It’s a showdown headed for the courts, but nobody is laughing, least of all the Insane Clown Posse who have decided to pursue legal action against the Federal Bureau Of Investigation to prevent harassment of their fans.
The American hip hop duo who hail from Detroit, Michigan and perform under the personas of the “wicked clowns” Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, are well known for their style of hardcore hip hop known as horrorcore earning the duo two platinum and five gold albums.
Fans of the popular music group who are collectively known as The Juggalos, are also well known for their eccentricities; emulating Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope with elaborate clown costumes.
Even Jack White, who also comes from Detroit, is a fan. The popular rock musician recently teamed up with the duo to record and produce the single ‘Leck Mich Im Arsch’ which married Mozart with the lyrical addition of the ICP’s raps to mixed results.
But not everybody shares the same enthusiasm for the group, especially the FBI who in 2011 decided to classify the Juggalos as a criminal gang. The FBI made the move in partnership with the National Gang Intelligence Centre who included in its 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment.
A month ago the rap group held their annual Gathering Of The Juggalos, yes they have an annual seminar, where the duo laid out plans for a class action lawsuit to defend fans who were being harrassed or discriminated against by police since the FBI’s announcement.
In addition to the lawsuit, the ICP have also set up a website called Juggalos Fight Back, where fans of the group can gather online and collect information about fans who feel they’ve been targeted by law enforcement.
“The Juggalos were listed as a “gang” in the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment under non-traditional gangs,” read a statement released by the band.
“The FBI’s labeling of American Juggalos as a “gang” is extremely absurd as the Juggalos have come together as a dedicated fan base due to a deep appreciation of the music of ICP, Psychopathic Records, and in recent times, other similar record labels and musical artists.”
A statement from the Insane Clown Posse’s legal counsel, Hertz Schram PC, says that the suit has been filed against the FBI in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Of Michigan.
Allegations against the FBI include “the violation of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) for its failure to produce any documentary evidence in support of the FBI’s classification of the groups’ fan base, the Juggalos, as a gang in the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment: Emerging Trends.”
“The FBI either does not have much information backing up their labeling of Juggalos as a national street gang, or if they do, it is so flimsy they are certainly hesitant to share it,” says ICP legal advisor Farris F. Haddad. “Music fans are, simply, not the same thing as a gang.”
“There are numerous known fanatical, music fan bases, some examples being Parrot Heads (Jimmy Buffet fans), Little Monsters (Lady Gaga fans), Beliebers (Justin Bieber fans), Dead Heads (Grateful Dead fans), and many more,” adds the rap duo.
“None of these fan bases have ever been singled out by the FBI,” they continue. “In fact, the FBI’s unwarranted labeling of the Juggalos as a “gang” is the first time in rock-n-roll history that any known music fan base has been officially labeled a “gang”, which may cause, and already has caused, significant, legal ramifications for Juggalo citizens of the United States of America.”
“To compare the Juggalos to such notorious and long established criminal gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood, Bloods, Crips, and the Latin Kings is beyond any available legal rationale, as Juggalos are fans of music – not hardened, organized gang members!”