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            HATERS. These are tha little bandwagon bitches of the world that don't actually listen to ICP's music, but rather diss them ignorantly just because everyone else does. These Hoe's should be givin' ICP props for their achievements. ICP worked relentlessly to get where they are today, without the help of anybody. They saw something they wanted and knew no one would hand it to them, so they worked their asses of to get it. The members of ICP are Joseph Bruce (Violent J) and Joseph Utsler (Shaggy 2 Dope). These two guys are the Don Mega's, flat out. They grew up poor with not a pot to piss in half tha time, and made something of themselves. They succeeded in tha American dream and that's something worth telling about.

            When J was young, him, his brother, sister, mother, and father lived comfortably above the poverty line, but when his parents split up everything changed. Tha fact was Joe's father, Rick Bruce, was an abusive Faggot, who treated his family like shit. He was a violent man who had his moments of good parenting, but all in all was a piece of shit. After a final fight consisting of Rick throwing a television set at Linda, Joe's mom, the marriage was over. When Joe's parents split up they divided all their assets including their joint bank account. This was all the money they had. After saying his final goodbye's Rick went out to the driveway to leave, but suddenly grabbed all the money from [Joe's] mom's hands, jumped in his homie's car, and took off (Bruce, 4). Rick never made contact again, not even to pay child support (Biography).

            This left Linda in a very tough situation. She had no money and three young kids to support singly. What made things worse was she couldn' afford their current home anymore, forcing them to move. "With [his] real dad gone, [Joe's family] were mad poor, but [they moved to] a pretty nice suburb of Detroit called Berkley" (Bruce, 4). When in Berkley Linda had to "worked nights in Birmingham, MI as a church janitor" just to make enough to get by (Bruce, 4).

            Growing up wasn't terribly bad for J, his brother Rob, and sister Theresa when they were young. Even though they didn't have much money they always made the best of things. Without spare cash to spend on toys Joe, Rob, and Theresa utilized their imaginations instead. Because Linda was always working to support them all, they didn't got to see her a lot. Instead they were regularly watched over by a friend of the family. If anything this brought them closer together (Bruce).

            When it came time for school though, that was another story. Because there was barely enough money for rent and food, obviously they couldn’t afford top dollar items and clothes. Often J and Rob would be stuck wearing old beat up clothes that were usually acquired through rummage sales held at Linda’s work. Tha clothes were battered and usually hand-me-downs from Rob to J, so school became a place of harassment by peers more than a place of learning. As a result the Bruce brothers went through most of their young school career having hardly any friends but themselves (Bruce).

Later though because of money issues J and his family were forced to move again, this time to Oak Park, Detroit. Oak Park was an even lower class part of Detroit than Berkley, but this didn’t seem to bother any of them. In fact this was kind of an uplifting thing for J and Rob because this gave them an opportunity to start over. At their old school they had very few friends, were picked on a lot from fellow students, and considered all around losers, but here no one knew them, giving them a second chance (Bruce).

One day while walking in the halls between classes, J bumped into a kid he thought he remembered seeing at Berkley Junior High a year earlier. Turned out he was right. The kid’s name was John Utsler. John apparently transferred to the school as J had, using his father’s address in Oak Park. John and J clicked and quickly became good friends. Shortly after J met Joey Utsler, John’s younger brother and future Shaggy 2 Dope. shaggs was two years younger than J and John, but this didn’t stop them from becoming friends as well. Not long after Rob joined the group (Bruce).

To pass time Rob and J use to wrestle with one another and imagine they were wrestling superstars. One day while in the middle of a match with one another, John and Shaggs showed up. They too saw the fun in wrestling and soon the TTW was born. TTW stood for Tag Team Wrestling. This was Rob and Joe’s imaginary wrestling league that now could be complete with the two new players. This armature-wrestling league was the first of many backyard and living room wrestling federations formed by Rob, J, John, and Shaggs. As interest of wrestling increased they became more serious and wanted an actual wrestling ring to perform in. After months of bugging John and Joey’s mom, they were finally able to convince her to let them build a ring in their back yard in Ferndale. This wasn’t an easy task. They decided to build the ring posts from four railroad logs they had gotten from a nearby train track. These railroad logs were hammered into the ground with sledgehammers upright. This took two weeks to fully achieve. Then they rapped garden hoses around the logs to use as ropes (Bruce).

