Insane Clown Posse hosts the Fuse series "Insane Clown Posse Theater."

Insane Clown Posse, a hip hop band made up of members Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, are true underground icons whose most recent album, "The Mighty Death Pop!" debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 and to great critical acclaim.

When Insane Clown Posse emerged from the darkness surrounding Detroit's underground music scene in the early 1990s, the world had yet to imagine the impact that the face painted duo's hardcore, hip-hop style would bear on mainstream music. Over the course of several Gold and Platinum albums, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have shared their Dark Carnival mythology with the world, through their lyrics which range from the philosophic to the humorous and through their over-the-top live performances (the Clowns' most infamous concert tradition: Dousing the crowd with hundreds of gallons of Faygo soda). The duo's millions of fans — known as "Juggalos" — have become one of the most studied and talked-about musical subcultures of all time. Additionally, Insane Clown Posse's annual Gathering of the Juggalos has grown to become one of America's most eclectic and celebrated summer music festivals. Today Insane Clown Posse are considered true underground icons due to their ongoing worldwide success. Thanks to their albums, compilations, music videos, professional wrestling promotion (Juggalo Championship Wrestling), films, outrageous events, and unprecedented merchandise success, Insane Clown Posse has smashed through the ceiling of the music industry's expectations to create a bona fide entertainment empire that shows no signs of stopping.

To call Insane Clown Posse's beginnings "humble" is an understatement. The seeds to what would become a worldwide entertainment phenomenon were planted in 1989 in Detroit when two hip-hop loving young men Violent J (aka Joseph Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (aka Joey Utsler) decided to channel their love of rap and hip-hop into their own music. After asking local record store owner Alex Abbiss to act as their manager, the trio formed Psychopathic Records and soon released a self-produced EP called "Dog Beats" that was credited to Inner City Posse, the name of J and Shaggy's street crew. After the release of the album, Violent J and Shaggy began to develop their mastery of self promotion that would ultimately propel them to worldwide success. "Dog Beats" met with local success but ultimately the group realized that the album's rather typical gangsta rap theme was not setting them apart from any other rap group.

After being inspired by a dream Violent J had about a sinister carnival that carried a message warning humanity about the dangers of living immoral lives, the group completely changed its approach and thus was born the Insane Clown Posse.

Now that their new band identity was complete, the Insane Clown Posse began working on its first deck of Joker's Cards — six full-length albums designed to keep the listener entertained but also to tell stories about the Dark Carnival mythology. The first of the series, "Carnival of Carnage" was released in October 1992. Now considered a true classic of underground hip-hop, this album marked ICP's first collaboration with their longtime producer Mike E. Clark. In addition to Mike E. Clark's impressive production talents, the album also features appearances from hip-hop icons Esham and Kid Rock, both of whom appear on the album long before their eventual nationwide success. "Carnival of Carnage" was released and marketed within a 120-mile distribution radius in Detroit and positive word-of-mouth about the album begin spreading throughout the upper Midwest. Before long, a strong, fiercely devoted underground fanbase began to emerge in support of the group. It was during a live performance of the song "The Juggla" that Violent J referred to the crowd as Juggalos and the name for their legions of dedicated followers was born.

March 8, 1994 marked the release of the second Joker's Card, "Ringmaster," which has been certified Gold from the Recording Industry Association of America. Due to the swelling population of Juggalos, the demand for the Insane Clown Posse was increasing and with that leverage, the group was soon regularly selling out larger venues in Detroit. It was also during the "Ringmaster" era that another longstanding Insane Clown Posse tradition was born — the dousing of their concert crowds with gallons of Faygo brand soft drinks. Since the group regularly referred to Faygo in their songs, they felt it only made sense to have some on stage with them when they performed. During one now-notorious show, a few members of the crowd began giving the Clowns the finger and Violent J retaliated by firing a two liter off into the crowd. Soon the entire venue erupted in a Faygo throwing frenzy, and today this continues to occur at every ICP concert. The "Ringmaster" era also begat another beloved ICP tradition when Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope staged a concert on Halloween night called "Hallowicked." Since then, Hallowicked has gone down in Detroit every single year and has even traveled about the country to satisfy the demand of Juggalos nationwide.

