You’re probably asking yourself, what the hell is “L.A.’s music source for the true music snob” doing at an Insane Clown Posse show? If you’re a regular on Grimy Goods, you probably know we like to do things not always of the norm, sometimes against the grain and of course discover music’s best and music’s most unusual—whether provocative like We Are The World or moronically cultish such as with Insane Clown Posse—it intrigues us all, but it doesn’t mean we dig it. It’s kind of like a bad accident on the 405 during rush hour, you know you shouldn’t rubberneck it and take a peek—but you do it anyways.
Insane Clown Posse, the Detroit clowns hip hop (and I use hip hop very loosely) have always grabbed our attention, and unfortunately not in the best of ways. We’ve always thought of their music as far from “real” hip hop and more of a stage show with their nefarious carnival clown faces, faygo showers and wild crowds. Even more so, we’ve always been truly dumbfounded by their trashy cult following. But hey, emo music had a weird following of depressed goths, and some say indie music has a lame following (hipsters). Then you have all them festival hippies (Burners) with their techno-Burning man beats. So can we really hate on Insane Clown Posse and their clan of Juggalos and Juggalettes? Well, yes and no …
Insane Clown Posse has always grabbed the curiosity of the “cool kid.” In 2007, Vice magazine went undercover at The Gathering of the Juggalos and in 2011, the infamous indie rocker, Jack White collaborated with Insane Clown Posse—for reals. We here at Grimy Goods decided to hit up the Grove of Anaheim this past Friday, Oct. 7 and check out what an ICP show is all about.
Walking into the venue was just as we expected: a bunch of white kids that look like their from Middle America—some with clown paint across their faces, some not-so-classy chicks in their bras and a bunch of ghetto lookin’ kids in saggy pants, baseball caps and of course plenty of Psychopathic Records attire.
This was by far, the weirdest experience I have ever had at a hip hop show. Don’t get me wrong, ICP really put on quite the high energy performance for their fans. They definitely went all out and no one can deny their showmanship. Nor can anyone deny how devoted their fans are to the Posse.
It isn’t abnormal for fans to dress up in weird costumes and face paint. Take for example, Raiders fans. However, when I think of musicians who dress up for their own shows I think of KISS and Gwar, but who in hip hop wears costumes? The closest thing I could think of was Humpty, yeah Humpty pronounced with an “umpty.” But you don’t go to a Humpty show and every single person in the crowd has that same fake nose. Where can someone even get one of those? Was it custom made? Okay, so a fake nose isn’t quite the same as wearing clown make-up. But it wasn’t even the clown make-up and chants of “whoop whoop” or “family” that made this a weird hip hop experience. I really felt out of place and definitely stuck out like the sorest thumb in the building. I was the one getting the weird looks! Wow, imagine that.
Let’s reverse the roles for a second. Imagine being the only Juggalo or a Juggalette in full gear at a Wu-Tang or Nas concert. Awkward! Plus, how often do you go to a hip hop event where Afro-Americans are the minority? I honestly didn’t think I would even see any but … SURPRISE! I saw about five and only one or two with the clown make-up which makes me wonder how loyal of fans the other three really were. So you know how rappers talk about poppin’ bottles of Mo’ or Cristal? Well the Insane Clown Posse pop liters and liters of soda called Faygo—seriously. From the overwhelming smell of it, I assumed that it was root beer, but I could be wrong. They had what seemed like hundreds of two-liter bottles that they would shake up and spray the crowd with and then just toss the whole bottle into the crowd for souvenirs. And when the Faygo began to run low, clowns would come out and restock the tables with more two-liter bottles. They must go through 15 gallons of that stuff in one night and the fans go ape-shit over it! Personally, I would have been pissed to drive home all sticky and nasty from all that Faygo. I am so glad I wasn’t close enough to get sprayed. I saw one girl who looked like she was about to see Gallagher smash some watermelons. She had the full-on see-through plastic rain coat and everything. She must have been to plenty of ICP concerts to be that well prepared. As for me, that was definitely the last ICP show I will ever be attending. It was actually fun and amusing, but it just wasn’t my cup of hip hop tea.
When it comes down to it—to each their own. The majority of our readers may hate on the Posse and their clown following of degenerates, but I’m sure they also hate on you—and your not-so original mirror images of each other (especially you hipsters). We may not understand their music or their shows, but it makes their mass amount of fans super stoked and has caught the attention of millions worldwide—so with that I can honestly say they do a great job of doing what they do.
Words: Ryan Miller
Photography: Matt Fisher