Insane Clown Posse deals another Joker's Card
When Insane Clown Posse delivered its first Joker's Card in the form of 1992's "Carnival of Carnage" album, the message was clear: The Dark Carnival mythology would consume Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope's lives.
As described in media materials, the Dark Carnival is a "metaphoric limbo in which the lives of the dead are judged by one of several entities." Selected albums are dubbed "Joker's Cards" and they are designed to change the evil ways of listeners before the world implodes.
"I've been saying this lately because I want people to understand this: Everything we do,Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope -- the gathering, JCW (Juggalo Championship Wrestling), anything we do, the movies, the videos, especially, the pictures -- anything we do is our attempt to put a face or an image to the magic that is the Joker's Cards," Violent J said during a recent interview with SoundSpike.
"We don't always do it. But it all began with the Joker's Cards. It began with the first Joker's Card, 'Carnival of Carnage.' That was the magic that got all the attention in the beginning. That's the only thing we feel we should be judged upon is those Joker's Cards."
Fans and critics alike will have a new way in which to judge ICP, "The Mighty Death Pop!" its latest collection, which is set for release on Aug. 14.
"Our truest fans, I think, they should judge us on 'The Mighty Death Pop,'" he said.
"They should judge whether or not that sucks, not whether or not our video is dope or whether or not me and Shaggy did a good show, or whether or not we stage dived, or whether or not our movie sucks. We're human beings and we're going to fuck up. We're going to make mistakes and we're going to get the wrong idea and we're going to do stupid shit."
The magic, Violent J said, is in the Joker Card albums that ICP creates.
"The music will never let you down," he said. "We put everything we have into those Joker Cards. Every bit of our heart and soul and creative energies go into those Joker Cards. That I feel will never let you down. Even if me and Joey were on TV every fucking day and you grow to hate us, and you think, 'Why do I have these idiots tatted on my back?' It's not me and Joey that are on your back. It's Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of the Dark Carnival that's on your back. It's what you see in your own head when you hear that music. It's those images being explained. In other words, we'll never sell out and change the method of the Dark Carnival's albums. We'll never sell out and change what goes into making the Joker Cards. It's the only thing you can rely on forever. You can always count on us to do it right."
Violent J said "The Mighty Death Pop" is no different. It features 17 new tracks created with longtime ICP producer Mike E. Clark. Three years in the making, "The Mighty Death Pop" includes collaborations with the Geto Boys and Ice Cube.
"To do a song with all three of the original Geto Boys and to do a song with Ice Cube on the same album, for us it can't get no better," Violent J said.
"That's the epitome of our heroes. I never thought it would be possible to get either one of them."
He thought Ice Cube would hate ICP. He said he believed it would be impossible to get all three of the original Geto Boys.
"Somehow the planets aligned and we got them both," he said. "They did it for free out of respect and love. Out of respect? That's just hard for me to even comprehend. I can't even sleep at night when I think about that. It's so flattering it's hard to even accept. It's just stunning. Just sitting there talking to Ice Cube is just unreal. It' so unreal for me. Since I was a kid, since I discovered rap, Ice Cube has been the pinnacle of awesomeness for me."
The new album will be released just after ICP's annual outing, The Gathering of the Juggalos. Th e13th annual event is being held today (8/8) through Aug. 12 at Cave-In-Rock, IL, at The Hatchet Landings (AKA Hog Rock). Curated by Insane Clown Posse and Psychopathic Records, this year's Gathering will feature performances by ICP, Twiztid, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, ABK, Boondox, Mike E. Clark, Static-X, Soulfly and others.
"We definitely went for more rock," Violent J said. "That was one of our goals. There's no way to really pinpoint what a Juggalo is gonna want to hear because they're all so different from each other. They don't all come from a metal background, listening to metal or all listening to rap or even listening to rock. I think the festival was a little too much mostly rap. We decided to mix it up and make it half-rap half-rock. It seems like it's a good move because people seem to be really be reacting to this saying how great it is. So we're happy as hell."