Insane Clown Posse – “Pug Ugly the Stink Bud” review

This is the 18th EP from Detroit horrorcore duo the 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. I was a bit worried about their latest album Yum Yum Bedlam given that the prelude EP Yum Yum’s Lure was panned by fans when it came out last Juggalo Day but when Halloween came around, they proved me wrong with what I believe to be my 3rd favorite card in the 2nd deck. Last we heard from them was Wicked Vic the Weed during the first quarter of the year & are now continuing the Seeds of Yum Yum trilogy in the form of Pug Ugly the Stink Bud.

“I’m Ugly” kicks off the EP with a horn-laced instrumental from Mike E. Clark & Violent J describing how unattractive Pug Ugly the Stink Bud truly is whereas “Abbracadabbra” has a more carnivalesque sound to it as 2 Dope joins the Duke talking about making hoes disappear. “Pug Ugly” takes a funkier route so the Wicked Clowns can vividly describe how gross the world is just before “Scrub Gang” is a piano/hi-hat infused ballad out to all the scrubs out there. The spooky atmosphere of “I’m Afraid” is pretty cool with J & Shaggs confess their fears while the 80’s Rock Ballad” is a country rock jam that’s slightly better than their “After Murder Sunrise” loosie that came out back in March & the Mike P. remix of “Queens” is inferior to the O.G. with it’s more electronic-centered sound.

As decent of a beginning to the Seeds of Yum Yum trilogy that Wicked Vic the Weed was, I think I might like Pug Ugly the Stink Bud over here a tad bit more. The production is a refinement of the Carnival sound that the predecessor had brought back & the duo sound as focused as they did at the beginning of the year. Here’s to WOH the Weepin’ Weirdo being a potentially dark conclusion to the Yum Yum era this Halloween.

Score: 3.5/5

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Ouija Macc – “Stalewind” review

Ouija Macc is a 36 year old MC from Las Vegas, Nevada who started to turn heads in the fall of 2017 after the Insane Clown Posse signed him to Psychopathic Records shortly after putting out his debut EP Trashfire independently. Ouija has since proven himself as one of the most consistent & hard working dudes in the underground by dropping 2 full-lengths, 2 greatest hits compilations, 6 mixtapes & 4 EPs all in the span of 5 years. He just dropped Fallen Angelic this past spring & is now commemorating the Gathering of Dreams this weekend by delivering his 3rd album.

After the “Portal” intro, the first song “Wake Up” is blaring trap opener produced by Devereaux talking about being baptized in the gutter whereas “6 Foot Hatchet” manically promises to put a nightmare on that movie screen. “Fill the Space” works in some bells to deliver a weed smoking anthem just before “9MM Suppository” shoots for a more morbid aesthetic talking about detailing his shooter-mentality with an excellent chopped & screwed hook.

Meanwhile on “Boiler Room”, we have Gizmo accompanying Ouija to talk about stomping out their competition over a sickly trap beat leading into “Return of the Murder Go Round”, which is a catchy yet wicked sequel to “Murder Go Round” off the Wicked Clowns’ sophomore album Ringmaster down to the sample during the hook. Chapter 17 Records’ very 1st signee HEXXX comes into the picture for “Beast in Dior” to display some great back & forth chemistry with 1 another calling out those who’ve never surrounded themselves with demons over some hi-hats & retro video game-like synths, but then “Killa Like” talks about what he woke up feeling like with a bass-heavy instrumental from Billy Martin of fucking Good Charlotte with some rock undertones to it.

“Massacre” has a more frightful sound to it with co-production from DJ Chunk warning that nobody’s walking out their bitch alive on Ouija’s watch while “Mo Murda” ghoulishly talks about pulling up to a murder scene to make a scene. “F.U.R.N. (Fucked Up Right Now)” is a sweet trap/rock fusion detailing being under the influence even though F.J. Outlaw’s verse is respectfully one of the weaker features on the album with “In the Ha” serving as a cloudy sequel to “In the Haughhh!” off my favorite EP that ICP has ever put out: Beverly Kills 50187.

