Sorry, Juggalos: According to a federal judge, the cops can still classify you as a gang.
The Associated Press released a story today confirming that Detroit federal Judge Robert Cleland tossed Insane Clown Posse‘s lawsuit against the FBI in which they sought to nullify a 2011 report listing ICP fans as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.” According to the AP, Judge Cleland deemed that the report can’t be retracted because “the government isn’t responsible for acts by local police agencies that use the 2011 report.” Which presumably means that ICP’s only move now would be to literally sue every state and local police department in the country that has any history of targeting Juggalos. Which is probably, unfortunately, most of them.
In response to the judge’s decision, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope issued the following statement via their Facebook page:
Juggalos, our legal team and our partners at the ACLU of Michigan are appealing this completely wack decision to dismiss our case. THIS IS NOT OVER! AT ALL! Rest assured that we’re still fighting for YOU and our entire Juggalo family. Read this press release from the ACLU and you’ll see that we still have a very strong case … and we ain’t stoppin’ SHIT! STAY STRONG, FAMILY! We ain’t goin’ down! WHOOP WHOOP!
The ACLU press release they reference is way less fun to quote, but says, in effect, that they’ll appeal the judge’s dismissal of the case.
As we’ve said before and will say again: Regardless of your personal feelings about Juggalos, this is clearly an important case for civil liberties and First Amendment rights. By claiming that the criminal actions of a few Juggalos make the entire fan base guilty by association, the FBI opened the door for any law enforcement agency to arbitrarily classify any social group as a criminal gang based on the actions of just a few of its members. It’s not a great leap to imagine that if this case goes unresolved, some dipshit state or local police department could cite it as precedent for targeting ravers next. Or metalheads. Or freakin’ Bronies. It’s just a slippery slope into Crazytown to assume that a tattoo of your favorite band’s logo is the equivalent of, say, an Aryan Brotherhood swastika.
So stay strong, Juggalos! Justice is on your side.
Let’s roll a fatty and watch Insane Clown Posse’s infomercial for the 2014 Gathering of the Juggalos
How have we not reported anything yet about the 2014 edition of Insane Clown Posse‘s annual Gathering of the Juggalos? What the fuck is wrong with us? You’d think we’ve been high for the last six months or something. Oh, wait…
Anyway, the 15th annual GOTJ has a brand-new location this year: the awesomely named Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. Tickets are still on sale and it all goes down July 23-27, so you people still have a month to buy us a pair. C’mon, please? After all we’ve done for you? Fine, we’ll just follow the whole thing on Twitter again.
I could bore you all with a bunch of words about how it’s gonna be interesting as fuck, what with all the awesome rappers and bands playing and all the hot Juggalettes who might sit on your head if you pass out. But reading? Fuck that. Let’s watch a 23-minute infomercial instead.
I don’t know about, but I need to relax after all that excitement. So let’s play this post out with a soothing death ballad from Psychopathic Records artist and GOTJ performer Boondox. Pour one out!
From the We Couldn’t Make This Shit Up If We Tried Dept.: Remember how, way back in 2012, we told you that Insane Clown Posse were thinking about suing the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department over classifying the rap duo’s fans, the Juggalos, as a criminal street gang? Well, it took ’em awhile, but damn if Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope ain’t gone ahead and done it. Federal government, you’re about to get sprayed in the face with the sweet, sweet Faygo of justice, bitch!
All kidding aside, this is actually a pretty serious case. Whatever you may think of ICP and their ridiculous clown makeup and ultra-violent lyrics, trying to characterize their entire fan base as a “loosely organized hybrid gang” sets a dangerous precedent for fans of any kind of underground or extreme music. Can you imagine if clubs started enforcing a “no horns” policy at metal shows, because throwing horns was classified as a gang sign? Or if you got fired from your job because you came in sporting one of those gang-affiliated DEVO tattoos?
Those hypotheticals, according to the lawsuit, are already becoming reality for some Juggalos. One of the plaintiffs in the case says he wasn’t allowed to enlist in the Army because of his Juggalo tattoos; another is already serving in the military and says he is “in imminent danger of suffering discipline or an involuntary discharge” because of his tatts. Others claim they’ve been stopped and harrassed by police for having ICP bumper stickers or clothing. Violent J and Shaggy themselves claim that the gang label has cut their merch sales in half and made it harder for them to book shows.