Up until now Joe Bruce and Joey Utsler never had an interest in rapping or anything even remotely related to music, but soon that changed. One day in gym class John and J were practicing wrestling moves on some cheerleading mats that were left out, when a black kid came up and asked if he could join. Originally John and J said no because they didn’t want to wrestle any black kids for fear of getting hurt, but after some convincing their minds were changed. Tha kid introduced himself as Lacy. This is truly where interests changed. After meeting Lacy, J and his crew became pretty good friends with him rather quickly. See Lacy lived in tha Township. Tha Township was basically tha “ghetto” of Oak Park. Now when I say interests changed I mean Lacy introduced them into a new and enticing society. Tha Township gave something for J mainly to relate to. Mostly everybody in tha Township was on Welfare and Jo could connect with this because his family was just as poor (Bruce).

J began to hang out more and more in tha Township with Lacy. This is where his rapping interests started. Out at Oak Park the music of choice was heavy “hair” metal, but out in the Township rap music was the preference. Tha rhythmic lyrics accompanied by beats filled with bass spoke to him. Other activities including break dancing also fascinated J and drew him farther into tha Township. As time passed Rob began to hang out at the Township as well. Before long they felt they had to prove themselves as true “gangsters” in hopes of fitting in. Tha problem was they were white kids who hung out in very black neighborhood. They stood out enough so they often tried to fit in anyway possible (Bruce).

            After some time in the “rap world”, Joe Bruce took on the street name Violent J. Joe mastered a lot of his talent from tha Township. Not surprisingly, a white rapper in a black oriented neighborhood drew a lot of criticism, but in the long run it made him better. Before long he was making noise locally rapping and showing off his skill. After meeting up with a fellow rapper, D-Lyrical, J released his first demo called, “Intelligence and Violence.” This was a big hit instantly in the small community giving mad credit to tha new white rapper. Locals loved his lyrics and crazy antics used to get the “crowds” more into tha music (Insane).

            Joey and John soon joined Joe as Shaggy 2 Dope and John Kichass. Together they formed Inner City Posse. Inner City Posse, or ICP, truly began in the late 1980’s in local Detroit. Their first release with one another was called “Basement Cuts.” They decided on the title because they couldn’t think of any other and they made the demo in a friends basement, so it sort of fell into place. Although the album gained more street credit toward the group it wasn’t until their release of “Dog Beats” that gained them Local attention in Detroit (Insane).

            Not long after its release though John left ICP saying it wasn’t the direction for him. This became an eye opener for Joe and Joey and sparked much discussion of the future of ICP. They decided they wanted to change the route the band was heading in and become more original, they just weren’t sure how yet. This became clear though after a dream Joe had that he believed was a premonition. The dream gave images of “a clown, a carnival spirit, with six jokers cards in his hands attempting to warn humanity of the impending doom” (Insane 1). This led ICP toward a new goal, but first there needed to be a change. Both of them decided that a name adjustment was it, but they wanted to keep the same initials ICP. The initials felt right for some reason and the resulting name is what they are today, The Insane Clown Posse (Insane).

            In 1992, the forewarning had begun with the release of the first of the six Jokers Cards, “The Carnival of Carnage.” This would be the earliest album with the inscription of the cryptic message, “After all six have risen, the end will consume us all” (Insane 2). This also became the first album under the newly created label, Psychopathic Records. Psychopathic Records was created as a platform to launch their albums and it worked considering the success of the label and band today. After the release of the “Carnival of Carnage,” ICP took two years to release the second Jokers Card, however to keep fans content they released “Beverly Killz” to hold them over until “The RingMaster’s” debut (Insane).

            With the release of “The RingMaster,” in 1994, ICP gained more local attention, and now could be regarded as competition for all “the local acts that were once considered so far ahead of them” (Insane 2). The success of the album spread beyond local Detroit. It stretched across Michigan and into some areas of Ohio. This brought attention forth from some record labels, and after some discussion ICP signed with Jive Records. Under Jive Records ICP released another filler album, “Terror Wheel,” to keep fans happy until the release of the third Jokers Card (Insane).

            In 1995, ICP released “The Riddle Box,” and with it came their first music video, “Chicken Huntin.” They later found out Jive Records only released “Riddle Box” in the surrounding Detroit area where previous albums were released. Since there was not any promotion outside of Detroit Jay and Shaggy loaded up a van with some merchandise, CD samplers, and headed for Dallas, Texas with some close friends. Dallas was a success and after the release of “Tunnel of Love” and “A Carnival Christmas,” ICP bought their contract back from Jive Records. With Jive Records behind them, ICP signed with Hollywood Records, owned by Disney Inc. (Insane).

