On 1997's seminal masterwork, The Great Milenko, Insane Clown Posse itself tried to get to the bottom of an increasingly profound question with the track, “What Is A Juggalo?” Frustratingly, even the two sages responsible for creating those very same legions of soda-spraying, face-painting fans have a hard time defining them:
“What is a juggalo?
A juggalo / that’s what it is / well, fuck if I know
What is a juggalo?
I don’t know, but I’m down with the clown / and I’m down for life, yo.”
Not to be deterred, ReasonTV (with a little help from Nathan Rabin) took a look into the heart of ICP fan culture to try to reach a fuller definition, getting ahead of the question that’s sure to be on everyone’s mind when waves of unwashed clowns descend on The National Mall later this month.
The video not only tracks the unlikely rise of the Posse, from struggling Detroit underground rappers to a surprisingly successful and enduring act, but contains a handful of tremendous sound bites, too. For instance, Violent J, explaining ICP’s rise: “You know what The Secret is? Laws of attraction and all that? We were fully putting that energy out as kids. Fully. And it was just destiny.”
More importantly, it details the reason juggalos are mad enough at the government to form a protest march. Their fans have been designated as a gang by the FBI, so ICP decided to strike back. In Shaggy 2 Dope’s words, “We’re First Amendment warriors. I dunno.”
It’s a good watch, equal parts subculture explainer and primer for a march that’s coincided with another rally that should, in a just world, be far more inscrutable to outside observers than fans of goofy clown rappers: a massive pro-Trump gathering.