Insane Clown Posse Sues Over FBI Labeling Juggalos a ‘Gang’

Fuck YES, Insane Clown Posse – fight for your right to party. There’s always been this urban legend that the Juggalos, devoted fans of the renowned Detroit rap metal duo, are a notorious outlaw gang who wreak havoc across the land by committing “assaults,” “vandalism,” and “more serious crimes.” The label is an urban myth right up there with the fried rat found in the bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. The only real gang crime the Juggalos have committed is violations to the fashion police.

Enter the ACLU: The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit in Detroit federal court on behalf of the group’s two members, Joseph Bruce, or Violent J.

This is the type of story that FOX News has a field day with; crazy-looking guys in clown paint, who rap, and are under surveillance by the FBI. People fear what they don’t understand, when in reality it’s pretty D&D-ish meets metal Renaissance Faire. As John F. Kennedy said: “The only thing to fear is fear itself…and fucking clowns.” Or something.

The lawsuit trumpets that the FBI gang label violates the fans’ free speech and due process rights.

Two Insane Clown Posse fans are also suing:

Scott Gandy, of Concord, NC said the Army told him that in order to join, he would first have to get his Insane Clown Posse tattoos removed because they were gang symbols. Gandy said he spent hundreds of dollars removing them, only to be rejected by the Army anyway.

Brandon Bradley, 20, of Sacramento, Calif., said he has been stopped by police and photographed because of his Juggalos tattoos and attire, including a necklace with a man carrying a hatchet. It is an Insane Clown Posse symbol.

I know the true reason for the FBI harassment. Our country’s law enforcement has “coulrophobia” – otherwise known as “fear of clowns.”  (From the Greek word kōlobathristēs meaning “one who goes on stilts” and the word phobia meaning “fear of shit.”)

Come on FBI! Get over your “coulrophobia” hate of the Insane Clown Posse, or else we’ll send over dozens of their fans who will defy logistic by exiting a very tiny car.


On Sale Now: Tickets to 14th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos

It’s almost that time of year! You know, the one where everyone on the internet who doesn’t consider themselves a diehard fan of the Insane Clown Posse comes together to ridicule a subculture we can never hope to understand, largely because its sense of tight-knit community makes us feel even more alone? Okay, let’s do this.

The good news is they picked the geographic locations by name alone, it seems: the gathering will take place at Cave-in-Rock State Park, Illinois, at something called Hog Rock, “also known as the illustrious and ever so infamous Hatchet Landings.” Pretty badass. This falls nowhere near an airport but right on the borders of Kentucky and Indiana, which should make things convenient for real Juggalos and difficult for coastal documentarians.

Who cares about the musical acts; the important thing is the sideshows. We’ve got a Miss Juggalette 2013 contest in the works, and you can audition for JCW (that’s Juggalo Championship Wrestling) if you think you have what it takes. But the best attraction of all has to be the wet T-shirt contest. What’s their spin on this Spring Break classic? They don’t use water—they use Faygo. Welp, see you in August! I’ll be the one wearing face paint.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

End-of-Summer Shows: Basilica, Mad Decent Block Party and the Gathering Gets Old School

While you were taking in Feist, Ty Segall or Godspeed You! Black Emperor at the Pitchfork Music Festival over the weekend (or at least catching the live stream), another notorious Illinois-based music festival dropped its even-more-notorious promotional infomercial. The Insane Clown Posse’s weekend-long, Faygo-soaked fan bacchanal, the Gathering of the Juggalos, turns a lucky 13 this year, and as the zombie apocalypse-themed infomercial (hosted by Juggalo wrestling legend Corporal Robinson!) indicates, the lineup places an even greater emphasis on hand-picked late-night shows and Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope’s veneration for old-school hip-hop.

Past editions of the festival have included celebrations of the early days of hip-hop and the ICP picking out their heroes of the genre, with the likes of Method Man, Paris, Ice Cube, Rob Base, Slick Rick and more making previous appearances. This year, each clown is curating and hosting his own regional hip-hop history lesson (not a phrase you see every day), with Violent J’s West Side Party featuring the Pharcyde, Lil’ Easy (son of the late Eazy-E), repeat Gathering performer Warren G and Glasses Malone and Shaggy’s Beasts of the East sporting Wu-Tang’s Raekwon, the Fat Boys (#rememberthe80s), beatboxer and former Roots member Rahzel and Biz Markie. ICP sidekicks Twiztid will host a southern rap-themed showcase as well with headliner Project Pat. Other notable acts at the Gathering include a fully reunited Geto Boys (now with 100% more Bushwick Bill), George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Danny Brown, DMX, Onyx (#rememberthe90s) and headlining the comedy stage, Cheech and Chong. Woop woop, indeed.

Oh, and here’s the infomercial. 

