Juggalos: Gang or Family?

Lifestyle, Music

December 8, 2017

What is a Juggalo? A Juggalo/Juggalette is a fan of the group Insane Clown Posse or any Psychopathic Records Artist. Insane Clown Posse more commonly referred to as ICP is an underground hip-hop group as are most of the artists on their label. ICP founded Psychopathic Records alongside Alex Abbiss in 1991 with the iconic hatchetman for their logo.

by Lexi Sheets

This hatchet man logo quickly became the symbol for their fan base. What you may not know is that ICP wasn’t always known as the Insane Clown Posse, when these guys first hit the music scene they were actually known as the Inner City Posse it was still Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope but there was another guy as well John Kickjazz (Joseph Utsler) and following their 1991 EP Bassment Cuts the Inner City Posse hired a local record store owner to be the manager; that owner was Alex Abbiss.

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Not long after releasing their first professionally recorded album Dog Beats, the Inner City Posse received a major makeover changing their style, look, and name. What emerged was what we now know as Insane Clown Posse. It was at this point that ICP created the Dark Carnival a concept that would be adopted by many Psychopathic artists to this day.

ICP recruited Esham and Kid Rock for there debut album Carnival of Carnage and the fans began to roll in despite John Kickjazz leaving the group months before it’s release.

This was the raw uncut music we were waiting for, for so long. The truth was in those words and still is all these years later.

You see Juggalos/Juggalettes wanted someone that sees the world as clearly as they did. Someone to have the balls to say the things no one would say back in the 90’s. ICP was that someone. Although we didn’t know we were Juggalos/Juggalettes at that time we were considered different, some might say we were outcast.

But it was through ICP’s music that we all found hope, we had found others that felt the same way we did. We found others that also found solace in ICP’s music. It was that music that had brought all of us together. Soon after coming together through this music we found that this union was much more than just fandom this was a family. Everyone was willing to help each other, even if it meant giving the shirt off their back.

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Now this Family fell under attack by the FBI in 2011 when the FBI decided to label Juggalos a gang. What caused the FBI to label the Juggalos a gang? Well, that still remains unclear to this day. As you’ve probably heard the saying “one bad apple spoils the bunch” well the FBI sees it as “ a few bad apples ruin the crop.”

ICP has been trying to fight this label for some years now, filing a lawsuit against the FBI in 2013. But in government fashion, the case has been held in limbo. ICP is a band that truly cares about their fans, to be going to great lengths to protect them from the despair this label has brought to their lives. Families have been ripped apart all because a parent has a hatchetman tattoo, people have lost jobs all because they listen to ICP, and these are just two examples of the many wrongs happening to Juggalos because of the FBI labeling of the Juggalos a gang.

Gang let’s take a look at that word for a moment. The word gang is defined by the dictionary as an organized group of criminals or as a group of young people involved in petty crime or violence. The Juggalos do not gather to commit petty crime or violence, and most don’t even have a criminal record. Yet the FBI has the Juggalos classified right alongside organizations like MS13, Bloods, Crips, and many other true gangs. Even though the Juggalos are just people who come together in the name of music and the love of family.

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In 2017 when hurricane Harvey stuck Texas, the Juggalos gathered as much water and food supplies as they could and went to Texas to help those in need. There were no MS13’s, Bloods, or Crips on site offering aid, as gangs don’t think of others for anything more than self-gain. Just other of the many reasons Juggalos are not a gang.

The Juggalos is a lifestyle, one of love and acceptance. Juggalos do not judge, they know nothing of hate. These are the people the rest of America should be looking up to as examples of how we all should be living life. With a heart filled with love, and non-judgmental, basically just minding your own business and living your life.

In September 2017 the Juggalos held a march on D.C to protest the gang label. Everyone who knew about it said it was going to be a disaster, that you couldn’t put that many Juggalos together and expect them to protest peacefully. Well, those people were wrong, the Juggalos march on D.C went down as the most peaceful protest of the year.

Yet the FBI maintains its stand as having the Juggalos on the gang list. What do the Juggalos have to do shed this undeserved title of a gang? As a Juggalo, I want to close this article with this. We are not a gang, we’re family. So keep up the fight brothers and sisters, when all is said and done, we will come out on top and have the Juggalos removed from the gang list. Whoop! Whoop!

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