Continuing from there: “Go Head On” encourages not to hold back on shit over an occult bet while “Christian Mingle” continues to mix trap & rock together to talk about walking up in that bitch with a glock & a hatchet. “You’re Dead” with the Duke of Wicked himself Violent J has a futuristic yet grimy flare to quench for blood while the song “Do It Like This” talks about how he gets it done over a somber Shaggytheairhead beat. The closer “Take Me Home” comes through confessing his suicidal thoughts which is fitting considering his story of the Stillwind/Stalewind shift along with how hard these past few months have been for this reviewer personally & the bonus cut “Juggalo Radio” ends the album with an electronic/trap infused banger promoting JUGG FM.

If you’ve been following Ouija for as long as I have, then you should know how important this final element is & this conclusion to a 5-year long saga happens to be the most important album of his career yet in my personal opinion. I’ve noted that some his more recents efforts have shown that quite the artistic evolution from Ouija’s pen-game to the projection but on Stalewind, it all comes full circle so excellently.

Score: 4.5/5

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Zitro – “Nain Rouge” review

Zitro is a 33 year old MC from Detroit, Michigan who started making music when he was in the 7th grade. But it wasn’t until February 2020 where he would put out his full-length debut A New Beginning & followed it up last summer with the debut EP Black Diamondz + Long Islandz following a set at the Gathering of the Juggalos, which eventually led the Insane Clown Posse signing him to Psychopathic Records a couple months later as announced the booklet of the 5th Joker’s Card in the 2nd deck Yum Yum Bedlam. So considering that the Gathering of Dreams is going down this week, it’s only fitting for Zitro to put out a sophomore album.

After the “Who or What is Nain Rogue?” intro, “The Arrival” is a bombastic trap opener threatening his opposition whereas the Bake Lo-assisted “God StatuZ” grimly finds the 2 declaring themselves as Gods. “Monster” shoots for a more demonic aesthetic talking about being a killer, but then “Thuggalo” is a sprightly ode to every single juggalo that grew up in the hood.

Meanwhile on “Becoming a Problem”, we have Zitro over a bell-infused trap beat calling out the haters who wanna be just like him just before “Here to Kill (I Ain’t Trick-R-Treatin’)” is a pop rap cut getting on his serial killer shit. “Look in My EyeZ” is a spacey trap banger talking about seeing the pain inside him just before “Long Dark Road” comes through as a favorite of mine on the album from Godsynth’s production to Zitro’s lyrics deciding whether or not to head into the light.

“Loco (Because of You)” takes a rubberier route talking about how deranged he is prior to Histio coming into the picture for “I’m Good” to chillingly describe the only way for them to cope with their depression is. “With the Tint” has a more cloudier vibe to it talking about everything being black while the keyboard-laced “Wicked Whippin’” with Tierre Diaz to get whatever’s on their minds.

The song “Nightmare Walkin’” with Geno Live & R.U.C.K.I.S.S. sees the trio over a sinister trap instrumental talking about their violent urges while the penultimate track “Move It” follows that up with an off-the-wall club banger. “Who You Want?” however ends the album with a Middle Eastern-influenced jam bringing the Demon out.

Compared to Black Diamondz + Long Islandz & A New Beginning, the amount of creative growth provided throughout Nain Rouge is pretty impressive. I really like how the production happens to be more versatile in terms of overall sound & the whole concept of Zitro being the Demon of the Strait in the living flesh is well-detailed.

Score: 3.5/5

Hexxx – “Demon Season” review

This is the full-length debut from Los Angeles emcee Hexxx. First emerging in the underground back in the fall of 2016 off his debut EP Samhain, he would go on to follow it up 3 years later with his 2nd EP West Coast Wicked Shit & here we are another 3 years later just in time for Demon Season after becoming the first act to sign to Ouija Macc’s very own Psychopathic Records imprint Chapter 17 Records other than Ouija himself.

After the bell-heavy intro produced by Devereaux, the title track opens up the album with a trunk-rattling yet dreary instrumental shouting out all his killas whereas “Big Time” with Baldacci has a more celebratory tone to it talking about all their homies being on the rise. The way the beat on “Ruthless” pays tribute to “Deep Cover” by Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg with a modern flip is pretty impressive as Hexxx delivers more raw gangsta raps but after the “Cruise Night” interlude, “Another Homicide” goes into boom bap territory as he viciously quenches for blood.

