|INSANE CLOWN POSSE - BIOGRAPHY||
Insane Clown Posse is a cartoonish metal/rap band with a vaunted live show that features open fires, chainsaws, liters of soda dousing the audience (Faygo being the group's favorite brand), and more emphasis on performance art than the performance of music. In the world of the late '90s, that was more than enough to get them a recording contract with a major label, though the release of their 1997 album The Great Milenko came with a bit of controversy. Now just a duo, ICP was originally formed in 1989 as a hardcore Detroit rap group called Inner City Posse. After combusting in 1991, the only members left, Violent J. and Shaggy 2 Dope, slightly altered the name to reflect the fact that they had been visited by the Carnival Spirit, which ordered them to carry word of the impending apocalypse by touring the nation and releasing six Joker Cards (popularly known as LPs) with successive revelations of the final judgment. The first, Carnival of Carnage, appeared in 1992 on their own Psychopathic Records label. The group became notorious in Detroit's underground scene, but several tours around the region failed to ignite much more than the rage of area leaders.
After the release of 1994's The Ringmaster, ICP began to get a bit of attention as a possible follower of cartoon metal bands like GWAR, Green Jelly and White Zombie. Jive Records signed the group and released The Riddle Box in 1995, but the record bombed and ICP returned to the ranks of the indies. Just one year later, Hollywood Records gambled on the band and spent more than $1 million while ICP recorded their new album, The Great Milenko. On the day of release in 1997, however, Hollywood pulled the record, citing obscene lyrics and gruesome content -- possibly a move by its owner, Disney, to deflect criticism of its practices by the Southern Baptist Federation. In a bizarre twist, yet another major label, Island Records, stepped in to release the album and capitalize on the notoriety Insane Clown Posse had garnered. The Amazing Jekyll Brothers followed in 1999.