The lineup has just been announced for this year’s Gathering of the Juggalos. Oh you don’t know what that is? Well give yourself a pat on the back because that means you are a useful member of society. For those of you who don’t know because you have life goals and real jobs the Gathering of the Juggalos is an annual festival put together every year by Psychopathic Records, the label started by some guy and the Insane Clown Posse (Yes folks, this is an ICP post, but please bear with me). This event is noteworthy because thousands of people show up to it every year and the bands who participate very rarely have hit records. Most of them are a part of the “horrocore” genre of hip hop. If you aren’t familiar its like torture porn but in musical form. Most of them take after ICP and wear clown makeup while performing songs about stabbing people. Some people get really offended by these groups but I think they are hilarious.
Yesterday, I watched the promotional video for this year’s festival. Who would have known there were that many groups who wear the clown makeup? If you have 27 min to kill the video is great. I think they are trying to do a parody of those hilarious “Under-Underground Festival” skits on SNL. But those clips are a parody of the Gathering of the Juggalos festival so all they are really doing is parodying themselves. Wrap your brains around that one. Oh, and Vanilla Ice is there for some reason. You can see the video over at Consequence of Sound.
You might ask, “How does a festival draw huge crowds when it’s featured act gets no radio play, is part of an under-underground genre, and is absolutely ridiculous looking?” Well, I have a theory. I think that the Insane Clown Posse are actually comedic geniuses. Like, Andy Kaufman-esque geniuses. I think that Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are really just comedians playing an elaborate prank on their legion of unwashed fans.
Lets break it down. First, the name. Insane Clown Posse? Come on? Its so ridiculous and over the top that it can not possibly be meant to be taken seriously. It would fit perfectly beside other comedy rap/singing groups The Lonely Island or Flight of the Conchords.
They always wear their clown makeup. Always. Its brilliant satire. I think they are making fun of the furor over the public’s wanting to see KISS’ real faces in early 80’s. By insisting on always wearing the face paint, even though no one wants to see their real faces, they are mocking the public’s incessant need to know everything about an entertainer’s life.
Lastly, is the song “Miracles.” If you haven’t seen it yet you must take the time and watch it. Most of ICP’s songs are ridiculous but this one is the absolute best. It is done with such seriousness that it has to be a joke. When I heard it the first time I thought that it was going to be the end of the group. I thought that after hearing this song all their fans were going to understand what a huge joke they have been a part of because no human being with a fully formed brain would have recorded this song honestly. It must be satire on public education or about how ignorant most people are about the world around them or…or….something, because I refuse to believe that there are people out there that are this dumb. I need to believe that they are secretly geniuses playing on the willingness of stupid people to be led. If not I think my brain my melt inside my skull.
Below are some of my favorite lines from the song. Its so good.:
“Fuckin’ rainbows after it rains/There’s enough miracles to blow your brains.”
“Music is all magic/You can’t even hold it!”
“Water, fire, air, and dirt/Fuckin’ magnets, how do they work?”
(For a incredibly funny and more in depth breakdown of “Miracles” check out this article entitled “Learn Your Motherf#@kin’ Science.”)
I know it is hard to wrap your brain around but when you take a step back you will begin to see what I see. The Insane Clown Posse have created this huge underground community of fans that are fiercely loyal and unapologetically stupid, and they have done so without showing one ounce of musicianship or perceived intelligence. It takes a special kind of talent to play stupid convincingly. Just look at the careers of Zach Galifinakis and Will Ferrell. Two very intelligent, comedic actors who have made a living playing extraordinarily unintelligent characters. After their careers are all over, I have a feeling we will be putting the actors who play Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J into the same category.