then ICP just may be one of today’s most successful bands. After all, it’s not every day that two shock rappers can say they started a national following.
The Juggalo — or Juggalette if you’re a female — subculture is an underground movement that’s only grown in popularity since the band’s inception in the late ’80s. Many consider it a cult while others write it off as just another gang, but most can agree if you’re not familiar with the lives and musical stylings of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, then the Juggalo culture may seem, at best, a little bizarre. But for those within the phenomenon, it’s an inclusive group.
“Juggalos are about family,” said Matt Jingozian, a Norman Juggalo. “It’s about people that society rejected and made fun of — they needed a place in this world and ICP made a place for them.”
Still, painting your face like a clown, drinking a soft drink named Faygo and sporting a cartoon holding a hatchet is not a surefire way to gain respect. In fact, many have expressed a wave of negative backlash against the group.
“There’s definitely a stigma about us,” Jingozian said. “We have a really bad name around town because about 50 percent of us are idiots. It’s not right to label just us though because about 50 percent of all people are idiots.”
Ninja references and Hot Topic clothing aside, the Juggalo following would not have been possible without the graphic, impulsive music of ICP.
“Yeah, there’s a lot of violence, gore and chauvinism in their songs, but you have to look past the surface and see that there’s more to the story,” said Randy aka “Noodles,” an Oklahoma City Juggalo. “Shaggy and Violent J also talk about unity and family — there’s a lot of subliminal religious messages.”
Perhaps this was the reason ICP decided to show its softer side with the 2009 release of “Miracles,” a song about— you guessed it — the little things we take for granted in life. This song’s out-of-the-ordinary listings and public distrust of well-known scientific concepts put ICP under a lot of ridicule and scrutiny. However its music is perceived though, the Juggalos continue to stick by ICP’s side as they grow and change with the music and its message too.
“The Juggalos are changing as well,” Noodles said. “I feel like it’s gotten considerably stronger, which means we all have to hang out and stay close together. Old Juggalos get a little scared about running into the new ones because they don’t really understand what it’s all about yet. You have to teach them — and that’s family.”
If you go —
WHO: Insane Clown Posse
WHEN: 7:30 tonight
WHERE: Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S. Eastern Ave. in Oklahoma City