For those that missed last weekend’s festivities, Pitchfork is co-presenting the Basilica Festival in Hudson, New York on August 10th and 11th, a launch party of sorts for a factory-turned-performance-space just outside the Catskills under creative directors filmmaker Tony Stone and former Smashing Pumpkin Melissa Auf der Maur. The ‘fest features a number of curated and tailored events and art exhibitions, including Brandon Stosuy’s "Metal Machine Music: Solo Noise Artists and Their Machines" featuring Liturgy and Brian DeRan’s "Neidan!" with art and sculpture alongside music from Prince Rama, Gang Gang Dance and more. More events and acts, including a cruise on the Hudson River and "Blazer, a New Mexico-based soundsystem owned and operated by Excepter’s Nathan Corbin," were added last week. 

The free Mad Decent Block Party returns to five North American cities this summer, beginning at Yonge & Dundas Square in Toronto on July 28th with headliners Zeds Dead and Claude Vonstroke. The rotating lineup will change for later shows in Philadelphia (August 4th), New York (August 5th), Chicago (August 18th) and Los Angeles (August 25th) and feature Mad Decent and Mad Decent-approved heavy hitters from the worlds of hip-hop, electronica, moombahton and more, including regulars like Major Lazer, Dillon Francis and Bonde do Role (potentially) alongside Brooklyn phenom Riff Raff, Action Bronson, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, Theophilus London, Lunice, Flosstradamus and Reptar. 

Morning Links: Big Weekend for Celebrity Photo Leaks, Adele’s Mansion is Haunted

● "Busy day in the world of nude leaks," reported TMZ, after self-shot and nearly-nude photos of the oft lusted for Olivia Munn and Christina Hendricks hit the net yesterday. Neither woman is taking credit. [TMZ/TMZ]

● In conversation with Piers Morgan on CNN, born-again Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron called homosexuality "unnatural," "detrimental," and "destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization." GLAAD has criticized his comments for being "out of step with a vast majority of Americans," while Morgan has defended them as "brave." [Us]

● Insane Clown Posse has set up a Facebook equivalent for their Faygo chugging fans called [NME]

● Adele refuses to sleep alone in her new 10-bedroom and two-swimming-pool mansion because she is afraid that it is haunted. [The Sun]

● Jennifer Aniston says that living in New York felt like living "in a fishbowl." "It didn’t feel like the New York I grew up in and knew," she said, adding that her "happiness-level" is at a "10-plus" now that she’s out in Los Angeles. [People]

● Taylor Swift wears a Kanye West-designed top in this month’s Bazaar magazine. She’s over it. [KarenCivil]

● Willow Smith and Pharrell got the same haircut. [JustJared/Rap-Up]

Morning Links: Francis Bean ‘Engaged’ According to Facebook, Justin Bieber’s ‘Vocal Balls’ Dropped

● Courtney Love’s 19-year-young daughter, Francis Bean, is engaged — if her recently changed Facebook relationship status is to be believed — to her boyfriend of one year, The Rambles singer Isaiah Silva. [NYDN] ● Now that Entourage has ended, Adrien Grenier says he has “to console so many people on the street. I mean grown men practically in tears now wondering what they’re going to do now on Sunday nights. So it’s a lot of huggin’ it out,” he told CNN. [CNN] ● Word has it that Madonna is joined by Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. on her new single, “Give Me All Your Love,” set to be debuted during Madge’s Superbowl halftime show this year. [JustJared]

● Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s manager/handler/maker, says that the 17-year-old’s Christmas album will be his most “seductive” yet because “vocally, his balls have dropped.” [Page Six] ● Usually they teach you that it’s all in the hips, but Taylor Swift proves that dancing can be all about the arms if you want it to. Behold: “A Comprehensive Guide To Taylor Swift’s Arm Dancing.” [NYM] ● Face-paint wearing, Faygo-guzzling Juggalos have been listed this year, alongside the likes of the Crips and the Bloods, on the FBI’s National Gang Threat Assessment. [Wired]

Morning Links: Charlie Sheen Settles With ‘Two & a Half Men,’ George Clooney Gets Married on TV

● Charlie Sheen’s suit with the producers of Two and a Half Men over the work he did before he went crazy is drawing to a close, with Sheen set to walk away with $25 million in the next two weeks and upwards up $100 million in the long run. [TMZ] ● The real victim of this Salahi/Journey scandal? The White House crasher’s doberman pinscher, Rio, who actually died. Tareq led the backyard procession yesterday, laying the poor dog to rest in peace with its favorite blanket. [TMZ] ● Tracy Morgan played it safe and made neither jokes nor homophobic statements while proposing to his model girlfriend, Megan Wallover. [NYDN]

● James Franco has announced plans to direct an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s gruesome novel Child of God, about a man who spends his life in a cave after being accused of rape. [Huff Post] ● This commercial for a Norwegian bank might be the only time you get to hear forever-bachelor George Clooney in a post-wedding day glow. [EW] ● That Jack White and Insane Clown Posse collaboration? It’s a love story! We think… [Stereogum]