Have Juggalos committed violent crimes? Sure. Did they commit them because of their Juggalo affiliation or ICP’s music? Maybe in some cases, but the feds have yet to prove anything of the sort. In 2012, ICP filed a complaint in response to the FBI’s gang classification, seeking more information on how Juggalos got labeled a gang. In response, the feds basically just sent them a stack of newspaper articles documenting ICP fans getting arrested for various offenses. Based on that kind of rock-solid police work, you could classify all dudes with mustaches as criminals. Or all hoodie wearers. Or all black people. Come to think of it, those last two examples are kind of true already.
You might think a couple of horrorcore rappers in clown paint have zero chance against Uncle Sam, but odds are this case will get a full hearing. ICP have enlisted the American Civil Liberties Union to file the suit on their behalf. “It is a quintessential civil liberties case challenging government abuse,” the legal director of ACLU Michigan told the Associated Press. Two whoops for civil liberties!
More on this story as it develops.
Hey, we get it: Insane Clown Posse aren’t for everyone. Even on this blog, where we frequently praise the Faygo-spewing horrorcore duo in a mostly unironic way, we’ve called them out for being misogynistic morons on at least one occasion. But the worst rappers of all time? Please. They aren’t even the worst rappers from Detroit.
Nevertheless, GQ magazine (that great arbiter of all things hip-hop) and writer Rob Tannenbaum (who co-authored an awesome book called I Want My MTV and whose work we normally admire) saw fit to put ICP at the top of their “definitive list” of “The 25 Worst Rappers of All Time.” Now I probably shouldn’t be casting stones here; Jake and I are both struggling music writers and have put our names to various listicles of which we’re not especially proud. That being said, this GQ list is so far beneath the talents of Mr. Tannenbaum that we’re actually a little concerned for his spiritual well-being. Never mind putting ICP at number one; when you have to pad such a list with the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Tom Green and Brian fucking Wilson (?!?!), now you’re just dicking around.
Recording artists are supposed to just laugh off this sort of nonsense—especially routinely hated-on acts like ICP, who are pretty much the Nickelback of hip-hop. But they’re not taking this one lying down. “GQ magazine should stick to what they know,” Violent J recently told TMZ. “Dressing preppy metrosexuals.” Oh, snap! How’s that feel, GQ? You just got made lunchmeat in an ICP/TMZ smackdown sandwich.
Ultimately, this little brouhaha was probably best summed up by a fan on ICP’s Facebook page: “I would be offended as a JuGGaLo, if ICP was ranked anything but worst rap group ever by a preppy dude fashion magazine.” Well said, JuGGaLo. Well said.
In other ICP news: Their new show Insane Clown Posse Theater debuts Wednesday, July 24th on Fuse TV. Hardest-workin’ hip-hop clowns in show biz, people! I’ll make Jake post a review/recap just as soon as I can pry the bong from his Cheeto-stained fingers.
There are few things in this world more satisfying than drawing a Sharpie dick on your friend’s face after he’s conked out from one too many Jägerbombs. But among those few things is a shapely female ass in a thong. So you can imagine my delight when I recently discovered the miracle combination of these two beautiful things that is Passed Out Juggalos.
Passed Out Juggalos is a Facebook page started by a bunch of chicks who go to Gathering of the Juggalos and other events where the eyebrow-pierced fans of Insane Clown Posse congregate, find the dudes who are passed out (trust me, it’s not very hard), and take pictures of themselves shoving their scantily clad asses and boobs in said passed out dudes’ faces. It’s like some kind of crazy, genius cross between teabagging, a strip club lap dance and a Take Back the Night march. Okay, that last part might be a stretch, but you have to admit, there’s a turn-the-tables layer of female empowerment to all this. You could almost call it girl-on-guy sexual harrassment…except that for 99.9% of these guys, unless there’s a huge gay Juggalo contingent we’re unaware of, this is a fucking dream come true. Or it would’ve been if only they’d been awake for it.
