Cover Interview: It’s Time to Turn the Crank Again! An Interview with Shaggy 2 Dope of Insane Clown Posse

Cover Interview ICP July 2016 Vandala MagazineDetroit Michigan’s very own Insane Clown Posse runs an underground hip-hop empire that can’t be touched by anyone. Psychopathic Records deserves to keep shining! Everyone that’s with the label (past or present) that runs beneath the streets worked their ass off towards every bit of success the label has achieved! For over 20 drenched in Faygo years the wicked clowns have sold out shows across the states continually and the Juggalo culture just keeps on getting bigger and show no signs of going away anytime soon. Juggalos support anything underground to the fullest! After over a decade, ICP are finally returning to Canada to perform the legendry Riddle Box album in its entirety! Don’t miss out Canada! Shows have been selling out!

Interview by Chad Thomas Carsten
From July 2016 Vandala Magazine 
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If you had a to choose a Faygo beverage to describe the 1995 era of Insane Clown Posse, what would it be and why?

Shaggy: I would say probably orange pop! Because back in 1995 we were definitely throwing lots of Faygo then, but that was before we had learned that the sugar inside the pop/soda ruins all the mechanics in the microphones, speakers, lights, and what not. This was before we later switched to diet root beer. Then learning after, that diet root beer flies the best and sprays the best! That’s usually what we use nowadays because of these two reasons; it sprays and flies crazy good and the sugar inside the diet don’t break the equipment. In 95, we weren’t really doing tours. We would do a couple a shows in a row over the weekend in the Michigan area, but we would never do two to three month long tours, so we didn’t have to really worry about the mics breaking. But now when you do shows every night, it’s your gear; you don’t want to break the shit every night. You figure out different tactics on how to keep your shit going and keep it alive! But 1995, I would say either orange or red pop.

Insane Clown Posse is finally able to return to Canada after over a decade! What are you looking forward to the most returning to Canada?

Shaggy: We are so geeked! It sucks so bad (in reference to not being able to return in so long) because like, we’ll being playing shows and having meet & greets in shit in Northern America, ya know! And a lot of people from Canada will come down and be like, ”Why don’t you guys ever come to Canada?” At first it used to be real embarrassing to say, because straight up it all boils down to criminal shit. *Laughs* Straight up. Especially ever since 9/11 happened they’ve cracked down hard to come into Canada. When I was younger it was easy to come over to Canada. Now you need passports and all that craziness, which I get. Which is also insane too, because we’ve been to Australia a few times since then and they don’t crack down as hard on American criminals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not like a criminal like that, I’m a real nice f*cking guy, but I’ve got a bad criminal record. There is no more probation or nothing like that. Been off of that for a long time. Completely off of that! It costs a lot of money to the ministry in Canada for us to get in there with the work papers and all that. But we are so geeked to be back and really looking forward to performing for the Canadian Juggalos! We’ll be playing new cities and seeing new faces, it will be like it’s brand new for us to be there again! And it will be summer time. That’s a plus too!

How do you feel about the Riddlebox turning 20 years old? That has to be a crazy feeling!

Shaggy: It is nuts! When you sit back and think about it, it really is crazy but it don’t seem like twenty years to me. I guess it kinda goes with the saying like when you’re a kid and you’re talking to your parents and they say, “When you get older time goes by fast!” and you’re just like, “Shut the f*ck up! I’ll live forever!” But it’s true! Once you get older, shit goes mad fast. Just like when we talk about shit that happened four years ago, it seems like it just happened yesterday. So to me, it doesn’t seem like twenty years ago. But when you sit back and look at it, it’s like, “Damn man!” F*ck! I was like twenty/twenty one years old when we did that shit. It’s a reality check. I don’t know if I’m using the right word or not, but it’s kinda humbling that we’ve been doing it for so long and that what we do is still appreciated. We never gave up our hustle/grind. We’ve been at it for so long and constantly on the same grind, that it doesn’t seem like it, but it’s been that long. But the crazy part is we’re still doing stuff as hard as we used to. We never stopped! We feel like right now we’re in our prime. Back then it seemed like we were in our prime. But now it still seems like we are in our prime, because we’re doing just as much, if not more shit, ya know?! It’s a weird feeling. We’ve got so many years to go! There’s no plan of retirement. We’re doing this until we physically can’t no more! I’ve got a step dad who is 72 and still works. I’m going to be doing this shit Rolling Stones style, but pass that! We’ll be in wheel chairs out on stage or Forest Grump style in leg braces still performing out there rocking shit!