Morning Links: T.I. Sent Back to Jail, Benni Cinkle Finally Has Her Own Video

● Yesterday T.I. was released from jail early, but then they sent him back after he showed up at the half-way house in a luxury bus. Apparently that’s not allowed. [NYDN] ● Taylor Swift and Reese Witherspoon got lunch together in L.A. so that they could talk about how Jake Gyllenhaal, their shared ex, is so “vain.” [Us] ● Whole Foods thinks that Real Housewife Bethenny Frankel’s SkinnyGirl Margaritas are toxic and are pulling the product from their shelves. [NYP]

● Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J doesn’t really think his collaboration with Jack White is so weird because they both wore costumes while doing it. “He put on his black hat and his black coat and we put on our makeup…And it wasn’t that different. He had our shtick and we had ours,” he says. [Village Voice] ● Cher took to twitter in support of her son Chaz, who has been the victim of attacks since since his casting in DWTS, tweeting that “It took guts 2 do it,” and that “Mothers don’t stop Getting angry with stupid bigots who (mess) with their children!” [Huff Post] ● Paz de la Huerta’s Agent Provocateur campaign finds the lady looking, as always, near-nude and mostly fabulous. [ONTD] ● Benni Cinkle, that awkward girl in pink from Rebecca Black’s “Friday” video, finally has a video to call her own. [ONTD]

Wouldn’t You Like to Go on a Juggalo Cruise?

Yesterday may have marked the first occasion the New York Times seriously delved into the world of horrorcore rap group and long-running joke Insane Clown Posse. Culture reporter Dave Itzkoff actually went on a Juggalo cruise on the East River after a concert at the Gramercy Theater. Watching the paper of record’s seriousness collide with one of the most bizarre music subcultures out there is nothing if not fun. Some choice bits after the jump.

• “For the next hour they rapped several of their best-loved tracks from their 1990s-era breakthrough, like “I Stab People” and the pro-cannibalism ode “Dead Body Man,” while they and backup performers dressed as sinister buffoons doused the crowd with Faygo soda.” “Pro-cannibalism ode”! • The song “Miracles” is described as a “song in which Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope describe their fascination with everyday phenomena like giraffes, rainbows and magnets.” (The line “Fucking magnets, how do they work?” has become something of a meme). • “Sitting upstairs Mike Martin, a 28-year-old fan from Connecticut, was wearing a hat that looked as if it had a bloody meat cleaver embedded in it.” • “By 3 a.m. the long night had taken a toll on many revelers, and sleepy clown faces could be seen throughout the lower deck as partygoers fell asleep in their seats. Other guests dived into a last-minute mosh pit initiated by a D.J.’s high-energy set list and boogied to an Insane Clown Posse song called “Chop Chop Slide,” which variously instructs listeners to mimic firing guns and bump fists with the people standing next to them.”

Itzkoff pulls off a neat trick by making the Juggalos seem positively likable. It’s refreshing to read something about them that doesn’t mock or judge (see also: Camille Dodero’s excellent review of the Gathering of the Juggalos in the Village Voice last year).

Violent J of ICP Not Mad, Just Disappointed

Ever since the Insane Clown Posse’s video for “Miracles” dropped earlier this month, people the Internet over have been making fun of it. The king juggalos’ earnest bewilderment at stuff like music, magnets, and cell-phone-hungry pelicans, combined with cheesy nature graphics that stand at odds with their nightmarish clown appearance, make it almost too easy for folks like SNL to skewer it by dialing up the stupidity just one colorful clown hair. But how does this make Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope feel? Yesterday, an interview with Vulture provided answers.

First, Violent J makes a half-hearted admission to knowing most of this stuff isn’t “magic everywhere in this bitch”, but science. Nonetheless, he’d hoped audiences would understand his metaphorical use of the word “miracle” to mean “something awesome, like a great happening or an awesome event.” “Maybe we were a little loose with the word, ’cause everyone seems to pick on the fact that a lot of the things we mention are not, in fact, miracles,” he says, before retreating to stand his ground: “Let me tell you something — a giraffe is a fucking miracle.” But like the true, cool-headed Zen master he is, Violent J isn’t mad about your failure to understand his complex use of metaphor. “It doesn’t make us angry because we’ve always been the most hated band in the world,” he says, reasonably. “But it makes me sad that people walk around unable to appreciate that shit. It makes me feel sorry for them.”

Do you hear that, haters? J pities you. He also takes the chance to reiterate his happiness that, rather than being “born inside of a rock, eating algae off the fucking walls,” we were “born on this incredible planet, with all its secrets and mysteries.” Is the rock on another planet? Confusing.

On the whole, this interview does not make great strides towards convincing me that ICP understands science any more than their original assertion, “I don’t wanna talk to a scientist/y’all muthafuckas lyin’ and gettin’ me pissed” would convey. But one important fact did emerge: they squashed their beef with Eminem via bowling, sort of. That’s one miracle we did not see coming.