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There was a nasty stigma attached to ICP along with their Juggalo fan base. Whether you know our music or not, you've heard of ICP, whether it's good or bad.Then as time when on, the hatred was replaced with a sense of reverence and the industry finally got over themselves and treated ICP like a regular musical entity. "I think because we've been in the game for so long, it's undeniable. The other thing is a lot of people that may have used to listen to our music are now grown, in their 30s, early 40s, and they're in positions where they can do stuff for whatever company they work for.To wax poetic about such a weird subject like the Insane Clown Posse is easy for someone who became a fan of the Detroit rap group during my formative teenage years in the 1990s.For someone that at a young age paid immense attention to what was going on in pop culture, but feeling like it all seemed a million miles away, finding a connection with what ICP was doing was exciting for a kid and that was their winning ticket, even to this day with their new album .Whether it was flyers for upcoming shows or just the tapes and CDs themselves, they just popped on the shelves; you couldn't help but be curious. Going to put it in the stores and all that, it was phenomenal. Every step of the process was also new and fresh, it was all exciting." Without even really knowing, even as just a fan, you always felt like their was a bit of a competition between ICP, Kid Rock, and Esham, and I'm not sure if they would all fess up to it; but they were all at least conscious of what each other were doing. This is the time when those rap dreams would morph into another sort of monster; one in which a legion of fans that would call themselves "Juggalos" would be birthed from.It was an exciting time for ICP group members Joseph Bruce (Violent J) and Joey Utsler (Shaggy 2 Dope). ICP even had Kid Rock and Esham on their 1992 debut album on Psychopathic Records and the first Joker's Card, out, and this was unheard of to any local bands back in the day, was that we ordered 10,000 CDs and they just went," explains Utsler. "We realized we had to start doing everything for ourselves," says Utsler.Then next was the big controversy with their 1997 Hollywood Records released album and the fourth Joker's Card, , when it got pulled off the shelves on its release date by their parent company Disney out of heat they were receiving by the Southern Baptists about various things Disney was involved in. It's been like that since we started." Through all of the deathblows that ICP were able to recover from in their career, they made it out and the Juggalos were there along with them.Island Records ended up grabbing up ICP and re-released double album in 2000, the eventual merger of Island with Def Jam would pretty much cut the wicked clowns off at the knees and they no longer were any sort of a priority. They burned a lot of bridges in the music industry because in their words, "they didn't want to suck the corporate dick." They are independent to the fullest and it's not just a business to them.
(Sharon)Contestant #1, I believe first impressions last forever, So let's say you were to come over to my parents' house And have dinner with me and my family.
The rise of ICP was something organically achieved.
Going around town to the record stores, you slowly started seeing their products displayed in a different manner than their Detroit counterparts. The day the record came out, the excitement behind it. When that record came out, we knew we were a name, but we didn't know how much until we put out." Joe and Joey knew that the fantastical notion of getting a record deal wasn't in the cards for them necessarily; that they had to take the bull by the horns and make their dreams happen by their damn selves.
Their story in regards to their time on major labels is that of a resiliency and to some degree pure luck. At any point, whether it was the controversy with Disney or the merger of Island Def Jam, there was a real fear within the group that this is it, that their careers are over, and that they are going to be shelved with no way out of it. If we were not doing this, we wouldn't know what the fuck to do? By the grace of fuckin' I don't know who, we always find a way out of it. Like hundreds of thousands of dollars that could be just in our pockets if we didn't do that, but we have such a good close connection with our fans, we owe them." During a lengthy period of ICP's career, they were deemed the most hated band in the world.
"Man, its the scariest thing ever," explains Utsler. It was pretty much a big "fuck you" to them and everybody associated with them.