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Interview Wed Oct 14 2015

Insane Clown Posse's Shaggy 2 Dope on iPods, FBI & the Afterlife

Photo courtesy of Psychopathic Records

After nearly two decades of being a pop culture punchline, everyone seems to have an opinion on the horrorcore duo and their loyal Juggalo fanbase. But the FBI took their opinions to the books in 2011 and listed them as "a loosely organized hybrid gang," a classification ICP has been fighting in court ever since.

As of last month, the fighting paid off. After the case was thrown out in district court last year, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of ICP in their bid to remove the Juggalos from the gang categorization, which the Detroit MC's argued had violated their constitutional rights and "wreaked havoc on thousands of lives."

Fitting, then, that their recent Slaughterhouse album release The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost and Found and corresponding tour focus on salvation. Their Marvelous Missing Link tour kicked off Oct. 3 in Villa Park during their own headlining set at Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare (which runs through Nov. 1.)

In a phone interview with Faygo-enthusiast and posseman Shaggy 2 Dope, he discussed the recent court advancements, Bob Seger, the oddities of mainstream modern hip-hop and more.

Congrats on the appeal! How did you feel when you heard the news?

We just get the news of what's going on but don't get too in-depth with it, because when [the case] got thrown out last time, it was a hard blow, know'msayin'? We knew they weren't going to stop at that. But just the fact that we won the appeal and all, it's just great. But at the same time, it's like, if we worry about that too much, we still have so much other shit to worry about--you kinda have to split shit up about what what you're sweatin' half the time. If you get too in-depth with that, creativity suffers a lil bit, a lot of things suffer. Just the fact that we won the appeal, that's a great thing right there, that's fuckin' awesome. We couldn't ask for more than that this time.

How are you dealing with the aftermath?

The whole premises of it is fuckin' insane. It's like almost inconceivable, you know? How the FUCK could this happen? How DOES this happen? I didn't know it was passable. And sure enough they found a way to fuck shit up. It doesn't happen to just anybody, unfortunately it had to happen to us. It's like our whole career is based off of huge blows that we overcome. It ain't nothin' new, but it's a pretty big fuckin' blow. But we're gonna overcome it, we're gonna do our thing, and in the end, we're gonna win.

What is it about ICP that makes you susceptible to such negativity?

You know, it's funny, because we can't even really put our finger on it. Our whole career we've been trying to figure that out. They either love us or they fuckin' hate us right out the gate. And when they hate us, they REALLY fuckin' hate us--like wanna kill us. And why is that? I don't fuckin' know. But when they start attacking our people, people who support us and listen to our music, and start coming at them for no fuckin' reason, that's a whole different ballpark that you're fuckin' with, and it's uncalled for. Any genre of music has those bad seeds. There's people who kill people or are in gangs that listen to Bob Seger. Jack the Ripper prolly loved Mozart, you know? So it's like, they ain't catchin' no rap for no shit. This thing has been going on for forever, but not on this scale.

What keeps you and Violent J going?

It's what we do. What we gonna do, get a job at Home Depot? This is what the fuck we do. I believe this fully--we're fighting the good cause, know'msayin'? If there's no bright light at the end of the tunnel, what are you gonna do it for? We ain't just giving up, we got a lot more to say, we got a lot of years left of us in the studio makin' music. We ain't never gonna stop until we physically we have to.

So, even with all the controversy you have faced, you never thought about calling it quits and no longer leading the Juggalos?

I don't think it's so much us leading nobody. We just threw out a soundtrack, we're not giving orders, we're not telling people what to do. There's people that are Juggalos that don't even listen to ICP anymore, they just listen to some other horrorcore or whatever you call it. It's not just an ICP thing. Of course we were there from the get, you know. But we're not leaders or nothing--we ARE Juggalos, just like the people that listen to our music.

Tell me about your new albums, The Marvelous Missing Link: Lost and The Marvelous Missing Link: Found, and how they fit in with the rest of your Dark Carnival series.

