Insane Clown Posse: Tracing the Sociological Lineage of Juggalos

"Mass murder makes me happy / Dead bodies make me happy / Until eternity/ We'll always have Juggalo family."

— "Juggalo Family" (2001) by Dark Lotus

Consider the preceding lyric. Savor it. Swish it in your mouth. It's puerile, no? Vulgar, vicious, toxic, all that.

Insane Clown Posse: A radical offshoot of the Tea Partiers?
Insane Clown Posse: A radical offshoot of the Tea Partiers?

Details

Insane Clown Posse is scheduled to perform on Tuesday, June 8, and Wednesday, June 9, at Marquee Theatre in Tempe.

Related Stories

More About

But embedded within the murderous glee of the lyric is something else — a sincere message of unity that's almost desperately sentimental. Bathetic, even. Who knew that fantasies of ax murder and antisocial mayhem were such potent vessels of male kinship?

Insane Clown Posse, that's who. By now, most critics agree that the rap duo's music — and its ever-expanding horrorcore mythology of crime, punishment, and supernatural devastation — is pretty much an artistic black hole. Nothing to see here. However, the same cannot be said for ICP's singularly devoted fringe of Faygo-swilling, facepaint-wearing Juggalo minions, some of whom have even formed their own rap groups and some of whom the ICP duo has embraced into their Dark Lotus supergroup. Now there's a phenomenon that will keep ethnomusicologists busy for at least another decade.

Of course, the Juggalos are hardly the first disaffected population to adopt outrageous alter egos and devote themselves to a seemingly diseased and apocalyptic ideology. Like any social organism, the Juggalos have ancestry, genealogy and offspring. Herewith, the Juggalo family tree.

The Picts: What is it about face paint that makes otherwise docile, unremarkable kids lose their shit? People wondered the same thing about this confederation of Celtic tribes in ancient Scotland whose skull-smashing abandon on the battlefield was the stuff of legend. (The name Pict means "painted or tattooed people" in Latin.) Ask the Juggalos and they'll tell you: The clown paint makes them feel powerful, reckless and unaccountable. On Wall Street, they call it a "bespoke suit."

Guy Fawkes: Oh, yeah — Fawkes was a Juggalo. England's favorite Catholic anti-government martyr was happily dreaming of "mass murder" when he staged the failed Gunpowder Plot of November 5, and his present-day devotees wear their hard-luck-anarchist badges proudly, in the form of Fawkes-like bearded masks.

Berserkers: When was the last time you did anything in a "nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury"? That was the way these medieval Norse warriors did their plundering, and it also describes the way most Juggalos like to enjoy their ICP shows — in a mass trace of vicarious aggression. Some modern researchers suggest that Berserker rage may have been induced by massive intake of hallucinogenic drugs and alcohol; others suggest mental illness or shared genetic flaws. Hey, you do the math.

Thuggees: Like la cosa nostra and Juggalos, these 18th-century Indian bandits were family-oriented folk who paradoxically loved the idea of terrorizing families. Hiding their identities to the very last minute, the Thuggees revealed their true colors at the moment of attack, delivering a sharp psychological blow meant to inflict despair and hopelessness on their victims. Anybody who's had to listen to ICP's The Great Milenko (1996) knows the feeling.

Hells Angels: Like America's most notorious motorcycle gang, the Juggalos love to flash the bird and regard defiance of authority as a birthright — at least until they go back to work sweeping the floors at Taco Bell the following morning. Unlike the Angels, Juggalos aren't particularly serious about vetting new members. As long as you keep flashing that bird and pepper your repartee with "shit" and "fuck," you're golden.

The Manson Family: Thus far, ICP masterminds Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler have managed their "family" much more responsibly than Charles Manson; the duo has officially disavowed violence and has no known plans to start a race war. Still, their tactics are similar: Target impressionable kids, promise friendship and family, ply them with mind-altering substances — in this case, ultra-sugary Faygo soda. Granted, Faygo isn't exactly LSD when it comes to reprogramming your flock — but, hey, that's why Manson's the king.

The Joker: Heath Ledger's "agent of chaos" essentially ran a Juggalo career center in Christopher Nolan's 2008 blockbuster The Dark Knight, staffing his criminal organization with aimless outsiders who — as stereotypes, anyway — bear an uncanny resemblance to real-life ICP regulars.

