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Insane Clown Posse, often abbreviated as ICP, is an American hip hop group formed in 1989 by Joseph Bruce (a.k.a. Violent J) and Joseph Utsler (a.k.a. Shaggy 2 Dope). Based out of Detroit, Michigan, the group often incorporates shocking imagery and commentaries on urban destitution in their music, which has been often cited as an example of “horrorcore."
On January 17th, 1997, the official Insane Clown Posse website was launched, which includes a blog, tour dates, music, videos, a photo gallery and an online store. On December 22nd, 2009, the @icp Twitter feed was created, accumulating more than 100,800 followers in the following four years. On December 21st, 2010, the official Insane Clown Posse Facebook page was launched, gaining over 1.09 million likes in the first three years. On September 1st, 2012, the Fuse YouTube channel launched the web series “Insane Clown Posse Theater,” in which Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope provide commentary for various music videos. On August 28th, Fuse posted a video in which the duo critique the video for the song “Call Me Maybe” by Carley Rae Jepsen (shown below), which accumulated more than 3.95 million views and 3,000 comments in the following year.
ICP gained notoriety in April of 2010 after the music video for their song"Miracles was posted to YouTube. The song’s lyrics were heavily mocked for their disdain for science, particularly the line “fucking magnets, how do they work?”
Juggalo is a label associated with fans of ICP and their affiliate hip hop groups. The term “Juggalo” is derived from the song “The Juggla,” released on the 1992 album Carnival of Carnage. During a 1994 performance, Violent J called the crowd members “Juggalos” and the name stuck. ICP’s 1997 album The Great Milenko included the song “What is a Juggalo?” (shown below), which explains satirically explains the various characteristics of an average fan of the hip hop group. Since the coinage of the term in 1994, the Juggalo subculture has been noted for developing their own idioms, slang and characteristics.
“What is a juggalo? / He drinks like a fish / And then he starts huggin people / Like a drunk bitch / Next thing, he’s pickin fights / With his best friends / Then he starts with the huggin again”
The word “juggalo” has been defined on Urban Dictionary more than 260 times, with the earliest definition added on November 3rd, 2006, and the single topic blog “Look At This Fucking Juggalo” was launched on September 1st, 2009 to curate images of stereotypical-looking Juggalos in a similar vein to Look At This Fucking Hipster. In October 2011, the FBI named Juggalos a criminal gang, stating that they exhibit gang-like behavior and participate in violent activities, but only in 4 states.
Since 2000, Psychopathic Records has held an annual music festival known as the Gathering of the Juggalos in the mid-western United States. The festival lasts for several days and offers musical performances, meet and greets, games, contests, rides and seminars with the musicians. Since its launch, the music festival has expanded from a showcase event of Psychopathic Records artists to include appearances from other celebrities, rap groups and even wrestling events. On November 20th, 2007, Vice writer Thomas Morton wrote about his experience at the music festival in an article titled “In the Land of the Juggalos."
In 2009, an extreme advertising-style infomercial for that year’s Gathering was widely circulated online (shown below, left), which was subsequently parodied on Saturday Night Live (shown below, right).
On August 14th, 2010, reality star and performer Tila Tequila suffered facial injuries after being pelted with rocks and other objects on stage at The Gathering. The same day, TMZ posted photos of Tequila’s face following the incident (shown below).
On September 26th, 2011, filmmaker Sean Dunne posted a 23-minute documentary titled “American Juggalo” on the video-sharing site Vimeo, which includes interviews with self-described Juggalos attending The Gathering (shown below). In the first two years, the documentary received upwards of 1.6 million views and 370 comments.
On July 12th, 2013, an infomercial video for The Gathering was uploaded to YouTube, featuring the mock local newscast “Hatchet Action News” donned in clown makeup (shown below). Scheduled to be held from August 7th to August 11th at Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, the 2013 Gathering boasted performances from metal bands, underground rappers, stand-up comedians, a foam party and two Guns N’ Roses cover bands. As of August 2013, The Gathering of the Juggalos has amassed more than 248,000 likes on Facebook.
Huffington Post – FBI Reveals Gang Files For Insane Clown Posse’s Fans, Juggalos