 In 1997, ICP released “The Great Milenko.” This would be their first wide spread album. However, the album wasn’t on the shelves for more than six hours before Hollywood Records pulled it back off due to “obscenities.” Hollywood Records ordered ICP to revise the lyrics for a re-release, but before they could Island Records bought their contract and released “The Great Milenko” as is. The album had appearances by Slash, Alice Cooper, Guns n’ Roses, and Steve Jones. The album was a huge success and eventually went Platinum (Insane). After finally getting noticed with the release of the fourth Jokers Card, ICP decided to fall back on a first passion where they joined Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). Rather quickly they “went onto the former World Wrestling Federation (WWF), and then to the World Championship Wrestling (WCW)” (Story 1).

Next in line was to work on the fifth Jokers Card, however at one of the concerts promoting the album Jay suffered from a panic attack. Work on the fifth card came to a halt. While Jay took some time to recuperate ICP released “Forgotten Freshness vol. 1&2” as another filler for the devoted fans. “Forgotten Freshness vol. 1&2” was basically a collection of scrapped and unreleased songs put together by them. “The Amazing Jeckel Brothers” was finally released in 1999 (Insane). After its release, “The Amazing Jeckel Brothers” gained attention from several magazines and were considered to be “more about conceptual exhibitionism than introspection and skill” by RollingStone. Jake and Jack Jeckel were interpreted as two “Carni brothers who juggle the sins of man until Judgment Day” (Walters 2). As a reply to some of these reviews Violent Jay has sarcastically said, “ICP [does] not really display [any] talent…. We use [theatrics] to hide the fact that we suck” (Walters 2). ICP’s popularity soared, and shortly after the album’s release it raised to the top of the charts. “The Amazing Jeckel Brothers” featured artists like Snoop Dogg and Old Dirty Bastard (ODB). Not surprisingly the album went Platinum (Insane).

Around the release of the fifth Jokers Card Psychopathic Records began to expand the number of artists under the label. Soon underground performers such as Twiztid, Myzery, and Project Born signed under the label (Insane). Also around this time ICP went on various entrepreneurial ventures with a straight-to-video movie, Big Money Hustlas, a comic book series, JCW, and “The Gathering of the Juggalo’s.” JCW stood for Juggalo Championship Wrestling. Now that ICP had some money they wanted to build on a dream they always had, the JCW. Today it is the second highest grossing promotion in the USA. “The Gathering of the Juggalo’s” is a “multi-day convention, drawing over 10,000 attendees from fifty states and overseas, is a mix of concerts, games, contests, auctions, seminars, and autograph signings” (Story 1).

Currently ICP has released the sixth and final Jokers Card, which are two CD’s separately released, called “The Wraith: Shangri-La” and “Hell’s Pit.” Both records have been a great success and have put the Insane Clown Posse at the top of their game and the charts. Now, even after several album tours the wig splitin' duo hasn't stopped. They are workin on another album entitled, "The Calm." This album represents exactly what it sounds like, the calm  before the storm. In this album the wicked clowns promise somthin totally new and more devistating than ever. 

The Insane Clown Posse has proved to everyone and anyone that if you have dedication you can achieve mostly anything. They started with nothing and made something of themselves the old fashion way, by working hard. They had dreams and wouldn’t let anything stop them from accomplishing them. They won their fame without enormous radio time and will forever remain beneath the mainstream as “the label that runs beneath the streets.”

 

The Wicked Clowns will never DIE!
 
 
 
 

Bibliography Page

 

     “Biography.” Faygoluvers.net, 10 January 2005.  http://www.faygoluvers.net/main/index.phpname=Main&file=index&id=icp/bio

 

      Bruce, Joseph and Hobey Echlin. Behind the Paint. Royal Oaks, Mi: Psychopathic Records Inc. 2003

 

      “Insane Clown Posse.” Faygoluvers.net, 10 January 2005.              www.faygoluvers.net/main/index.php?name=Main&file=index&id=icp/history

 

      “Story of ICP, the.” Hall of Ilussions.com, 10 January 2005. http://www.hallofillusions.com/mainsite/icp/5602

 

       Walters, Barry. “Insane Clown Posse- Amazing Jeckel Brothers.” Rollingstone.com, Rollingstone Article 814, 10 January 2005

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Dedicated to the Butterfly