Like all true geniuses, the women behind Passed Out Juggalos are misunderstood. Scattered amidst the “Fuck yeah!” and “I wanna pass out when you’re around” comments on their Facebook page is a fairly steady stream of “You’re all dumb sluts” and “Why are you doing this?” POJ girl Neveah answers that last one pretty well in this Q&A she and two other POJ girls did with Vice.com: “It’s hella funny, because you see people hella passed out in these crazy positions that look so uncomfortable. What could be better than putting your ass right in their faces?” Neveah, we hella agree with you 1,000%.
On a related note: Tickets are on sale now for the next Gathering of the Juggalos, happening Aug. 7-11 in Cave-in-Rock, Illinois. Gentlemen, start practicing your uncomfortable-looking fake-passed-out poses now.
It’s another first here at TWBITW—our first-ever guest post. The author is Rebecca Metz, creator of Vagina News, a blog that discusses women’s issues and vaginas in the news. (How often are vaginas in the news? More often that you might realize, especially because when they are, everyone tends to scrupulously avoid saying the word “vagina.”) She also happens to be my wife, so y’all be nice to her, K?
Rebecca has a keen eye for misogynistic horseshit, so we decided to ask for her insights into the latest video from Insane Clown Posse, “Hate Her to Death.” But first, let’s watch and judge for ourselves, shall we?
Now, let’s get Rebecca’s take:
I didn’t know a lot about Insane Clown Posse. I knew they were bald guys in clown makeup who didn’t understand how magnets worked. I knew their fans were called Juggalos, and Juggalos sometimes look like Goths, but they’re not the same thing, because I once saw a guy ask a couple of Goths if they were Juggalos, and the Goths had never heard of Juggalos. And that’s what I knew about Insane Clown Posse.
Then I watched the video for “Hate Her to Death.”
So there’s this cheerleader the Insane Clown Posse guys like. A lot. She’s funny and caring and pretty and bendy and they like to draw pictures of her radiating a Jesus-like aura. (In the video, ICP are represented by a sad loner. We know he’s a sad loner because he’s wearing the sad loner uniform—a black hoodie—and he’s an artist, the official hobby of sad loners. Sad loners are all one pretty cheerleader away from the next great graphic novel.)
Anyway, the problem is that she “don’t belong to” our clowny heroes. She may or may not belong to one of several hipster bullies—but she definitely KNOWS them, because they show her the cheerleader-as-Jesus drawing. But instead of leaping into the sad loner’s arms upon seeing herself as Jesus, she goes to the gym and stretches, because she’s dumb or selfish or something.
And while the sad loner could just tell her he thinks she’s incredible/unforgettable/breathtaking/earthshaking and see what happens, come ON. She should KNOW that from the picture, right? What does he have to do, come out and say his feelings in WORDS? LAME.
So since he’s being bullied by hipsters and the cheerleader doesn’t love him (which is stupid of her, everyone knows sad loners make the best boyfriends) and he doesn’t seem to have friends or parents or a therapist to talk to, the cheerleader clearly has to die. It’s so sad. For him.
Well, first she has to watch her bully-hipster-maybe-boyfriend die, because that kind of thing makes cheerleaders feel terrible, and eliciting terrible feelings is Step One in Hating Someone to Death. But ICP are super sensitive to concerns about school violence, so they avoid the sorts of weapons people are always freaking out about, and kill the hipster by first choking him with a magic spell and then stabbing him with a pen. Everybody loves magic and pens!
ICP also understand that, while the cheerleader totally deserves to be the object of the sad loner’s rage because she’s happy and he’s not, killing pretty girls is among people’s least favorite kinds of killing, so you have to be real subtle about it. What to do, what to do… AHA! Crumple up the cheerleader-as-Jesus picture in an act of murder-foreshadowing! (They make sure to say “I fucking hate her to death” a bunch of times at the end so we’ll know what the crumpled picture means. It’s like poetry. Video poetry. Voetry.)
Thanks to “Hate Her to Death”, I know a lot more about Insane Clown Posse. I know they lack basic communication skills, don’t know how to process unpleasant emotions, and support violence against women as a means of expressing anger—but in an über-creative way that makes it awesome instead of representative of a serious cultural problem. I know they like to hang out in badly-lit libraries. And… that’s it. Am I a Juggalo now?
