This is the highly anticipated 16th full-length album from Detroit horrorcore duo Insane Clown Posse. Consisting of Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope, but very few know that 3 other members came & went during the first 5 years of the group’s inception. Not only would The Duke of the Wicked & the Southside Strangla go on to create seminal wicked shit albums like The First 6, but they gained an extremely loyal fanbase in the process & their self-owned Psychopathic Records became an independent hip hop powerhouse as the label’s roster continued to grow. They dropped a prelude EP earlier this year called Yum Yum’s Lure to widespread backlash amongst the juggalos, so J & Shaggs decided to redo the whole album from scratch & drop it in time for the 28th annual Hallowicked show.
After the intro, the first song “Here Comes the Carnival” kicks off the album celebrating the titular mythology that ICP is known for over a feel good rap rock instrumental from Brian Kuma whereas “Wretched” follows it up with a morbid trap banger produced by Devereaux about Violent J being fucked up in the head. The wicked clowns later go back & forth with each other for the rubbery “Clown Drippin’” basically putting their own spin on swag, but then “Gangsta Code” reuses the beat Mike P. made for “Movin’ On” off of Boondox’ 4th album Abaddon talking about living & dying by the streets.
Meanwhile on “Queens”, we have the clowns seemingly taking shots at their protégés-turned-foes Twiztid over a mystical trap beat from Mythic Mindz just before “Panic Attack!!!” works in a guitar for J to talk about going off the walls mentally for 7 minutes. “Fuck Regret” creepily declares remorse as the Devil’s work, but then “Insomnia” takes a more cloudier route detailing J’s struggles with such as announced at the Gathering a couple months back.
“Heart & Soul” is a wack cover of the T’Pau joint of the same name while “The Drunk & The Addict” goes back to the trap direction with the help of Shaggytheairhead telling the story of ICP themselves being dependent on booze & drugs. “Don’t Touch that Flower” sees Str8jaket bringing in an acoustic guitar advising to be cautioned by the Yum Yum Flower while “Slap Nuts” is a more heavier cut talking about cats falling for their jokes.
I love how J uses “Bitch I’m Fine” as a chilling way of responding to those worried about his heart failure diagnosis while the song “Carnival of Lights” is a warm look at the camaraderie of the juggalo family. The penultimate track “Ain’t No Time” vulnerably addresses an ex of his over a guitar & finally, “Something to See” ends the album on a sweeter note looking back on their careers up to this point.
Despite all the ups & downs we’ve experienced to get here, Yum Yum Bedlam has to be my 3rd favorite Joker’s Card in the 2nd Deck right behind Bang! Pow! Boom! & The Mighty Death Pop!. Sonically, it’s really cool to hear them fuse the rock elements from The Great Milenko & mixed them together with some of the more trap-flavored cuts from Fearless Fred Fury. Conceptually, the themes of loyalty are displayed with an incredibly unique & profound perception.