The Tea Party: They occupy a different collective tax bracket, but otherwise, the dissimilarities are purely cosmetic. Juggalos and Tea Partiers are predominantly male, predominantly white, favor goofy ritualistic costumes (Bozo facepaint for the former; tricorn hats for the latter) and are united in their chimerical hatred/fear of a corrupt establishment that must be dismantled by any means necessary. (Granted, that's a slightly imaginative reading of the Juggalos, most of whom would be content merely to skull-fuck a few authority figures.) The interesting thing to consider here is that the Juggalos predate the Tea Partiers and represent, arguably, a healthier social coping mechanism. After all, dead bodies don't really make Juggalos happy. But the Tea Party? Hey, how else are you going to nourish the tree of liberty from time to time?

 
My Voice Nation Help
60 comments
Helpwantedpro7
Helpwantedpro7

all you juggalos need to do some soul searching of what it is you are in or were in turmoil about...feelings, divorced parents...broken homes...bullying ... why did you decide to join a gang? Why do you sit back and make the record lable money...they care nothing for u...really. They put 10 million a year in their pockets.... u on the otherhand, are labled-- and going nowhere. Check into why you felt you "NEEDED" to be part of this "gang" Whoop. lol

AbortedHuman
AbortedHuman

Good article, but u do need to do a little more research on the actuall Juggalos and stop comparing us with crazy ass evil fucks that there only mark on history is blood and death. we are nice people. Come on man just look up what ur wrighting about next time. MMFWCL, WHOOP WHOOP!!!!!!!

Dexcalif
Dexcalif

Nice try spelling 'writing' you fucking moron. The only people that could possibly enjoy the fucktarded programed beats with no instrumentation at all....is a dumb ass bitch telling someone to 'look up what ur WRIGHTING about.' Why don't you get a dictionary before you start WRITING. Hah

Nerd42
Nerd42

Hey you're not being fair either to the Tea Party movement or ICP. Any excesses of the Tea Party movement pale in comparison to the antics of the anti-war protesters of 2004. ICP actually has a very artistic side, expressed in the Dark Carnival mythology, which suprisingly is more detailed and well-thought-out than the P-Funk mythology of the '70s.

Stillts
Stillts

lmao these fags dont even know what a juggalo is, this article is a disgrace to whoever wrote it "Who knew that fantasies of ax murder and antisocial mayhem were such potent vessels of male kinship?" they forget tht theres such thing as girl juggalos called juggalettes? or have they not been outside of their moms basements long enough to know what a girl looks like

Mousesbitch
Mousesbitch

How is it that people believe that they know what Juggalos are, and are about, just because they have read about or heard of a few isolated events that may or may not have been participated in by Juggalos? It truly only shows thier ignorance and stupidity. We have a belief system that we follow. The Dark Carnival tells us in the Bible that we should not be trying to help others clean thier backyard when our own is filthy. So we use a different lingo, and wicked-twisted wording to get our message out. it is that way because otherwise some people would not even hear the message otherwise. Of course you would know this if you researched it, or just listened to all of the Joker's Cards. Oh wait, you're too busy doggin on us. Hmmm...

Lollipopluv101
Lollipopluv101

WHOOP WHOOP!!! Yall juggahos hate us cuz u don't know us, and we don't give 2 shyts and 1 fuk if u do!!

F,T.F.O
F,T.F.O

thats the fuckin shit hell yeah!!!thats my family freaks weirdos n juggalos fuck all you other hoes!!!!!!

Haydenblades
Haydenblades

i think icp is fucking awsome ive went 275 of there shows ang got 35 faygo bottles

Nick R.
Nick R.

I think I was a berserker at SXSW, not sure.

Dr. Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen

Sounds like a pretentious high schooler wrote this. I can't believe I wasted my time reading this garbage. No facts, no citations, nothing even interesting. Just a bunch of stereotypes. You just looked up a bunch of tribes or groups of people, including a fictional character. because they have all done some kind of battle. Then you say it is all in common because they are like Juggalos. Then you mention in every section how they are different than Juggalos and how Juggalos are non violent. So what the hell is your point? Was this all to try to poke some fun at Juggalos? I think police forces have more in common with some of these groups than Juggalos. Maybe in your senior year you can take a creative writing class and get some educated helpful tips on how to write a piece that has some competence and integrity.