In 1995, ICP released the third Joker's Card, "The Riddle Box," which remains one of their most beloved releases. Featuring such Juggalo classics as "Chicken Huntin'," "Headless Boogie," "Lil' Somethin' Somethin'" and more, "The Riddle Box" continued ICP's steady ascent to success. By this time, ICP had enough underground buzz about them that Jive Records paid attention to the band and signed them to the sub-label Battery Records. However, the album was ill-promoted by the label, forcing the band to continue their grassroots marketing and promotional efforts. Despite lack of support, ICP's promotional efforts were successful and "The Riddle Box" ended up selling an average of 1,500 copies per week.

The duo's relationship with Jive Records quickly soured and when the time came to release the fourth Joker's Card "The Great Milenko" in 1997, ICP had signed with the Disney-owned Hollywood Records. However, during the recording process, Disney executives demanded changes to many of the lyrics on the album, calling them "objectionable." Insane Clown Posse removed or altered the offending tracks, but on the day the album was released, Disney suddenly pulled the album from store shelves nationwide. This act of censorship quickly thrust ICP into the international media spotlight and after some contractual wrangling, ICP was let go from Hollywood Records and quickly signed with Island Records, which re-released the original version of "The Great Milenko." The re-release of the "The Great Milenko" went on to sell more than 1.7 million copies earning it a Platinum certification from the RIAA.

Fresh from their Platinum success, ICP released the mighty fifth Joker's Card "The Amazing Jeckel Brothers" in 1999. The album opened at the #4 spot on the Billboard Top 10 chart and soon earned the Clowns their second Platinum disc. Featuring appearances from hip-hop royalty like Snoop Dogg and Ol' Dirty Bastard, "The Amazing Jeckel Brothers" marked a high point for ICP's national popularity. They were invited to perform at Woodstock '99 and in 2000 held their very first Gathering of the Juggalos in Novi, Michigan, which has become an annual pilgrimage for thousands of Juggalos from all over the world every summer.

The sixth Joker's Card — which marked the final entry in the First Deck — was divided into two parts. The first album, "The Wraith: Shangri-La," was perhaps the most anticipated album of ICP's career, since it served as the grand finale to their first Joker's Card series, which had spanned 10 full years. "The Wraith" was heavily studied and analyzed by Juggalos, particularly since the final track on the album "Thy Unveiling" revealed that the Dark Carnival was in fact a metaphor for God. This marked the first time ICP had dealt so explicitly and directly with spiritual themes. A year later, the second half of the sixth Joker's Card, "Hell's Pit" was released. In contrast to the salvation hinted at on "The Wraith," "Hell's Pit" showed Juggalos a dark alternative that could result if one lives an evil life.

Following the release of a non-Joker's Card album ("The Tempest"), ICP made a triumphant return to the Dark Carnival mythology in 2009 with "Bang! Pow! Boom!," an album which began the second deck of six Joker's Cards. This album also saw the duo reunite with their longtime producer Mike E. Clark after a long hiatus. Opening at #1 on Billboard's Independent Albums chart, "Bang! Pow! Boom!" became a pop culture sensation thanks to the song "Miracles." The video to the song went viral and to date has amassed more than 12 million views on YouTube. The song was even lampooned on "Saturday Night Live" and brought the Clowns a whole new wave of fame and notoriety.

The most recent Joker's Card, "The Mighty Death Pop!" marks the most ambitious album ever recorded by the duo. Released in late summer 2012 after more than two years in the making, "Death Pop" was packaged in three separate versions, each one containing a special second full-length album. "Death Pop" once again catapulted ICP to the top rankings of the Billboard charts, opening at #4 on the Top 10 list. The album also garnered much critical acclaim, with many critics complimenting the duo on addressing issues such as the existence of God and social problems such as bullying and domestic violence. Currently ICP is in the midst of their national "Mighty Death Pop" tour, bringing these exciting new songs to Juggalos both new and old.





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