By David Thorpe
While perusing Insane Clown Posse's Twitter timeline, like a person does, I came across something interesting: Our favorite rap clowns announced a new update to their official smartphone app, which I didn't even know existed. For the advancement of pop journalism and human knowledge in general, I hereby volunteer to investigate.
The ICP app carries a steep price tag of $1.99, but it promises to "blow your mind with exclusive content not available anywhere else." I admit that this story nearly ended here, but my deep commitment to the truth compelled me to bear the considerable expense. Plus, I can probably write it off on my taxes or hit up the Voice up for an envelope full of nickels.
The iTunes app page has a long list of fairly tame parental advisories, but I decided to proceed anyway. It warns of "infrequent/mild horror," which nicely sums up the experience of occasionally remembering that ICP exists (it also warns of "mature" themes, but I'm skeptical about that one).
Considering the tremendous number of ICP fans in the world, it's strange that the app has only one review on iTunes. It could mean either freedom-loving Juggalos prefer the openness of the Android platform or the price tag cuts a little too deep. That's, like, 12 bottles of Faygo.
Apple made me confirm all my credit card details when I tried to purchase the ICP app. I guess it set off some flags; maybe it's like when your bank calls you and says, "Hey, someone in Atlanta just tried to buy a bag of Cheetos and $50 worth of scratcher tickets with your card." They didn't believe it was really me.
Upon starting the app, I was confronted with a permissions badge. Being a fearless journalist willing to risk my personal safety for the benefit of a story, I tapped "Okay." I also gave them permission to access my current location. The Insane Clown Posse knows where I am right now.
Inside the main app, Violent J taunts us with the "loser" sign while Shaggy mimes bewilderment at an imaginary Chinese finger trap (it's possible that his bewilderment is sincere). After marveling at the impressive Juggalo Count and digging the streaming music from my tiny phone speakers, it was time to pick an activity. "Flavor" sounded a little too rich for my blood, so I elected to check out some photos.
Here we see a young Violent J and an attractive character named Moon Glorious. It's a fine gallery, with plenty of behind-the-scenes shots and candid clown stills. Maybe not worth $1.99 alone, but it's undoubtedly one of the most convenient ways to look at a whole bunch of Insane Clown Posse images while sitting on the toilet.
Deeper in the app, we find some interesting social features. "Chat & Find" combines a Juggalo guestbook (mostly filled with whoop whoops) with Grindr-like Juggalo locator functionality. You can't use it unless you register with the app, so I went ahead.
Luckily, I didn't have to labor too hard to come up with a Juggalo nickname, since the standard username I use everywhere on the Internet seemed appropriate enough. Note: Insane Clown Posse now knows my e-mail address, too.
Damn! Some kind of error prevented me from logging in; I definitely had a working Internet connection, so I don't know what the dang deal is with this nonsense. After restarting the app a few times, I had to give up, forever denied the fun of using the ICP app for its primary attraction: bird-dogging for local Juggalette action (if any Bay Area 'lettes are in need of some mad clown love, throw a couple whoops my way and we'll get this dark carnival started).
The rest of the app is pretty straightforward: The "music" and "video" portions may as well just be links to their iTunes and YouTube accounts, and the "events" feature comes up blank. Interacting with the Juggalo community is the main draw of this thing, and that seems to be broken; I even tried it on an iPad, and it threw me the same error.
Alas, despite some promising features, I cannot highly recommend spending $1.99 on the official ICP app. If you're willing to risk it, maybe you'll have better luck than I did. MMFCL either way, my ninjas.
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