Meanwhile on “Villains”, we have Ouija Macc accompanying Hexxx to unnervingly declare themselves as the antagonists of this rap shit while the song “Pale Horse” with Project Born takes it back to the trap with some pianos that’re reminiscent to that of a horror flick calling out those who wanted them to fail. The penultimate track “Blood Drip” goes full-blown hyphy thanks to Shaggytheairhead to spit the wicked shit & “Cali Dreamin’” ends the album with an intoxicating confession that he’s trying not to fall in the deep end.

I really didn’t know what to expect when Ouija announced that he was beginning to sign acts to Chapter 17 & when I found out Hexxx was the first new artist, I knew he’d refine his style & that’s exactly what the fuck he does. The way he takes the classic west coast gangsta rap vibes & mixes it with the wicked shit, I haven’t heard uniquely fused together so well in a long time. Chapter 17 definitely knows what they’re doing & this is just the beginning.

Score: 4.5/5

Ouija Macc – “Fallen Angelic” review

This is the 7th mixtape from from Las Vegas rapper Ouija Macc. Originally breaking out in the fall of 2017 off his debut EP Trashfire, this would result in the Insane Clown Posse signed him to Psychopathic Records almost immediately & he has since proven himself as one of the most consistent & hard working dudes in the underground by dropping 2 full-length albums, 2 greatest hits compilations, 6 mixtapes & 4 EPs all in the span of 5 years. Last we heard from Ouija was back in November when he dropped PRETTY/UGLY 2 which is much superior to the predecessor but to kick off the 2nd quarter of the year, he’s preluding his upcoming 3rd album Stalewind with Fallen Angelic.

After the “Prophecy” intro, the first song “Rory Mercury” is an eerie trap opener comparing himself to the Gate character of the same name whereas “Playalo” will go down as one of the best Ouija songs ever made taking a symphonic trap route thanks to Devereaux coming through with an ode to the juggalos. “Hellcat” goes into cloudier territory talking about how we should be proud of him just before Whitney Peyton tags along for the bassy “Big Step” talking about not wanting shit.

Meanwhile on “17 Blunts”, we have Ouija on top of a hazy beat delivering theme music for the smokers leading into the pillowy trap cut “Get It Like” talking about being all in his zone. “Did It on Purpose” goes into darker territory calling out those who don’t wanna see him winning, but then “Ain’t No Fun” has a more entrancing vibe talking about how everyone wants to hate someone.

“Hatchet Up” of course comes through with yet another Psychopathic ode except this one’s more rowdier while “La Flama Blanca” returns to the cloud rap sound talking about how this is more than just two. Kid Bookie’s verse on “Moonlight” doesn’t do much for me even though I like Devereaux’s production & the whole idea of too much shit going on to be on their dicks while “Crawl” gets raunchy as fuck & will definitely get all the Lettes going wild at future shows.

Following that, “Replay” incorporates some synthesizers telling the DJ to run it back while “Brandishin’ That” with a fun ass-shaker’s dedication. The song “Swang 2” with Ricky Hil finds the 2 on some acoustic trap shit delivering a decent sequel to a joint on Waterdamage while the penultimate track “Hate Myself” keeps things in acoustic territory talking about his self-hatred being for nothing. “Roadmap” ends the tape on a grungier encouraging to follow him at your own risk.

Chapter 17 Records is definitely gonna have a big 2022 & I think Fallen Angelic is a stellar way to kick it all off. The features are a tad bit better than PRETTY/UGLY 2, Ouija’s songwriting continuously gets better at getting stuck in your head & I really hope he continues to dabble with new sounds going forward because he’s been doing it excellently as of late.

