Criminal records and probation have prevented the Insane Clown Posse from doing a Canadian tour in over a decade. Much to the delight of their fans - the ever passionate juggalos - the Detroit-based rap group is back on our soil and landing in Windsor this Saturday night for a Faygo-loaded wild time.
Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler, known respectively as Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, formed the hardcope hip-hop group on the outset of their backyard wrestling careers and have since gone on to earn two platinum and five gold albums.
We were able to chat with Shaggy 2 Dope about the juggalo loyalty, their solo albums, and the strong bond that binds them.
Do you still have the same degree of passion as when you first started out with ICP?
Tons of passion... I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. We’ve actually been on the road since 95. What’s that like 21 years?
The only time I was sick of it [was] when my back and my neck were really messed up. Doing shows every night and being in pain every day on a bus. All that’s corrected now, and it’s fucking great. I had back surgery near the end of December and it’s fine now. I love doing shows and I’m pain free.
What is it that makes your fans so loyal?
They connect with us because we connect with them. A lot of artists will say, ‘Oh, I couldn’t do it without my fans’ - which is true - but they don’t put the kind of dedication in that we do. We are the same people as our fans. We are each other. We grew up like that. Everything that we talk about is relatable because they’re the same mindframe [as us]. They’re going through the same shit. If we weren’t in the rap game at all, we would be in the same crowd doing what they do. We are the same people and that bond is unbreakable.
What’s the biggest misconception about the juggalos?
That they don’t count. You’ll read reviews and they’ll be like ‘they put on a great show but it was only juggalos there,’ or ‘they sell these records but it’s just the juggalos.’ Do you mean people? It’s like juggalos don’t count as people. One juggalo to me is worth ten normal people.
Is the bond between you and Violent J as strong as ever? How do you keep it strong?
It’s more like we’re brothers than friends. I think the fact as well that it’s just two of us. We don’t have to deal with five, six people in a band and conflicting shit. If we have a problem, we sit down and we hash it out. We have our disagreements all the time but it doesn’t get past a day.
How’s your solo album progressing?
It’s going to be coming out the beginning of next year because we’re on the road so much right now. I’ve got more than a few in the can already. I don’t even really know how to put my finger on it because it’s such different shit from ICP and what I’ve done in the past. It’s old school, but with a new school twist. It’s just shit you can sit back and fuckin’ bump. It’s not teaching anybody nothing, it’s just dope music to rock out to.
What can fans expect from your show in Windsor?
We’ve never played Windsor, which is crazy because it’s right there from Detroit. We haven’t done much Canada, and even back in the day it was pretty much just Toronto and Montreal, because of our crime records - just misdemeanors and felonies and just smaller shit. Everybody in the group has some sort of record, so that’s one of the things that just took us forever to do anything in Canada. You have to go through the legalities in Canada and the ministry and papers, so just getting into Canada is costing us a lot of money.
We’re bringing classic ICP. We’re in our prime right now. We’ve been around for over 20 years but right now, we’ve got it down to a T. We’re putting on the best shows of our life. Be prepared to get wet and be prepared to hang out with your homies. You know what I’m saying?
Catch Insane Clown Posse at 285 Ouellette on Saturday June 25th. Tickets can be purchased for $40.