How The History Of Juggalos Came To Be
Juggalos have lived the scrub life and simultaneously proven we are not as godawful as most people thought. Juggalos have evolved along with the Insane Clown Posse, to become what we all know today. As a group one thing has certainly become obvious. The most hated band on the planet have the most hated fans on the planet.
Juggalos are not just fans or followers of ICP, though. Something independent from ICP, yet we wouldn’t have come together without them. Juggalos are Family. No set laws or rules for being a Juggalo are in place and thus, any and every type of person are Juggalos. Consisting of young, old, straightedge, stoner; spiritualist, materialist, old school and new. Juggalos are such a large and diverse group, only loosely held together by what comes down to an understanding we all have, but can never truly express to those who haven’t witnessed the magic of Family. Family cares accept and love one another because we belong.
I’m writing this history more than two decades after the fateful concert at The Ritz in Detroit, Michigan where Violent J bestowed the title “Juggalo” in a stroke of genius. Ever mindful of stage presence, Violent J switched up the lyrics for The Juggla on stage by saying
“You can’t fuck with the Juggla… What about you, Juggalo? Are there any Juggalos in here?”
That was the moment ninjas decided they were “Juggalos” were more than a name, though. One thing that completes a Juggalo experience, more than the proudly adopted title, is something that marks the birth of not just a Juggalo, but the group known as Juggalos. It’s that magical Juggalo baptism called Faygo Showers. It all began with the fateful Magic Bag concert where a rude ass kid got a Faygo whipped at him. The crowd and stage transformed into an eruption of Faygo rain, ushering in the beginning of not just ICP as we know them, but the beginning of Juggalos as we know them. There may have only been 350 ninjas there that night, but they were the first to experience the Faygo Shower and created the ranks which much more would join, a Faygo soaked ninja who don’t give a fuck. So, there is your original Juggalos, though they weren’t called that yet.
Now mind you, ICP is from Detroit. Therefore, the first Juggalos weren’t as diverse of a group as we are today. Juggalos consisted of young locals who gave no fucks to paint their faces, get doused with Faygo, rock out to ICP, and call themselves Juggalos. When Jive only released the RiddleBox in Michigan, ICP decided to spread the Dark Carnival message nationally themselves. Seeing that Jive was too lazy to promote their album like they thought a record label should, they figured picking a new town to promote in at random would be a good idea. But, we aren’t talking about the history of ICP. That’s Behind the Paint‘s job. Though it was Alex’s fateful, blindfolded dart toss that bore Dallas Juggalos, the second hardcore addition to the group known as the Juggalos. Though far apart, theses two regional followings of painted up killer clown music lovers were the beginning and still a part of what we call Family today.
After these pivotal moments in Juggalo history, ICP began to gain attention in the mainstream media with the success of The Great Milenko. There was an influx of new enthusiasts for the anti-culture. ICP’s dealings with Hollywood Records got their music out to the public. The Neden Game, more ignorantly referred to as the “Dating Game,” as people outside Detroit and Juggalos don’t know the slang “neden” is used as a euphemism, was bumped and laughed at by many young, rebellious teens. People went freaking crazy over ICP, but after the limelight moved on to other artists as it does, these new enthusiasts began to drop out with a staleness equal to their own. Juggalos stayed down and thankfully, Juffalos showed their colors and dipped out. Those who didn’t really listen to ICP’s music once ICP wasn’t the thing to be a rebel over anymore, many forgot who ICP was. Fortunately, this wave of Milenko era fans created many true Juggalos who are Family to this day.
During the subsequent The Amazing Jeckel Brothers era, Twiztid came on to the Juggalo scene. Twiztid brings their own dark flavor to the Juggalos. Since they were promoted by ICP during the release of the Jeckel Bros to now, they are Family and have brought more family in along with the other artist on Psychopathic. Each Artist that has joined the Family seems to bring in a new type of Juggalo. Each artist’s style attracts similar minded people once introduced to the Family stay because they found more than just fellow fans but Family .
Besides ICP and Twiztid the combination of Dark Lotus satisfies the Juggalos seeking enlightenment and brings unifying peace to the Juggalos as a group. The creation of Dark Lotus brought spirituality to the Juggalos. It’s been an evolution throughout the years. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you have been a part of the hundreds of Juggalos chanting Lotus with a solemn feeling between like-minded, yet totally unique individuals. That’s being a Juggalo. Down ’til I’m dead in the ground!