Score: 4/5

Insane Clown Posse – “Wicked Vic the Seed” review

The Insane Clown Posse are a Detroit horrorcore duo consisting of Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope. They originally started as a quartet alongside John Kickjazz & Kid Villain, but both of them left before their full-length debut Carnival of Carnage dropped 3 decades ago & Greez-E only stuck around their best EP in my personal opinion: Beverly Kills 50187. 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. I was a bit worried about their latest album Yum Yum Bedlam given that the prelude EP Yum Yum’s Lure was panned by fans when it came out last Juggalo Day but when Halloween came around, they proved me wrong with what I believe to be my 3rd favorite card in the 2nd deck. Here we are 365 days later & they’re actually kicking off The Seeds of Yum Yum trilogy by letting Wicked Vic the Weed be the first in season.

After the repetitive “Wicked Vic” intro, the first actual song “Send in the Clowns” starts off the EP pretty well with J & Shaggs talking about “When makin’ sense makes no sense at all is when you hold the grease paint stick & draw that smile” on top of a playful trap beat whereas “Clown Bounce” is a boom bap-flavored dance tune reminiscent to “Clown Walk” off Forgotten Freshness 4 or even the cringey “Cha Cha Slide” cover “Chop Chop Slide off my 2nd favorite card of the 2nd deck: Bang! Pow! Boom!.

“Mutilator” has a bit of a rock feel to it with the wicked clowns letting listeners in on what it is to be such while the song “Hyde Park Pedaler” goes back to quasi-boom bap turf as Violent J tells the story of the titular serial killer. The actual closer is a cover of the Duran Duran track “Hungry Like the Wolf” except it’s inferior to the rendition that Twiztid happened to do for their 13th album Mad Season a couple years back as for Brian Kuma’s remix of “Ain’t No Time”, it’s alright.

To start off the trilogy, it’s pretty decent. In comparison to the more personal subject matter that the album had to offer, this EP finds J & Shaggs mixing that old school carnival sound with the new sounds they’ve been dabbling in & there’s even some wicked shit laced in as well. Let’s just see how Pug Ugly the Stink Bud & WOH the Weepin’ Weirdo play out.

Score: 3/5

Insane Clown Posse – “Yum Yum Bedlam” review

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 delivering an ode to all the juggalettes out there 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.

Score: 3.5/5

Ouija Macc – “Dirtbag” review

This is the 5th mixtape from Las Vegas rapper Ouija Macc. Originally breaking out in 2017 off the strength of his debut EP Trashfire, this resulted in the Insane Clown Posse making him the final act to ever sign with Psychopathic Records later that year. Ouija has since been holding it down for the hatchet by dropping 2 full-length albums, 3 EPs, 4 tape, a greatest hits compilation & a collab EP with Starfoxlaflare. But after forming his own label Chapter 17 Records & dropping a collaborative mixtape with Young Money Entertainment signee Baby E a couple months ago, Ouija is enlisting the Floridian production duo Mythic Mindz for Dirtbag.

“Ain’t No Savior” kicks the door down by encouraging the listener to crank the volume up super high over a sitar-laced trap beat from Devereaux whereas the next song “Demon Seed” is a cacophonous depiction of a ritual. Ouija goes on to do a good job at melodically opening up about depression on the grungy “Route 17” & then “Killing Spree” brings in a chiming instrumental as the lyrics take a turn into horrorcore turf.

The track “Domino” brings in a bit of a country twang in the production to talk how this is the way it has to be while we get a bass-heavy ode to the kinky motherfuckers out there on “Nympho”. For “Did It Myself”, we get a Bollywood-flavored anthem about his grind before the Shaggytheairhead provides a dinky beat for Ouija to acknowledge his weirdness on “Walking WTF”.

Meanwhile on “La Cienega”, we get a quirky instrumental & Ouija bringing his speediest flows imaginable without making it sound cliche whereas “Thuggalo Slide” is a bassy anthem for the thuggalos to ride to. The song “Monster vs. Man” continues to bring in guitars as the lyrics tackle inner turmoil while “Not Enough” is Ouija talking about wanting more sex & drugs on top of a wailing trap beat.

The adrenaline-inducing “Die Like This” takes aim at his detractors whereas the electronic-influenced “Understand Us” is about how misunderstood juggalos are in the hip hop world. “I Don’t Know” doesn’t sound too bad for a cloudy love song while the penultimate track is a trap/rock fusion about burning it all down. As for the closer, “I’m Nowhere” talks about being a ghost over a sludgy instrumental.

