Writing a review of an ICP movie, which is obviously a representation of the world of Juggalos, is like writing a review of somebodyís asshole. Say, the asshole of a co-worker. In both cases, Iím aware that the subject exists, but I rarely think about it on my own and it is rarely drawn to my attention. I live in LA and we donít really have Juggalos here. In terms of the asshole analogy, I live in a pants-wearing society, while the Mid-West is a nudist colony in which everyone has daily newspaper delivery. And this suits me just fine.
Periodically, however, the subject commands attention and, on a certain level, it is pretty fascinating, especially if it is posted on the internet. Now, since I used to loosely follow the music industry, I knew that there was a white rap group called The Insane Clown Posse and that they had signed with a couple of different labels for huge bonuses, then been dropped, which I thought was pretty cool. Itís so rare that performers get to screw over the labels, my hat is off to anyone who can pull it off. ICP doing it multiple times is rivaled only by the once hotly pursued punk band Jawbreaker actually writing a song on their last independent album about taking a huge signing bonus from a major label, then checking out and breaking up. Then some wiz kid at Geffen Records signed them with a seven figure bonus and they proceeded to make a half-assed record and break up. However, though I admire ICP for playing the record companies, they still have more in common with assholes than with Jawbreaker. Hey! Remember those awesome Jawbreaker shirts? The only cooler thing you could have was a deliberately tattered Subhumans shirt that asserted that you’d been a fan since you were seven months old.
Anyway, a few years after hearing about their big pay day, I became aware of the fact that ICP actually had avid fans through my girlfriend’s stocky Iowan cousin, whose very soul was riven by a fierce inner conflict due to the fact that he liked both ICP and Eminem, but they did not like each other. A few years after that, the internet really came into bloom and it told me all about Juggalos and how ICP have forged an entire subculture based on bland spiritualism and amateur wrestling. I saw stuff like this, and just as if a coworker had posted their asshole on the internet, it seemed pretty clear to me that I couldnít not look.
I guess the analogy falls apart in that, once you start looking at Jaggalos on the internet, you can lose days at a time. And when I say that the analogy falls apart, I mean that it obtains perfectly. Once you watch one of these, you can’t really stop. Then you have to read all of the Wikipedia entries to make sense of it all. Then you have to go back and watch the Juggalo stuff with a deeper understanding of how shallow and strange it all is. I guess the whole thing is, above all, harmless.† A lot of the language around ICP involves reaching out to an unknown group of like minded people so that the stocky white guy can feel a sense of family and have friends. It sounds a lot like the explanations for why people join white supremacist gangs, so if ICP can channel all of that into midget wrestling and “seminars,” more power to them.† I don’t get it at all. Rapping clowns? Rapping clowns in a Western movie? Or any other context? It’s still better and more sensible than the Aryan Nation or Ayn Rand but ultimately it does not compute.
So anyway, the message is clear enough. Stocky white guys unite! So at its core, ICP is not really any different than the NYHC that I disdained in my own adolescence, only its relative popularity in flyover country is far greater. Which brings us to the latest ICP flare-up to draw my attention- the fact that ICP have two, TWO movies! The latest is Big Money Rustlas, a follow up to Big Money Hustlas. Big Money Rustlas was called to my attention by a forumite who wanted me to review it.
It is terrible.