In 2011, the FBI included Juggalos, the intensely devoted group of Insane Clown Posse fans, on its National Gang Threat Assessment.
ICP — a Detroit rap group known for painted faces, the Hatchet Man logo and spraying Faygo — filed a Freedom of Information request to expose why its fans were ranked alongside Crips, Bloods and highly organized crime syndicates. When the FBI released the bulk of its report early this year, the rationale seemed tenuous at best.
According to the report, viewable at muckrock.com, two Juggalo drug arrests in Utah inspired an FBI 14-month investigation starting in March 2011. The Utah bureau uncovered, for instance, at the 2008 Gathering of the Juggalos festival, “22 people were arrested on drug related charges, 350-400 traffic violations [were] issued, and one death was linked to heat exhaustion,” and that Juggalos are sometimes convicted for petty crimes and drug possession.
As everyone from Wired to The Huffington Post to L.A. Weekly pointed out, it’s pretty clear that Juggalos aren’t a gang. So of course the clowns are upset with the feds. Many states have anti-gang laws that mandate harsher penalties for gang members.
Shaggy 2 Dope, one half of ICP, called from Detroit last month.
“What about Beliebers? Are they a gang?” Shaggy said. “What about Little Monsters? Are they a gang? What about Deadheads? Are they a gang?”
He continued, “You got guys that are on probation getting sent to jail because they got a Hatchet Man tattoo. Some kid gets pinched for something small, like for a roach in his car, he’s going to get sentenced for being a gang member having a roach in his car.”
ICP’s lawyers are fighting to get the gang designation removed. In the meantime, Juggalos should behave during the Mighty Death Pop Tour, which comes to the LC this Tuesday. Shaggy’s bandmate Violent J’s torn meniscus kept ICP off the road for a few months, a significant setback.
“We don’t get our music played on the radio,” Shaggy said. “We don’t get videos played on any video channel. That’s how we came up. That’s part of being ICP is staying on the road.”
Shaggy recognized the deep Juggalo support in Columbus and encouraged fans who haven’t been to a show for a while to expect an all-new production: “This is some all new f---ing dope ass fresh s---.”