Riddle Box Reissue Rehashed in Detroit News

Riddle Box reissueAs any Juggalo knows, ICP is releasing The Riddle Box 20th Anniversary Special Edition this Friday (you can also pre-order!). Detroit News spoke with Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope about the Riddle Box reissue while laying down a little Riddle Box history. It really is refreshing to see news outlets take the Insane Clown Posse seriously as opposed to using the opportunity to see how cleverly they can insult them and their fans. The mainstream has really took notice of ICP because of their unexpected success. Being this is a home town news outlet probably helps. Detroit should be proud of ICP. They are one of the few things still there from the 90’s.

Riddle Box was the album the Family really started growing into what it is today. Not to mention, it’s still a favorite among Juggalos to this day. Though, the re-release will have much more flavor added to it.

The album [Riddle B0x] is being re-released Friday in a deluxe box set that includes a remastered version of the CD, an extra disc of “oddities” from the “Riddle Box” era (including bonus tracks, instrumentals and a long lost voicemail message from producer Mike E. Clark) and a booklet where the Clowns share stories about every track on the album.

The Riddle Box era was when the Dallas Juggalos were sucked into the Dark Carnival and the snowball of Juggaloism really took off. It is no wonder it’s a favorite with the dope ass version of “Chicken Huntin'” on that piece. The song is only the basis of what might have been the first Juggalo chant outside of “I-C-P.” But, the version all Juggalos know and love may not have existed if it weren’t for Jive.

“Riddle Box” followed the group’s first two “Joker’s Card” albums, 1992’s “Carnival of Carnage” and 1994’s “Ringmaster,” which made enough noise in Detroit and the surrounding area to earn the attention of Jive Records. The group had signed a deal with Jive, who initially wanted to release an EP from the Clowns but later ordered a full album.

There were stipulations: Jive wanted the album to include a remix of “Chicken Huntin,’ ” a song that appeared on “Ringmaster.” “We thought that was so stale,” J says. But the label was insistent, and sent over specs for a remix that the Clowns deemed “horrible” and rejected. But that remix included a two-note electric guitar riff that the Clowns lifted, re-recorded and used as the basis for a new version of “Chicken Huntin,’ ” which they tacked on the album against their will. It would go on to become one of their most famous songs. “They were right,” J says, “and it turned out to be a great move.”

In this digital age many people just want to download albums and don’t want to bother with hard copies. Moreover, you can listen to Riddle Box many places on the internet for free all day long. So, why even get the Riddle Box reissue? While, like you read earlier, the box set has some rare shit you can’t get anywhere else, the real reason is that Juggalos are old school motherfuckers.

“A lot of Juggalos are collectors,” says J, seated alongside Shaggy in the recording studio of the group’s Farmington Hills headquarters earlier this week. “It still makes sense for us to press up hard CDs. A lot of Juggalos are older, they want the CDs, they want something they can hold in their hands.”

Speaking of old school…

He [Violent J] laughs when comparing the promotional grind of the ’90s to the social media-centric strategies of today.

“It was just dope days, man,” says J, who, due to a new diet and exercise routine, has shed 140 pounds off his frame in the last year. “You can only be new once. We fortunately got to be new for a long time, because we were new in different areas.”

This re-release is a part of a series of re-releases. Psychopathic Records has planned to re-release more Joker’s Cards in the future.

a 20th anniversary edition of “The Great Milenko” is planned for 2017, and a commemorative edition of “The Amazing Jeckel Brothers” will follow in 2019

ICP is also planning a Riddle Box tour preforming the entire album start to finish for May. We have the Big Balla Xmas Party and Juggalo Weekend to enjoy while we wait.

The Riddle Box is 20 years old now. Does that make you feel old? That’s ok, that just make you a fresh ass old school Juggalo. This article ends with the balance we face in the Juggalo world. The balance between old school and new. Shaggy’s statement is true for more than  just ICP, but for the Juggalos too.

“We’re always looking forward, we keep ICP new and don’t just live in the past,” Shaggy says. “Our wagon wheels are going forward. We’re still moving.”

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