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Insane Clown Posse Announce Plan To Sue The FBI For Classifying Juggalos As A Gang

By Samantha Abernethy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 13, 2012 5:30PM

Insane Clown Posse announced at the 13th annual "Gathering of the Juggalos" that they plan to sue the FBI for including ICP fans in their 2011 Gang Threat Assessment Report, saying Juggalos have been harassed by law enforcement officials.

The duo posed the question, what if Katy Perry fans were considered a gang? "Or like Lady Gaga's 'Little Monsters' are now a gang, it'd be like what the fuck?" said Shaggy 2 Dope.

"I promise you that fucking Conway Twitty's fucking fans, a great deal of them are probably pedophiles and racist and all type of shit, right?" said Violent J. "Out of the millions of people that buy Conway Twitty, I promise you there's all kinds of sick shit in there. But nobody is just saying, 'All Conway Twitty fans are pedophiles.' Just like I'm sure there are Juggalos in some cities that are in gangs, that's fine, I understand that, but you can't just say ALL Juggalos are a gang."

This is the first Gathering of the Juggalos since the FBI added the group to their gang threat assessment report. The authorities say some juggalos are engaging in some criminal activity, particularly in Utah, Arizona, California and Pennsylvania. The FBI defined the juggalos as an "ethnic-based and non-traditional gang." That puts them in the same category as the Aryan Brotherhood and the Latin Kings. As ICP's Violent J pointed out, according to the FBI, their concerts are now a gang rally.

That's probably why law enforcement is taking things pretty seriously. On Tuesday, as the juggalos filed into Cave-in-Rock, Illinois, police made at least 10 arrests, mostly involving possession of small quantities of drugs. That's before the festival even started. Oddly enough, the same thing doesn't happen at, say, Bonnaroo.

Many Juggalos have claimed they've been harassed by law enforcement for their connections to “The Family.” They've started a website called JuggalosFightBack to document incidents. Plus, this made ICP merchandise gang wear, and it was pulled from stores like Hot Topic. Plus, if someone shows up to their parole meeting wearing juggalo gear, they're technically in violation of their probation. Putting on a concert that's also a gang rally costs the group more to put on a concert, especially in terms of insurance.

Of course there's a First Amendment element to the argument, too. They say the FBI's move can destroy their legacy. "It's a sure way to take your beautiful painting and piss all over it. And it sucks," said Violent J. They're hoping other groups and musicians join their effort, regardless of their taste in music, to say, "this is fucked up."

"Even if we lose, at least we said, 'Hey man, fuck you,'" Violent J told the Village Voice. "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."

Now keep in mind, ICP has been around since 1989. Violent J told Vice Magazine, "Consider a Juggalo that, 15 years ago, got a hatchet man tattoo or something. Now they've got a family, they're working in real estate or something, and they're driving home and get a speeding ticket. Next thing you know, he's in the gang file, and that will be taken into consideration in any trial. Suddenly, it ain't just somebody who fucked up, it's a gang member that fucked up, and they're getting a heavier sentence."

I did some research on the mind of a juggalo on Juggalos and Juggalettes clearly announce their allegiance to The Family with the mating call of WHOOP WHOOP. They say they “run with the hatchet,” a reference to the hatchetman logo of ICP's Psychopathic Records. A hatchetman is also known as a hitman. Many of the people also sign off with the acronym MMFWCL. That stands for Much Mother Fucking Wicked Clown Love.

I should probably mention ICP's music. It's, um, sort of violent and really weird. In “Whoop Whoop,” they say, “Juggalo, juggalo, I don't wash my pants, I'm a scrubbalo.” That's pretty innocent. We're probably all familiar with their tune “Miracles,” where they famously ask, “Fuckin' magnets. How do THEY work?” Then again, “The Neden Game” is a goofy little mock-dating game tune, but it happens to be riddled with misogynist lyrics that really make me worry. A sample: “I'm steady starin' at your sister, I'll tell you this, "You know, for only thirteen, she got some big tits.” He also threatens to kill every one in her phone book and any guy that looks at her. That's some creepy love.

ICP is not exactly respected in the music community. Then again, neither is Carly Rae Jepson. Fellow Detroit native Jack White collaborated with ICP to cover Mozart. That really happened, and the tune is actually decent. But does this mean that Jack White is a gangmember?

Is it fair to call a group of make-up wearing music fans a gang? Does it really apply? And is ICP responsible for what their followers do? Violent J said “just because you like a music group, doesn't make you a criminal.”

I checked the FBI's gang threat assessment to see if music or certain musicians were cited as inciting gang activities. Aside from ICP, there was just one mention of how gangs use the internet for propaganda, including postings of songs with lyrics that glorify the drug lifestyle.

Oddly enough, both Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have sworn off drugs and even have a song titled “Drugs are bad.” The only thing they appear to be addicted to is Faygo pop. I didn't even know Faygo pop still existed until I heard ICP likes to spray the soda at their concerts.

I wondered if other gangs so openly declare their allegiance to their gang of choice. I went to OKCupid to see if I could find anyone boasting their gang affiliation on their dating profile. I found one guy in Brooklyn, who said he was a vice lord, but he was actually just saying it ironically.

When announcing the group's plans to sue, Violent J said that when NWA released "Fuck the Police" in 1990, the FBI sent them a letter to tell them, "We're watching you."

"Well now here we are 2012, we'll take a letter any fucking day compared to what they did to us," Violent J said.

Portions of this story were read at The Paper Machete on Aug. 11.