Insane Clown Posse
You couldn't invent a better parody of the brain-dead, testosterone-crazed, wanna-be hip-hop buffoonery that has captured the video-damaged imaginations of the Musicland-shopping-mall suburban pubescentry circa the millennium. Which doesn't mean that the idiotic Insane Clown Posse isn't ripe for satirizing. New York writer Mike Rubin and Detroit comics artist Mark Dancey do a bang-up job of that in the newest issue of their fanzine, Motorbooty (www.motorbooty.com). Their two-part comic chronicle of the Faygo-spraying whitefaced ones' rise and the legions of their "Juggalo" fans is one of the most devastating pieces of criticism this decade, climaxing with the Clowns' real-life humiliation on The Howard Stern Show. (Rubin: "All this ridicule evidently ate away at Violent J's inner clown. At a St. Paul concert soon after, he suffered a panic attack onstage and cut off his dreadlocks, forcing ICP to cancel the rest of their tour.")
Yet the kids still keep buying. To hype the release of ICP's fifth album, The Amazing Jeckel Brothers, Island Records spent a fortune on a promotional tour that took the Clowns through the heartland, stopping in the parking lots of those aircraft hangar-sized record marts to set up a giant cardboard maze. Crowds of Juggalos wandered through this thing encountering fun-house chills round every corner...until they got to the middle and the most frightening sight of all -- the Clowns themselves. ("Argh! Noooo!")
What does any of this have to do with music? Not a goddamn thing. And that's exactly the point. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are weak, stilted rappers; their grooves and musical backings are as hokey and hollow as old tracks by the 2 Live Crew; and their whole Dark Carnival-evil clown shtick (amusing for about two minutes: 1991's Carnival of Carnage) has grown far beyond tired and stupid. Then, of course, there's the hateful lyrical crap of tunes such as "B*tches." A pathetic package, greasepaint and all. I will, however, give them this: They're a pubic hair more tolerable than Limp Bizkit, because they at least have the brains to admit they're a joke.
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