Think it will be beyond Ozzy?

Shaggy: Way beyond that! Because we’re not dope fiends!

Out of all of your releases what exactly makes Riddle Box so special to Juggalos and why do think the album continues to stand the test of time?

Shaggy: It’s crazy because that’s not necessarily a hundred percent true. Riddle Box is special to a lot of Juggalos. So, to a lot of people that is true. It depends on the person. A lot people feel that way towards “The Great Milenko” or “The Jeckle Bros.” A lot people feel that way towards pretty much any record that we came out with. It depends upon when people started listening to us, I guess. If people started listening to you when that specific record came out, they’re going to hang on to that record the hardest! But the cool part is, once somebody starts listening to us they seem to want to go back and learn all about us and listen to all our back shit. We got a lot of youngsters coming out that love the Riddle Box, but they might like something better. Riddle Box was our first national record that we put out on Jive Records. Even though they didn’t really put it out nationally, they just put it out in Detroit. But we took it and bought promotional vans and just started going across the country and promoted it ourselves. And where we promoted it, it became a hit. So a lot of people were exposed to the Riddle Box first outside of the Michigan era. That may be why it holds such a big place to some people, because that was the first time people on the West Coast/South/Canada or whatever had heard Insane Clown Posse, because that was the first record that we actually put out nationally that wasn’t just locally in Michigan.

For you personally, what song do you cherish the most from Riddle Box?

Shaggy: That’s like asking me which one of my kids are my favorite. *Laughs* I’ll tell you what though, we had did the Riddle Box show for Juggalo Day 2013 in Detroit and I actually was just watching the footage of that last night.; I think performance wise, I love performing the song “Ol’ Evil Eye” . I just like doing that on stage a lot, I don’t know why. As far as picking a favorite song in general, that is kinda impossible. Riddle Box is the record that the “Chicken Huntin Slaughter House Remix” was on and we’ve been playing that song live ever since that record came out! That’s always been a real big song for us. But me personally (as far as performance wise), I like doing “Ol’ Evil Eye”. Before the Riddle Box show we had never actually performed that song live until then. I was watching that footage and I was like,”Wow! I really like doing that song!” [Laughs]

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Riddle Box Insane Clown has decided to re-release the Riddle Box sampler on cassette. What brought forth the decision to re-release it on cassette?

Shaggy: It’s weird because cassettes are coming back a little bit, man! I first started noticing that a couple years ago when we were at (I think it’s called) Atomic Records in LA and it’s a huge record store! As you know there aren’t a lot of those left, so it was crazy to see. Myself, I noticed there was a lot of new stuff on cassette. Like local artists that were just putting new records out on cassettes. I was like, “What the f*ck!” Then we just started noticing a lot of the more known artists are putting stuff out on that format. I don’t know if is because of the vinyl comeback or what the deal is, but it’s fresh to see. Plus, it’s just an awesome collector’s item. Every now again someone comes through the VIP/in-store signing and they’ll be excited about having an actual cassette. It just a cool vibe in itself, I think!

20anniverseryriddleboxAre there any more unknown leftover behind the scene details on when Insane Clown Posse first wrote The Riddle Box that you’d like to share?

Shaggy: It’s all in the 20th anniversary deluxe release that we just recently put out. There is actually like a breakdown of the whole recording process inside the booklet. I remember it was just such a different time with our producer Mike E. Clark. We did that record in a basement, not in a studio, but in a basement! Mike Clark always had studio space, but this time he said, “F*ck It!” and put all his equipment in the basement and made a studio around it down there. Studio became life! We slept till like 1 p.m. and would go to the basement studio and stay in their till three in the morning every day. Our personal life was the studio, but we loved it! If we didn’t love it, we wouldn’t have been down there the whole time. That was before we all had kids and families. That was our whole life. Outside of that there was nothing that meant anything to us, besides recording!

