It'll Take More Than a Newsletter to Clean up the Word Juggalo
Juggalos have always had an image problem. Back in the day it wasn't so bad; sure, you might get called a drug-addicted hillbilly with bad taste in music, but that's the kind of casual hatred an Insane Clown Posse fan learns to live with. Those days were annoying, but at least you had your Juggalo family to stand with.
Photo by Marc Brubaker. Not a gang.
Then the FBI released the National Gang Intelligence Center's 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, and things got ugly. At first it was funny to think about; "Juggalos Considered Gang By FBI" is something that sounds like it came from The Onion.
It's been no laughing matter for those Juggalos who've had their world turned upside down because the cops have been told anyone rocking a hatchet man shirt is a public menace. Psychopathic Records is trying to turn public opinion around, most recently in the form of a Juggalos Fight Back newsletter.
They're going to have to try a lot harder if they ever want to be taken seriously.
Photo by Marc Brubaker. Not wholesome, but not a gang either.
The problem here is that for far too long, all ICP and Psychopathic had to worry about was pleasing the Juggalos. That's not to say they're above putting out a song with Jack White or being part-time pro wrestlers, but they're savvy enough to know that they're not putting out a product that appeals to most people. There aren't a lot of casual ICP fans in the world.
You're either down with the clown or you're not.
For years, everything they did was geared toward the Juggalos and they got real good at making them happy, but in the process it's like they forgot how to market themselves to non-Juggalo audiences.
Changing society's perception of Juggalos is going to be hard and it's going to require more than just newsletters and clips shot at the Gathering of the Juggalos. They're taking on the federal government, an organization that's way better at propaganda than a bunch of guys in face paint from Michigan.