ICP's Violent J Talks Texas, Faygo & The Juggalo Family

"Texas is my favorite state"

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Photos by Marc Brubaker
Next Tuesday, Detroit's Insane Clown Posse invades Houston for the third time in as many years for another night of Faygo and Juggalo family fun at Warehouse Live. This will also be Rocks Off's third jump into that sticky, harrowing breach.

The past two years have been some of the most visible in Violent J (above) and Shaggy 2 Dope's nearly two-decade career. Back in 1997, their label, the Disney-owned Hollywood Records, was pressured into shelving their album, The Great Milenko, and canceling a promo tour behind it. ICP went aboveground and were pointed to as a prime example of corporate censorship, which did nothing but help build the band's underdog status and foster a whole new fan base for the next 13 years.

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In April 2010, the group released a video for "Miracles" from 2009's Bang! Pow! Boom! which confounded mainstream yucksters and indie blogs as it went viral for the better part of that summer, even though the group was in on the joke. We think. Then came the interviews, some radically altered, and a new interest in Juggalos, their army of fans, whose annual Gathering of the Juggalos festival in Illinois became national news fodder for a weekend in August.

Back in August, it was announced that the rap duo had paired with Jack White, of all people for a classical rap project, which was a confounding and exciting prospect. The musical marriage between the Detroit rock impresario, now living in Nashville, and one of the most polarizing acts in recent history made many in the music business cry into their IKEA bedding for at least a week.

Since the first time Rocks Off went to an ICP show in 2009, we have felt strangely drawn to the Juggalo culture, keeping it at arm's length but always finding it fascinating.

We read about the crimes that self-professed Juggalos have committed, and have to reconcile that with the outpouring of seemingly familial love we see at their shows. It's not normal to see fans hugging one another. Indie shows are veritable ice fests of blank stares and boredom.

But the violence at the shows - we watched a Juggalo break a window at Warehouse Live last year, and a fistfight broke out at a Walter's gathering last summer - isn't anything out of the norm for a metal or a hip-hop show, either. We've seen fights and idiocy at indie-rock and dance parties too, brought on by ostensibly well-heeled and educated liberal kids. The world's a warped place when someone can threaten to cut you at a Iron & Wine gig.

At last year's Warehouse Live show, we were drenched in Faygo for an hour, and even drank some of the stuff. A few days later a Christmas card from the ICP label, Psychopathic Records, showed up in the mail here at work, complete with a smiling hatchet-man Santa. Someone at ICP HQ realized we "got" the group.

Rocks Off has been trying to interview at least one or both of the ICP guys, Shaggy 2 Dope or Violent J, since our Juggalo odyssey began. We almost didn't think we would get a few minutes with anyone until this past Friday afternoon, when we were patched through to Violent J while the tour was stopped in Salt Lake City.


Location Info

Map

Warehouse Live

813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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34 comments
BMD
BMD

MMFWCL!!!!!!!!!!!

Carly Moore
Carly Moore

I was planning on taking my dear hubby to that show, but we couldn't find a sitter. I want ya'll to come down to Austin. We've been up to Dallas & down to Houston to see ya'll. Come back to Stubb's BBQ downtown. We were there for Hell's pit. At this future house in TX, can we come over & visit? lol I hope to be able to catch another show soon. MMFCL!

Adam Carroll
Adam Carroll

are we WHOOP WHOOP WINNING?!!! all you juggalos that went to the gathering this year know what im talkin about. MMWCL4L

Darkcide
Darkcide

ICP has gone completely mainstream. Im a juggalo and have since birth, but ICP has changed and not for the better. These days jay is trying to get everyone approve about ICP, juggalos, and everything else. If you got a problem with juggalos (me included) fuck off!!! Violent j may have gone "soft" but original juggalos who know what the family is about dont go soft or die.

Squirlntus
Squirlntus

J has always wanted to be famous the mainstream way. He has always wanted to be accepted the way other famous people and music stars are. He doesn't hide it. He tells ya all about it in his book. But the media wouldn't have it, then fuck the mainstream came about. I think J was really hurt about it for quite a while. Till he discovered he didn't need the mainstream.

Nick N9ne
Nick N9ne

We chant family because thats what we are! Whoop Whoop

Slashy Mo
Slashy Mo

Dunno, Craig. I'm still not convinced. Do you know who else used to send out Christmas cards complete with Hatchet Man Santas on them? Hitler.

Karen Freese
Karen Freese

I am a Houston Born Girl! I think ICP is awesome! Plus, they have had a really great Cover Band..."The Garcia Brothers formerly the Axe Murder Boyz" WHOOP WHOOP!!! I wish ICP much much more and more success and Hey don't forget to bring the "Garcia Brothers" out more with you!!! Those are some "down lookin boyz" and well, we like them too in Houston, Texas. "Yall take care now"!!!

From: KFP45TX.

ClownVid
ClownVid

This was great, love hearing news straight from the source - A Reality Show AND A Documentary!

Booya!

Dennie Massey
Dennie Massey

I can not wait tell friday when i am going to go see them it is going to be sweeeeet

ClownVid
ClownVid

I'll be there too! Whoop Whoop! :-)

Gagahjs
Gagahjs

Anaehiem! Ima be there! :D

Kmksoulja
Kmksoulja

violent j is a real down to earth motha fucka and i'd like to thank him for giving some of us nonpopular juggalos the chance to participate in faygo amrmegedon

ClownVid
ClownVid

That's beautiful man :-)

Fiwc2006
Fiwc2006

2 whoops wish i was going! mmfwcl

Ryan Weippert
Ryan Weippert

out of curiosity what does mmfwcl mean? i just became a juggalo not too recently

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

"She has that Houston ass. It must be in the water or the barbecue or something." Awww, yeah.

SyKoBOZO
SyKoBOZO

it was the International Ballroom 100%, i was there and it was fucking crazy

Craigley
Craigley

Is the torn down supermarket "The Unicorn"?

I bet it is/was/

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

It could be. I do remember them at International Ballroom too. 

S. Chonson
S. Chonson

In before douches try to be funny with a magnets joke.

Mymik
Mymik

I wish I could afford to go. Love em or hate em, ICP is the best live show. Period. MCL 

Early Cuyler
Early Cuyler

I admit I do not understand the appeal of this band, or their rampant fan base, however, after reading this interview, I am going to take Violent J off my people to kill list.

Juggal0135
Juggal0135

put him back on he likes it better that way bitch

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