Speaking of death, The Wraith brought about a purging of those not paying attention. Many split, disenchanted and possibly turned hater when they found out ICP wasn’t about what they thought. Put yourself in their shoes. If you loved ICP but didn’t agree with Thy Unveiling‘s message you would be devastated that the group you were following was talking about God and you had no clue in a million years it was always about God. You’d be upset and pissed off! So, a lot of those not down with the spiritual aspect of ICP dropped out.
Now we see the Juggalos chop off dead limbs, but there is always going to be those within a group who don’t truly see the underlying message or understand the unspoken knowledge the rest of the group has. Don’t worry they’ll learn someday or not, either way, it doesn’t fuck up your shine.
As I mentioned before, the Juggalos are a diverse group. Once ICP got out to the world the Family expanded all over the world! There are Juggalos in The UK, Australia, Canada, and everywhere. The Family just keeps growing and growing.
As a group, Juggalos have been the target of hate which is only exacerbated by the mainstream media emphasizing the few bad apples in the bunch. There have been a few isolated cases of Juggalo gangs and criminal activity. The majority of Juggalos are not talked about in the news. We truly don’t know or could fit all that has happened within the Juggalo community into one article. A wide variety of Juggalo media outlets began to surface and serve as an ongoing stream of all things Juggalo-related, from the tenured Faygoluvers, to the entertainment and outreach focused True Juggalo Family as well as Juggalo News (formerly Real Juggalos). The Juggalo has an assortment of options available to them to keep up on what’s fresh. Each group bringing more flavor to the whole. Each adding their piece to the massive Juggalo community.
Juggalos have evolved as a group. At first, the world witnessed mere hints of the greatness to come. Not much was known at first about the Juggalo underground world. It was quite a different world in the beginning than now. Juggalos use to chant whole songs instead of the short chants of today. Then there are some Juggalos who are totally reckless or those who just fuck up. There was a lot of destruction at old school shows. Some Juggalos didn’t get what the music was really about in the beginning. Now as a full grown family the response is “You Fucked up! You Fucked Up!” A good way to self-police! Or better yet a good ole’ “Fam-i-ly”chant is great for stopping the hate and showing that clown love. I know of no other group who calls out mistakes while also exalting the good like Juggalos. It all evolved through the actions of many Juggalos over time through an unspoken connection.
A wonderful example of the Juggalos as a whole can be found at the Annual Gathering of the Juggalos. Every group seems to have a representative and, as the names states, it’s about the Juggalos. The Gathering is an awe-inspiring festival that needs no cops or any real rules to speak of. The Juggalos baffle the outside world with their unexpected peaceful existence. They do what they do and the proof is in the pudding. This year will be the 17th time this amazing shit will go down. There is a reason it’s still going down. It’s too legit to quit and the Juggalos are the shit.
The Gathering also reflects an evolution of the Juggalos. As a group, we have only grown over the years. But, as time moves on the Juggalos grow older and more mature bringing in the next generation of Juggalos. The Gathering went from a “Juggalettes are whores” mentality to a balanced sexuality where Juggalettes can proudly and fearlessly express themselves. The Gathering is also where if one needs to be fed or helped some ninja has got your back. I have met so many interestingly different Juggalos it is impossible to group them together in any other fashion but to say they are Juggalos. All these unique and innovative people create a utopia community one can only describe as Home.
There are many who stuck through since the beginning and those who have joined in along the way, but all are Juggalos. The FBI labeled all Juggalos as gang members. There is no Juggalo Faygo/drug smuggling ring or any organization between Juggalos as a whole to speak of other than our love for the Dark Carnival. Thankfully, ICP’s lawyers worked their magic and the gang label was dropped. After all, we are a Family, not a gang. Juggalos have seen discrimination and acceptance by law enforcement over the years. It really just depends on how open-minded a person is.
Juggalos have come a long way. Starting out as being portrayed as low-life face painting losers to a must-see spectacle still a little misunderstood really is an accomplishment. Juggalos have proven we aren’t a fad. We have proven we are not like what everyone thought at first glance merely by proudly being ourselves as Family all the while making history. Whoop! Whoop!
Behind the Paint:
[Ringmaster Concert p. 237-238]
[First Faygo Shower p. 220-268]
[Dallas Story p.268]
The Mighty Amazing Juggalo Family