This dude is just reaffirming his status as one of the most consistent artists in the underground today. He makes a great return to his normal style after the more commercial We Never Forgot & it’s cool to hear Mythic Mindz helping him out dabbling into new sounds.

Score: 4/5

Baby E & Ouija Macc – “We Never Forgot” review

This is the brand new collaborative mixtape from West Coast rappers Baby E & Ouija Macc. One is a Lil Wayne protege signed to the icon’s Republic Records imprint Young Money Entertainment & the other is an Insane Clown Posse protege signed to their independently-owned Psychopathic Records. I don’t think the duo have ever worked together in the past, so I was very curious to hear how they would play off one another on We Never Forgot.

The tape kicks off with “Bands Won’t Stop”, where Baby E & Ouija talk about how the money will always come in over a trap beat with some teary piano melodies. The next song “Like Yuh” talks about keeping the drama away from them over a woozy instrumental while the track “(I Don’t Like Life) Anymore” talks about suicide over a crazed beat from Devereaux. The song “Different Mindset” gets romantic over a more voluptuous, poppy instrumental while the track “For Good” interprets the title in a few clever ways on top of an orchestral beat.

The song “1 for Me” talks about women who don’t know what they want from them over an acoustic guitar backed by some snares while the track “Overnight” talks about how Rome wasn’t build in a day over a rubbery beat. The song “It Be Like That Sometimes” talks about life being a carnival over a cloudy trap instrumental while the penultimate track “Mitosis” talks about killing everything in site over a monstrous Devereaux beat. The tape finishes off with “Got Somebody”, where Baby E & Ouija talk about being there when their homies are down over an acoustic-tinged trap instrumental.

Out of all the collaborative projects Ouija has put out in the past few years, this is easily my favorite of the bunch. It’s understandably a lot more melodic in comparison to his previous material & I commend him for stepping out of his comfort zone on that, but he & Baby E also do a good job of playing off each other. If these guys plan on working together more down the road, then I’m all for it.

Score: 3.5/5

Insane Clown Posse – “Yum Yum’s Lure” review

The Insane Clown Posse are a Detroit horrorcore duo consisting of Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope. There have been a total of 6 members in the group since it’s inception in 1989, but has been boiled down to J & Shaggy since the release of their 1992 debut album Carnival of Carnage. Together, they would create an empire whether it be subsequent albums like Riddle Box & The Great Milenko or expanding the self-owned Psychopathic Records as a force to be reckoned with in the underground by signing artists from Twiztid to more recently Ouija Macc. Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of ICP’s previous full-length album Fearless Fred Fury back in 2019 because I felt like it was rushed, however I do respect how angry it was. But as they gear up for the next joker’s card Yum Yum Bedlam, the wicked clowns are preluding it by dropping Yum Yum’s Lure on Juggalo Day.

After the “Bewitching” intro, the next song “Loyalty” finds J & Shaggy detailing what it means to be faithful over an ominous piano instrumental whereas the track “Afraid of Life” might be one of the worst ICP songs I’ve ever heard, as they talk about preferring to be a zombie phantom over a rock-flavored beat from Alien Ant Farm of all people.

The song “Smell of Rain” talks about women consuming them over a happy go lucky instrumental from Shaggytheairhead while the track “Ding Ding Doll” tells the story of a boy who buys a cursed Ecuadorian pull string doll from the dark web & the doll comes to life to wreak terror over a pillowy beat over a pillowy beat.

The song “I’ve Had It Worse” talks about how life sucks for everyone over a skeletal trap instrumental from the homie Devereaux while the penultimate track “Candyman” is a solo Shaggy cut with some of his most cringey lyrics on top of a more playful beat. The EP ends with “Clownheads”, which is a bloated & redundant advertisement for their Clownhead Paintings.

Coming from a Detroiter who’s been down with the clown since I was in middle school, I think the House Party Peep Show EP is much better because this is just as bad as The Calm & Eye of the Storm. I think the production is decent, but the execution on a good portion of these songs are terrible in my personal opinion. Really hope these songs aren’t on Yum Yum Bedlam & hopefully that album isn’t as disappointing as the material we got on here.

Score: 1/5