Fucking_Kyo_the_JUGGALO
Fucking_Kyo_the_JUGGALO

The only article worth reading on the weber-net. Imaginative, but instead of a family tree maybe it's a pattern. Look at the gaps in the timeline devoid of maniacal, violent, death-harboring, impressionable psychopaths. And as society ups it's standards the standards of the crazy cat categories are seeming worse and worse. And if it is a pattern and not a matter of a chronological family tree just imagine what the next century's Juggalos will be like.

Andrew
Andrew

Was this written by a 16 year old troll? Lol, fail.

Vera
Vera

Is this a story about MUSIC in the MUSIC section????????????? Wow, what an accomplishment for the New Times. Craig, when will you be replacing that incompetent creep Martin Cizmar?

HolleyGen
HolleyGen

Howdy Craig. Thank you for being a zillion times better story writer than that dipsh*t Martin Cizmar.

yepp
yepp

The Juggalo family tree. :)

Blasty
Blasty

Amazing Amazing!

WINNER
WINNER

I loved Heath L. as the Joker too.

Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn

FINALLY a posting here that is about music/band. Thanks Craig.

bravobravo
bravobravo

You should be the music editor. When is New Times firing Martin?

random
random

YOU ARE A FAR BETTER JOURNALIST THAN THAT WANNABE LOSER MARTIN CIZMAR!!!

Uncle Juggla
Uncle Juggla

Ah, I love to see the spead of the comments to articles like these. You have the little haters, the overthinkers, the bottom-of-the-gene-pool juggalos who just want to gripe and the educated juggalos who have been down for years, grew up on the outside, but not on the inside like WhizperzJuggalo. That's me too. A turning-40-this-year, gun-toting, badge-wearing, Five-Oh Juggalo. MMFWCL Woop woop!!!

Zachary Haught
Zachary Haught

Okay, juggalos aren't people who paint their faces, or people who dream about murder, or any of that. Juggalos are actually, in the words of violent J himself, those who respect the groups on Psychopathic Records, those who are fans of ICP, Twiztid, Boondox, Blaze, ABK, Dj Clay, AMB, and all of that. Just because you found some historical figures that painted their faces, dreamed about murder, and started "families" , that doesn't mean they're juggalos. you are an idiot, juggalos started in 1993, when during a performance of the song: The Juggla, Violent J said: "I'm the Juggla, and you are the juggalos". That's what they use to refer to their fans. Idiot.

Brian
Brian

I hate the face painting crap.

Anony
Anony

diggin this story, well written.

Hank
Hank

The Dark Knight was an epic movie. Credit to Heath Ledger.

Gil
Gil

Nice story Craig.

HH
HH

Well I'm a fan. Have been for a long time.

flicka
flicka

Tea Partiers? really??

wow
wow

mass murder makes me happy? YIKES

Milly
Milly

Who knew that fantasies of ax murder and antisocial mayhem were such potent vessels of male kinship? :)

Fantastic
Fantastic

I really liked this article.

Clarissa
Clarissa

fun read. this dudes look so wierd....

Really
Really

These guys scare me!!

DiRt
DiRt

This article was completely bias, poorly researched, lacking in examples and chock full of thesaurus checks. However, it was still kind of interesting. I've been a juggalo for over ten years and our ever growing subculture has never ceased to amaze me. P.S. People always seem to forget that ICP has been around nearly twenty years. So, those annoying little kids you see in the mall wearing hatchetgear from head to toe: they're the newbs. You don't know shit about us vets. I bet you know some pretty cool juggalos and you don't even know it. I might also bet that they'd punk your ass quick before they do any family.

Blaine
Blaine

What. This is lame.

fill
fill

hmmmmm all i can say

jommy
jommy

This is ridiculous

 
Phoenix Concert Tickets

Concert Calendar

  • July
  • Tue
    22
  • Wed
    23
  • Thu
    24
  • Fri
    25
  • Sat
    26
  • Sun
    27
  • Mon
    28
Loading...