Insane Clown Posse Speak Out About Suing The FBI

13 August 2012 | 7:40 pm | Dan Condon

Juggalos ain’t nuthin’ to fuck with.

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Horrorcore superstars Insane Clown Posse have the kind of fan base that puts just about any other band to shame; it's not its size – which is not really all that big – which makes it so impressive, it's the blind passion and dedication that makes it so stunning. The most dedicated sect of ICP fans – Juggalos – don't consider themselves fans of a band or a style of music, they consider themselves a family. But this family is under fire in a big way in a number of US states, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) deeming the Juggalo group to be a gang.

There are a number of telltale extroverted behaviours that reveal someone to be a Juggalo or Juggalette (the female version), including clown like face paint, wearing clothing associated with Insane Clown Posse and the other bands on their Psycopathic Records label, the spraying of a cheap soft drink called Faygo as well as a number of hand signals and linguistic terms (the hollering of “woop woop” a particularly common one).

But the FBI believe there may be something a whole lot more sinister behind many Juggalo groups and in 2011 classified the Juggalo group as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” in its National Gang Threat Assessment. The assessment says that “Transient, criminal Juggalo groups pose a threat to communities due to the potential for violence, drug use/sales, and their general destructive and violent nature,” (page 21) though reports from the annual Gathering of the Juggalos, which was held over the weekend, seem to suggest that, despite the lyrical content of Juggalo music and the associated horror-styled imagery, violence isn't much a part of the Juggalo lifestyle.

At this year's aforementioned Gathering, which takes place every year and has done so since 2000, Insane Clown Posse's Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J took to the stage for their annual ICP seminar and announced to their Juggalo family that they would be taking the FBI to court, fighting against the gang status the Juggalos have been tarnished with.

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Watch the seminar here.

If you're unfamiliar with the Juggalo attitude, watch for when the announcement is made at around the 11.50 mark to see the Juggalo passion at its most intense.

In conversation with The Village Voice after making this announcement on Friday, the two members of the group mentioned that having their fans considered to be a gang was something that scared them, given that those known to be associating with gangs tend to receive harsher penalties if charged for any crime at all.

“The more I think about it, the bigger the rock in my stomach gets. and the more worried I get and the more fucking passionate about fucking doing something about it I get,” Violent J said. “It really is everything. It really can kill us. It really can. It's fucking terrifying,”

“You're trying to grow love in your country and shit. Then the head of your country--the FBI--just turns around and fucking kicks you in the nuts. How are you supposed to respond to that?” said Shaggy 2 Dope.

While the band members understand they aren't particularly well-liked by anyone outside of the Juggalo family, ICP hope that people will be able to give sympathy to their cause.

“In a perfect world, I hope that organizations will stand up and say, 'I hate ICP, I don't give a fuck about them or the Juggalos, but this is fucked up.' I hope that enough pressure goes on the FBI and enough bigwigs take our side in this and actually say, "Look, [it doesn't matter] who they are, it's still fucked up what's happening to them." And then we actually get taken off the list.

“Even if we lose, at least we said, 'Hey man, fuck you.' We can't say that we're just going to beat the FBI, but at least we're trying--and we're trying sincerely. We will spend everything we got.

“I don't want our legacy to be that five years from now, everybody accepts the word "gang" [as a classification of Juggalos]. That's where it's headed and it hasn't even been 12 months. If we don't do shit about it, five years now, Juggalos will not be known as this family of love who stands against fashion and culture and does its own thing--it will be known as a fucking gang! And all of our accomplishments will be shit.

“All of our company, and all of those [Psychopathic Records' employees] who put 20 years for us, helping us with our dream, and it became their dream? All of it is for shit. All of it is for shit in the end. [Pause] Just a gang. [Pause] Just a no-good street gang.”

The duo are also concerned about the way this is potentially going to impact their families.

“What if they have cameras on my kids going to school? How does that look? What if my kids get taken out of their class because of what I do?” 2 Dope said.

“I want to raise my son as a Juggalo,” Violent J said. “Even if he himself doesn't want to be a Juggalo, I want him to love and respect Juggalos. If he's going to college one day, somebody's like 'Fuck Juggalos' I want my son to be like, 'Fuck you.' Even if he's something else, I want him to be like, "Fuck you, I was raised by Juggalos." But now, all of that is in jeopardy. I don't want my son to be proud to be in a street gang when he's in college.

“And what if they fight back now and really apply the pressure? That's the most truest statement made up there. There's no telling how they're going to combat this because it's never fucking happened.”

The band have launched a website, Juggalos Fight Back, and will be reviewing cases of Juggalos and Juggalettes who have suffering “negative consequences” as a result of their being a part of this group for free.