Rags to Riches: Still Possible in Music?

Sep 6 20:37 2011 Rob Dabney Print This Article

Horror Rap duo Insane Clown Posse has risen from Detroit poverty to being one of the largest cult bands in the country. This article examines their early years as a duo, and attempts to explain where some of the themes present in their act today originated. 


Not so long ago,Guest Posting many of music’s brightest stars came from humble beginnings. Their parents didn’t pay for them to obtain the right connections or for outrageously expensive vocal lessons. Believe it or not, there was once a time when musicians were judged on their musical ability, not their superficial qualities like looks and wealth.


Fortunately, there are still a few musicians around to remind us that enrollment in the Mickey Mouse Club and home schooling for the sake of stardom aren’t pre-requisites to be successful.


For an example, just read the history of Insane Clown Posse. From rags to riches, Joseph Bruce (Violent J) and Joseph Utsler (Shaggy 2 Dope) came from rough lives in the industrial suburbs of Detroit to being horror rap kings of the world. The journey was not an easy one, and many of the themes present in Insane Clown Posse’s horror rap music today can be traced back to members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope’s youth. Continue reading to see how elements of the band’s modern persona came to be.


Insane Clown Posse’s History with Spirituality


Spiritually, both were raised to believe in God. Violent J often recounts the story of keeping a butterfly in a jar overnight with the intention of releasing it in the morning only to realize that the butterfly had died while he was sleeping. From that day on, the little horror rapper to be made a vow to meet the butterfly in heaven -- or Shangri-la as ICP calls it today -- so he can apologize face to face.


Insane Clown Posse’s History with Wrestling


Juggalo Championship Wrestling, the wrestling organization founded by Insane Clown Posse that’s put on display every year at the Gathering of the Juggalos horror rap music festival, exists because members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope grew up wrestling in the backyards of houses in Detroit.


The Truth About ICP and Gangs


It’s often speculated by many that Insane Clown Posse’s history involved the members being in a gang at one point in time, or the band itself being its own gang. This label is false, but understandably confusing. Violent J had a stint with gang life in the late 80s, but threats to his family and a 90-day prison sentence scared him straight.


When asked about Insane Clown Posse’s history as a gang (media back in the 90s often associated any rappers as being parts of gangs, and apparently horror rappers were no exception), Violent J responded saying they weren’t much of a gang because they “always got their asses beat.”


Beyond the History of Insane Clown Posse’s Early Years


Since releasing their first album in 1992, ICP has gone on to rule the horror rap world and even be regularly referenced by the mainstream media. Insane Clown Posse’s history will evidence the band’s own horror rap music festival, the Gathering of the Juggalos, replete with a lineup of talented horror rap acts and other activities.


Insane Clown Posse’s fan base has a name for itself, the Juggalos. Insane Clown Posse’s history of horror rap releases has seen albums put out in their own independent Psychopathic Records label and major labels like Disney-owned Hollywood Records. Throughout Insane Clown Posse’s history they’ve even made three movies that have nothing to do with horror rap, and have been the subject of two documentaries.


They have an unprecedented line of merchandise in the realm of musical acts, (no act compares even outside of the horror rap world) all of it branded with their trademark horror rap branding.  Lastly, ICP might be the only band to constantly wear face paint, a move that has seen their legion of horror rap fans also wearing face paint at nearly every concert in Insane Clown Posse history.


As you can see, a glance into Insane Clown Posse’s history will show that ICP has gotten to where they are today chiefly through innovation, being true to themselves and their fans. 

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About Article Author

Rob Dabney
Rob Dabney

This history of Insane Clown Posse is an underdog story filled with wrestling, spirituality, and even some gang involvement. To learn more about the History of Insane Clown Posse please visit the bands website at http://insaneclownposse.com/

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