What kind of content can Juggalos expect with your upcoming solo release?

Shaggy: It’s just about to be like raw hard-ass hyped shit! It’s not like in a form of a joker’s card or nothing like that. It’s just going to be an awesome record just to bump with your homies! Nothing over produced, just a nice f*cking solid raw-ass record!

Can you briefly describe The Gathering to someone who has never attended and why they should attend?

Shaggy: That’s a pretty tough thing to describe briefly. *Laughs* For a Juggalo, that’s like the Mecca for Juggalos. But you can go to The Gathering with no money and you’re not going to go hungry. People will look out for you. You’re going to have the best time of your f*cking life! You are going to meet new friends, maybe lifelong friends. From the time you get there, from the time you leave, you will have such a f*cking blast! Its 24 hours a day! Even if you’re not a Juggalo your wig will be blew back with joy! It’s not what everyone thinks. Everyone thinks that if you’re not a Juggalo you’re going to get your ass kicked. That’s far from the real truth. The real truth is, it’s all love! We welcome all sides that aren’t Juggalo. We want people see the kindness and family spirit of the Juggalos and what it’s all about being Juggalo. I don’t want to sound like Woodstock hippie motherf*ckers, but it’s a weekend of peace. No fights. No one stealing shit from each other; everyone’s just chilling out having fun, like they never had before. If you meet anyone that has gone before they will say that was best weekend of their lives. And when someone finally goes for the first time they’ll be like, “Why have I never been to one before?!” and attend every year. It will change your life. Nothing will live up to it, I promise you that!

When Juggalos tell you that you have saved their lives, how do you approach that situation?

Shaggy: It’s hard, man! It’s really hard. You try to hear them out and listen to their story and try to (I don’t know if that’s the right word) sympathize with them. When they show off an ICP tattoo, how do you thank somebody enough for that? When you do VIP/ In-store signings, it’s really emotionally hard to get through sometimes when you listen to people’s stories. You’ve got grown-ass men crying. Its mind boggling crazy! You know you’ve put so much work over the years and to realize that you’ve helped people out like that is an amazing feeling! It’s just like Justin Bieber for instance; he stopped doing VIP at his shows, because he couldn’t handle it anymore. It became too emotional. For him, I’m sure it is a whole lot different than ours with having girls screaming in your face for hours, but I can understand that because the VIP gets emotional in general, sometimes. It’s f*cking hard to deal with on both ends. Not only for Juggalos, but for us as well because they’re so awesome! And it’s still cool as shit to do that. We really respect Juggalos! We feel like we owe it to people to do stuff like that. We are the same people as our fans. We’re f*cking scrubs, ya know!

Any advice to artists just starting out on their first national tour?

Shaggy: Partying is fun, but don’t take it too far. Some people don’t come back from that shit. Get as much skin as you can. *Laughs* Touring is what you make out of it. It could be the best time of your life or it can be hell.

Insane Clown Posse has already started to take over Canada  via tour and will be until the end of July. Be sure to grab your ticket as they are selling fast! PLus the Gathering of the Juggalos is coming up fast also! 

Also don’t forget to grab your copy of “Riddle Box 20th Anniversary” and “Missing Link: Lost & Found” 

Full details Online:
www.insaneclownposse.com
www.facebook.com/INSANECLOWNPOSSE
www.twitter.com/icp
www.instagram.com/therealicp
www.youtube.com/PsychopathicVideo
www.psychopathicrecords.com

P.S. Recently an awesome ICP skit happened within an American Dad episode titled “Gifted Me Liberty”. Does that mean Seth MacFarlane is down with the clown?

Insane Clown Posse reference on American Dad Season 13, Episode 20: "Gifted With Liberty" from FaygoluversHeaven on Vimeo.

 

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