This is less a typical show review for the band Twiztid and more of a study of the American Juggalo.
I was introduced to the fascinating Juggalo Empire by way of its progenitors, Insane Clown Posse, a horror rap duo consisting of the be-painted Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J. I enjoyed the edgy, unique, cartoonish tunes that talk about death, justifiable homicide, rage, and feeling like an outcast; the last of which is what built the strong sense of “family” between fans and keeps this movement growing.
Over the years, ICP has found and cornered a niche market, and eploited all of it's potential by making the listener feel loved and not alone. They founded Psychopathic Records early on in their career in 1991 to which they sign bands that are in their very particular vein. Many of the songs of ICP and their close-knit bands emphasize “family” and use other words like “Juggalos” “ninjas,” and “wicked clowns” to constantly relay to the listeners that they are a part of this world; they have lots of people who care about them in this family, even when the rest of the world looks down upon them. With this family, they’re strong despite their problems, their flaws, and their messed up life. Join the club, we've got them too!. And that worked. The fans of the bands spawned by the Insane Clown Posse are not typically casual listeners; they’re die hard, hard-core family members that will buy every record, every piece of merchandise, and see every film, wrestling match, juggalo/jugalette pornography, and anything else the team can come up with. This all culminates with the annual Gathering of the Juggalos. All of these avenues of profit are controlled by Psychopathic Records and it’s offshoots, so the profits, despite still being an relatively little known kingdom, are in the multiple millions. The bands and their fans have been studied thoroughly about this rabid loyalty. The Vice, Wired and Fortune articles are particularly well-made if you want to know even more. For an example of the power of this scene, a local bar recently hosted a Juggalo themed Magic: The Gathering tournament called "Magic: The Gathering of the Juggalos." I recall seeing Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J in a MadTV sketch.
Now that you’re caught up, our main band tonight, Twiztid, was signed to Psychopathic Records in 1997 and left in 2014 to form Majik Ninja Entertainment. This label and its bands remain very close to the ICP brand which was obvious during the songs which emphasized this freaky, fun family that everyone there belongs to. Twiztid knows how to involve the family members in their shows and get them really riled up. Jamie Madrox was particularly keen on telling stories to the crowd who eagerly hung on every word; the occasional derogatory remarks during these breaks are not meant to harm though. I particularly liked him saying how much he loves our local hot sauces. Paul Methric joined him in retelling the tale of how the group was in route to perform in New Orleans when they got the call that Southport Hall had flooded due to the ravenous Hurricane Katrina. And they professed their happiness at being here finally after ten years to perform that show. It was about that time that I heard an earlier band had some hot young ladies stripping on stage that I had missed. Twiztid played songs from many of their eleven albums, and the fans rapped along to every word while dancing and jumping along also. Mid way through the set, Twiztid brought up some of the earlier acts of the night including Blaze, a horrorcore rapper with the image of being a reincarnated gangbanger that also goes by the moniker “Blaze Ya Dead Homie.” Bringing other musicians into your live sets and albums is a common practice with the Juggalos and futher emphasizes their community feel.
This was an extremely interesting and fun concert. Though one can feel like an outcast themselves amongst this tightly knit community of painted up ninjas, everyone should see a wicked clown show once and watch the majik happen. You may feel a little bit closer to your fellow Juggalo after, too. We haven’t had a juggalo show here in many years, and we really needed one.