Washington and Lincoln are cool and all, but they’ve also been dead for like a hundred years. And why celebrate a bunch of dead white dudes when you can celebrate the living, breathing people who put on clown makeup and crank horrorcore hip-hop with hidden Christian messages?
Yes, Sunday, Feb. 17th is the 2nd Annual Juggalo Day, a holiday to celebrate the awesomeness that is Insane Clown Posse‘s batshit fan base. Technically, Presidents’ Day is the next day, but after partying like a Juggalo, you’re gonna sleep through that shit like someone put Roofies in your Faygo.
According to ICP’s newsletter, the Hatchet Herald, ICP themselves are gonna celebrate Juggalo Day by performing their classic 1995 album Riddle Box in its entirety at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit. If you can’t get to Detroit, we recommend celebrating Juggalo Day with a few bong rips and blasting Riddle Box loud enough to get evicted. If you do get kicked out, you can always blame it on the FBI.
In other ICP news, the 2013 Gathering of the Juggalos has been confirmed for Aug. 7-11 (numbers dear to every Juggalo’s heart) in Cave-in-Rock, Illinois. Maybe Andy and I will finally go this year, but probably not. We’re old.
Let’s play this post out with one of the most popular tracks from Riddle Box, “Chicken Huntin’.” We hear Abe Lincoln knew what to do with a drunken hillbilly, too.
Insane Clown Posse’s last video “Chris Benoit” was thought-provoking and all, but you know what it was really missing? Zombies. Also, chainsaws. Both of those issues are solved in their latest clip, “Night of the Chainsaw,” which stars a sharp-toothed power tool named Chuck and a dude who swallows a golden pill that apparently makes you hallucinate the Zombie Apocalypse. What ever happened to good old-fashioned meth, am I right? (But seriously, kids…drugs are bad, stay in school, etc., etc.)
Most of the other news coming out of ICP Land these days is of the Man-Keepin-Us-Down variety: They had to move their annual Hallowicked show at the last minute after local police pressured the original venue into cancelling it, and Juggalos are still being targeted by cops and FBI as gang members. “Weekly meetings for the group are held at Zilker Park,” reports MyFOXAustin.com…cuz, y’know, if there’s one thing criminal street gangs love, it’s regularly scheduled meetups in public parks.
Anyhoo, here’s “Night of the Chainsaw.” The last time we saw that much green goo, it was shooting out of Oderus Urungus’ giant cock.
Yeah, we missed Gathering of the Juggalos again. Also, Insane Clown Posse is suing the FBI. Wait, what?
It’s true: Another year has passed and Andy and I have once again failed to cross “Fuck shit up at the Gathering of the Juggalos” off our bucket list. So we can’t bring you any first-hand accounts of the 13th installment of GOTJ…although let’s face it, even if we had gone, we probably would have fried too many brain cells to tell you what actually happened. We’re not so good with the whole “maintain journalistic objectivity” thing. It’s not really how we roll.
But here’s what we can tell you, thanks to the awesome live-vicariously-through-others engine that is the Internet: ICP’s set “dazzled fans“…or at least doused them with the expected large quantities of Faygo. People got arrested. Some jackass got his car destroyed when he was caught stealing shit from people’s tents. (Seriously, people, do not fuck with the Juggalos.) Oh, and ICP announced that they’re going to sue the FBI for classifying Juggalos as a “criminal gang.” Wait, what?
I know both of those last two things sound completely insane, but both are completely true: The FBI really has classified Juggalos as a gang, and Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope really did announce at GOTJ that they are…well, not suing the FBI just yet, but seriously looking into it, arguing that their fans are being wrongfully charged as gang members and excessively punished for everything from minor drug possession to parole violations. And you know what? We’d say they have a pretty good fucking point.
For more on how ICP are gonna start Sticking It to The Man, go to JuggalosFightBack.com. And all bullshit aside…more power to ’em. Because if wearing clown paint and listening to rap music and saying “Whoop! Whoop!” a lot is enough to get you classified as a gang member in America these days…well, then we really have lost our collective shit.