Insane Posse sees a shrink

imagesFor more than 20 years, the rap duo Insane Clown Posse has courted controversy by rhyming about depravity, brutality and insanity.

Now it causes trouble by making fun of Miley Cyrus.

“If you’re not banging the drums, making noise in this industry, nobody’s looking at you. Nobody’s listening.”VIOLENT J, left, with Shaggy 2 Dope, his partner in the horrorcore rap group Insane Clown Posse, reports the New York Times.

“A few days ago, Insane Clown Posse, a pioneering act in a rap genre called horrorcore, was approached by Fuse, the music-oriented cable channel, to record its commentary for a roundup of supposedly shocking music videos. Though the rappers have enjoyed their increasing visibility on Fuse (where a second season of their television series “Insane Clown Posse Theater,” will debut on Wednesday), they were dismayed to find that those videos included nonthreatening artists like Robin Thicke and Adam Levine.

“How are we going to sit there and talk about how shocking Maroon 5 is?” asked Joseph Utsler, an Insane Clown Posse co-founder who goes by the stage name Shaggy 2 Dope. His musical partner, Joseph Bruce, known as Violent J, added: “We had to do it I.C.P.-style or it would have looked bad for us.” The band’s solution was to mock the performers that Fuse had asked them to discuss. (“Justin Bieber started off as a teeny-bop child artist,” explained Violent J. “Now he’s a teeny-bop child artist with tattoos. Shocking!”) But even as performers who wear the face paint of grinning harlequins and burnish their outsider status, the duo understand that something looks very strange about this arrangement. The past year has been particularly trying for Insane Clown Posse, which, with an attitude that mixes silliness and over-the-top aggression, has built a worshipful cadre of fans, known as Juggalos. On one front, the band is waging a legal battle against the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose National Gang Intelligence Center listed Juggalos as “a loosely organized hybrid gang” in a 2011 report. On another, the band is pushing back against a former publicist who is suing Insane Clown Posse for sexual harassment. Add these challenges to the group’s continuing struggle to preserve its underground reputation while pursuing mainstream acceptance, and you have the makings of a full-blown existential crisis.

“Lately, Violent J said, he has been seeing a psychiatrist and taking medication to help him cope with the persistent feeling that he can never turn off the pressures of work.”

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