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 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.

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

Insane Clown Posse – “ICP’s House Party Peep Show” review

This is brand new EP from Detroit horrorcore duo Insane Clown Posse. Consisting of Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope, a lot of cats don’t 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 did a series of Paetron streams to commemorate what would’ve been the 27th annual Hallowicked show & to give back to everyone subscribed, the wicked clowns gifted them an exclusive 6-track EP.

The EP kicks off with “The Blob”, where Violent J tells the story of a killer blob from another galaxy over a dire beat from Devereaux. The next song “My Forehead” is literally J & Shaggy talking about how big Violent J’s forehead is over an old school instrumental from none other than Mike E. Clark while the track “Cartoon Goon” finds the duo going back & forth about an illustration that will seal your fate over a vilainous beat from Shaggytheairhead.

The song “Mighty Mote” sounds like a leftover from the Fearless Fred Fury sessions as J talks about a kid getting revenge on everyone from his step-dad to his school busdriver to the electronic/trap fused production while the penultimate track “The Ceremony” is a beautiful dedication to Shaggy, Billy Bill & Jumpsteady backed by an uplifting trap beat. The EP closes out with “Live Dead Forever”, which is easily the most wicked joint on the entire thing from it’s lyrics about death to the spooky atmosphere in the production.

For the 4 month wait, it was well worth it in my opinion. Violent J is still one of the greatest storytellers in hip hop history, Shaggy 2 Dope even though he only has very few verses on here is just as skilled & I do like how the production range from the touching “Medals” & the vintage “My Forehead” to the trap-flavored “Mighty Mote”. Safe to say it’s giving me hope for Yum Yum’s Lure next Wednesday as well as Yum Yum Bedlam later on in the year.

Score: 3.5/5

Insane Clown Posse – “Fearless Fred Fury” review

The Insane Clown Posse are a Detroit hip hop duo consisting of Violent J & Shaggy 2 Dope. They’ve been at it since the very late 80’s & through their own label Psychopathic Records, the 2 have managed to become independent titans. The last we heard from J & Shaggy in a full-length capacity was in 2015 with The Marvelous Missing Link double disc set but almost 4 years later, they’re returning with their 15th full-length album.

As with every album in the duo’s Dark Carnival mythology, the intro & the first song “Red Fred” serve as an introduction to the album’s titular character. The track “Fury!” is all about fighting back & not only do the verses make you feel like the adrenaline is starting to flow inside, but so does the Str8jaket production. The song “West Vernor Ave.” is a Shaggy solo cut that pays tribute to the titular street in downtown Detroit while the track “W.T.F.! (What The Fuck!)” talks about the problems of the world today over a chaotic beat. The song “Satellite” sees the 2 is an empowerment anthem with a spacious beat while the track “Seriously Hilarious” gets murderous over a haunting beat. The song “Game Over” sees J making fun of gamers over a trap beat with an AMAZING Super Mario sample throughout while “Night of Redrum” pretty much speaks for itself over a nocturnal beat.

The song “Low” is mostly a take on the classic Zombies joint “Time of the Season” while the song “TripleX” is a clever tale taking place in a therapy session over a demented beat. The song “Nobody’s Fault” is a painfully corny emo rap cut while the song “Hot Head” is a boring, sluggish angst anthem. The song “Shimmer” is a guitar ballad to God with a horrid execution while the track “Freedom” sees J & Shaggy talking about just that over an uplifting beat. After the “Beware!” interlude, the closer “I Like It Rough” is a disgusting sex tune (not in a good way either) with a bland trap beat.

I was legitimately excited going into this after I got to see them film the “Fury!” video at my uncle’s store back in October but now that it’s here, this thing did NOT live up to the hype that was set out for it. Don’t me wrong: I can appreciate it for going back to a darker sound & featuring more storytelling raps, but it’s overloaded. And while 17 does happen to be the duo’s lucky number, that’s not an excuse to rush your album & pack it with 1 boring cut after another. I got nothing but love for both of these guys, but I know for a fact that they can do better than this in 2019.

Score: 1.5/5

Insane Clown Posse – “The Great Milenko” review

When talking about Detroit hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse, it’s impossible to leave out the controversy with their 5th full-length album right here. They left Jive Records shortly after the release of their last album Riddle Box in 1995 so they could get the Disney-owned Hollywood Records to be the new distributors for their own label Psychopathic Records. As for this album, it was taken off shelves by Hollywood just hours after it’s original release on June 24, 1997 & the duo were dropped from the label shortly after in response to criticism from the Southern Baptist Church that the release didn’t reflect Disney’s family-friendly image, despite Disney themselves claiming the album was released due to an oversight by its review board. ICP then signed another new distribution deal with Island Records after they agreed to release the album the way it was originally intended & then it was back on the shelves again in August 12, 1997. The first 2 tracks are both 2-minute spoken word intros pretty much telling the listener what to expect, the first one being with Alice Cooper over an ambient-esque instrumental & then the other one with ICP over an eerie yet more traditional hip hop instrumental. The album’s first song “[Hokus Pokus]” is basically the duo introducing themselves (starting the first 2 verses with a decent back wordplay line) & as for the instrumental, I think the album version is a lot more fun than the [Jason Nevins] remix. The next song “Piggy Pie” gets murderous towards an incestive redneck as well as crooked cops & even the wealthy over an ominous rap rock instrumental with some DJ scratching from Mike E. Clark, who produced this entire album along with a bulk of ICP’s previous material. The track “How Many Times?” is a Violent J solo cut talking about a day in his life & while it’s not that intriguing, the haunting beat is nice. The song “Southwest Voodoo” sees J going back & forth with Shaggy 2 Dope about dark magic over a dreary guitar. The track “Halls of Illusions” talks about using a carnival attraction to murder a wife beater & a child abuser with a killer Slash riff during the hook & the song “Under the Moon” is Violent J talking about a man who was convicted of murdering someone who tried to rape his girlfriend over a gloomy instrumental. The track “What’s a Juggalo?” sees J & Shaggy going back & forth informing their new listeners about their fanbase & I really like the g-funk-esque bass on here. The song “House of Horrors” talks about 2 serial killers trapping people in the titular attraction over a fittingly haunting rap rock instrumental. The track “Boogie Woogie Wu” is Violent J rapping from the perspective of the boogie man over a creepy instrumental & the hook is somewhat catchy too. Especially the maniacal laughter at some parts of it. The song “The Neden Game” is basically a juggalo version of “The Dating Game” & it’s actually somewhat humorous, but the line about Sharon’s 13 year old sister near the end of the first verse does make me feel a bit uncomfortable. The track “Hellelujah” sees Violent J rapping from perspective of a late-night TV Evangelist who‘s begging for money because it’s “what God would want” over a Hellish guitar & then on “Down with the Clown”, he pretty much tells the juggalos not to forget him over an old schoolesque instrumental. The nearly 90 second “Just Like That” sees J getting killed in a drive-by & then it leads us into the closer “Pass Me By, where he & Shaggy talk about immortality over a somber beat. While this is far from being a perfect album, it is ICP’s magnum opus. Primarily because it’s their most well-groomed effort it is (especially on the production tip)

Score: 4/5