Every record we've made is basically there for you to decide what you do to figure out right from wrong, what-goes-around-comes-around type shit. What kind of morals you got? What are you as a person? Basically just saying nobody knows but you, yaknow'msayin'? You can put up a front all day, but when you go home and lay in bed or whatever, nobody knows what you are in your heart of hearts. And the other part is, you're going to have to answer with whatever's next. That ain't me that's gotta answer to what you do. When you're layin' there with whatever-the-fuck you're dying of, nobody's going with you. Nobody's laying next to you dying of the same exact thing at the same exact time. You're going through that alone, so you know in your heart what kind of person you are and how to face that.

What is the biggest thing you've learned through 26 years of being in the game?

That shit changes, man. No question. Nothing now is as cool and hip as it was 10 years ago. Nothing is. Everything changes and it changes FAST, and you gotta keep up with that, otherwise you're gonna get left in the dust. Just from the beginning from the 2000s 'til now, how the internet has taken with the music industry. The only place that even sells [CDs] is like Best Buy, and even that is like the smallest department ever, it's like the size of a closet in a bigass store. That sucks for me because I don't know shit about computers. I don't get music on my phone or any of those...I don't even know are fuckin', ah, are iPods still around? Or people are just downloading shit to their phone?

Uh, yeah, people mostly just listen to music on their phones.

That's music right now--your fuckin' cell phone. There's no awesomeness of like, going to a store and bustin' open a package of what you're about to listen to or none of that. There's no more camaraderie surrounding that. The music now, people get so big so quick on YouTube and all that, in a couple years, here comes the next batch of people. You gotta be in the game now and stay on top of everything and sound relevant and you can't expect anyone to do that shit for you. You gotta keep your arms flapping and keep your head above water your damn self. You'll sink unless you start swimming.

How do you stay relevant?

We work with younger producers all the time; I try to keep up on what's happening. It's hard because there's so much shit comin' out man. But we're still putting out new people. We're still doin' our thing over at Psychopathic [Records] as much as we've ever been.

What do you like about modern hip-hop, if anything?

I hate dissin' new shit because I hate sounding like somebody's parent. "Ah in ma day, it was so much better," know'msayin'? For me personally, there's some straight shit goin' out, and some not so much, but that comes with any part of music--some shit's good, some shit's garbage. My favorite shit now that just came out is Scarface. He just came out with a new record that's phenomenal to me, but he's Scarface, he's doin' it like Scarface always has. He's not like these young cats who don't even rap no more, he's not "I'm-in-loooooove-with-the-coco" you know'msayin'?

I'm not gonna sit back and say that rap now sucks; I think there's a lot of it that probably shouldn't be where it's at, but you know, somebody's buying it, somebody is listening to it, it's making somebody happy so who the fuck am I to say what's right and wrong you know?

What's on ICP's bucket list?

To be able to kick back and do bigger and better things with ICP. We got Psychopathic, we put a lot of our artists out, that takes a lot of our time. We wanna kick back a little and concentrate more on ICP, do another movie, we're talking to different networks about a different--I wouldn't say "reality show" or nothin' like that, of course--but a show, and we're constantly coming out with music and going on the road, touring. That's our home base and that's what we do best.

What can we expect from your upcoming tour?

Mayhem, man. This October. It's crazy, we got a pretty big show goin' on, a few people on the tour comin' with us: P.O.D., Snitches, Young Wicked, Dope DOD--they're from the Netherlands or some shit like that, they're really fuckin' cool. It's gonna be an awesome show from top to bottom, it's gonna be nonstop action. Don't be scared to come out, Juggalo or not. People are scared to come to any ICP event because they think Juggalos will run 'em out. If you're curious about what goes down, come out and see how dope it is, peep that shit out. It'll surprise you.

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Rusty / October 15, 2015 9:20 AM

Great interview and great to hear we might be seeing the clowns more on TV soon. I loved ICP theater.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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