“Under the Make-Up, No One Can See Me Cry,” A Look Inside the World of ICP


(Detroit, MI) In the Motor Town was born a legend. This legend is not the Marshall Mathers you may be thinking of, and it is not Big Sean either. No, we are talking about a force much more difficult to control, to deal with. We are talking about Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, the duo known to all as the Insane Clown Posse. While ICP might have started in Detroit, you are now more likely to see them performing in an empty field in Birmingham. But what does it mean to be a part of this culture? What is all of that make-up hiding?


In order to get a peak behind the veil, we went out to a Dark Carnival hosted by members of the Juggalo, and by association, greater ICP community out on Lake Drowning Soul. We did not want to offend any real juggalos by showing up in make-up, but we also couldn’t resist adding a little bit of flair to our outfits, so we all dressed up like different Prince eras. Even though the music styles of these two groups are completely different, I still got several head nods and compliments directed at my Purple Rain gear.


Once we had wailed through a few songs in order to fully understand the experience we decided to ask around and find out what juggalos love about being in the ICP.


“I’ve met all of my best friends here. The community might have formed in a weird way, but we do community things all the same. Every other Tuesday we volunteer at a local assisted living community and on Fridays we wax down the firemen. I don’t think people should be afraid of us. We’re just like you.”


“Under the make-up, no one can see me cry. Juggalos for life!”


“The Death of a Million Suns will not last more than a second, but the screams will last forever.”


“I came here as a joke once, but then I started listening to what they were saying and I knew this was a place I could be free. Free from the bounds of society. Free from the laws of that society. The freedom I have found here is a terrible freedom.”


“Oh I am not a part of the ICP, I’m a narc.”


“I met the love of my life here at a Dark Carnival. We were moshing pretty hard to “Cemetery Girl” when we bonked heads and knocked each other out. We woke up next to each other in the hospital, our hands had somehow grown together in the dark. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without my Thraxxis. Together, we are going to take over the Dark Carnival and turn that purgatory into a hell.”


“I think these people hate themselves too much, honestly. Like, it’s cool to hate yourself a little bit, but this is just too far. Also the weed here is really bad.”


By the time we got to the final interview the sun was starting to go down and we were not about to see what crazy bananas these folks were about to get into, so we hit the road and never looked back.


However, what I have come to realize is what I would have seen if I had looked back. I would have seen a community of people who would have accepted me, faults and all, into their loving arms. They wouldn’t have cared what I looked like, because under the paint, we all look the same. They didn’t care that my heart was black as void, they were all soulless and lost in night. Get this, had I gone back, I would have found my actual soul-mate. But, would it have been worth it?


No. Probably not.





This article was written by Nathan Ellwood, who prefers the PPP to the ICP. Follow him for more nonsense on Twitter @NPEllwood.


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