WHO ARE THEY
Easily one of the strangest stories in pop music history, rap duo Insane Clown Posse has defied its outspoken and frequent detractors to become one of contemporary music's biggest cult acts, with several Billboard Top 10 albums over the course of its 20-year plus career and its rabid following of "Juggalos" being officially classified by the FBI as a violent gang.
Rappers Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope started Insane Clown Posse in 1991 in Detroit, on the quasi-conceptual premise that they, after being chosen by an otherworldly "carnival spirit," would announce the coming of a worldwide apocalypse through the release of six consecutive albums, or as they referred to the medium, joker cards.
By 1997, they had developed their simplistic rap metal into a formidable national phenomenon and found their first large-scale battle with the mainstream with that year's record, "The Great Milenko." The LP was released on the Disney-owned Hollywood Records, who promptly dropped Insane Clown Posse from its roster within days of issuing the album citing violent and explicit content, which only raised the duo's profile and led to an entertaining televised interview on MTV where Shaggy 2 Dope memorably exclaimed, "Fuck Disney and fuck Mickey!"
Insane Clown Posse was immediately signed to Island Records, who reissued "Milenko" and the the group's biggest selling record, 1999's "The Amazing Jeckel Brothers."
By 2002, far after the initial six joker cards leading to the end of days was released, ICP made an abrupt philosophical left turn with that year's "The Wraith: Shangri-La," whose about face was a non-denominational embrace of God and Heaven, but the band claimed that was the original intent of their music. 2004's "Hell's Pit" was announced as the final joker card, but by this point, Insane Clown Posse had retreated into its Faygo Soda drinking cult of Juggalos.
The group's most recent release was 2012's "The Mighty Death Pop!"
BUY THIS RECORD
While Insane Clown Posse's albums are largely interchangeable outside of the Juggalo set, "The Amazing Jeckel Brothers" and "The Great Milenko," both the zenith of the group's mainstream popularity, will probably be most accessible to an incoming listener, should there be any. Because these records were designed to be in the spotlight, they prove to be the most streamlined and focused among the ICP discography, and boast bigger-budget production and clown makeup.
Like their full-length albums, ICP's songs tend to not be discernible from each other outside of the band's cult, so pick your own card.