In Case You Missed It

Posted: April 9, 2010 in Threat Quality

The Insane Clown Posse has a flying observatory and certain questions about the nature and function of magnets.

  1. Jeff Holland says:

    What made me sad was when I tried to answer the question of how magnets work for myself, but found I couldn’t do it without using the word “magnetize”…or “Magneto.”

  2. braak says:

    I tried to explain it to the video (because that’s how I roll), but the only explanation I could think of involved the use of science, which Shaggy 2 Dope immediately decried.

  3. th3chicg33k says:

    You speak of things like science, when all I know is that magic is all up in this b*tch!

  4. Carl says:

    I am largely unfamiliar with Insane Clown Posse’s body of work. I have to tell you, though, this moment sort of changed my life: “there’s miracles everywhere in this bitch.”

    I. Mean. Whoa. That’s one fat, white, earnest clown-rapper, entirely devoid of self-awareness, if I ever saw one. A rapping clown, dressed like a patron at a Latin dance-club, arbitrarily threatening the lives of scientists is a relatively rare (and therefore precious) occurrence. Like, if these guys had a scientist on hand for the shooting of the video, I feel confident that they’d have demonstrated the miracle of shanking a dude in a lab coat with a sharpened screwdriver.

    I’m always amazed when I come across something that’s as well-produced and unconsciously bizarre as this, how it could be that none of the hundreds of human-beings involved in its manufacture managed to voice dissent about its execution in a way that would have kept it from being made. Never have content and form been so spectacularly ill-suited one to the other. All the way around, an unexpected twist on my day.

    Thank you, Threat Quality. Thank you, angry, Clown-faced advocates of the miraculous.

  5. Jeff Holland says:

    I’m 90% certain one of those guys is actually Guy Fieri underneath the makeup.

  6. V.I.P. Referee says:

    Whaaat?!…? Their name is like a catch-all disclaimer, but this challenged even what I’d expect to be the hazy boundaries of insane clowns. Is it even possible they weren’t meaning to be funny? Come on, really.

    Okay, let’s play the “marketing and distribution” game. So, boys and girls, who do you think was their intended audience? The vid’s a bit too edgy for the “Creationism Museum” and I shudder to think it might’ve been a serious “School House Rock” type venture, dedicated to their babies. The first one to design a successful campaign for ICP’s new music, get’s a “Be-Dazzled” knapsack that’s says “Magnets are Miracles, Bitch!” on the back.*

    * No, you won’t. But I don’t expect anyone to win the competition, anyway.

  7. Carl says:

    This better work, dammit.

  8. Carl says:

    Nope, ah well.

    Here, I feel like you need to see this and I can’t get the images to appear on the page. Also probably this for good measure.

  9. dagocutey says:

    @V.I.P Referee: Hell yeah they’re serious! I can see that this challenges your sense of . . . I don’t know, “normal”? But these challenges are good, if we don’t run screaming from them. And really, if you just listen to the song without the vid, it’s downright soothing.
    @Carl: Why do you think he’s “devoid of self awareness”? He calls himself “Violent J”, he masks his face when performing — he’s telling us that he’s aware of his flaws and wishes to preserve the anonymity that non-performers enjoy in their daily lives. Just because he speaks street dialect and likes profanity, doesn’t mean he’s any less aware than you or I, does it? Granted, it seems like he’s a little late to the game with his realizations, but at least he’s having them.

    Usually, I’m creeped-out by clowns, but not so here. It’s a MAGIC MIRACLE!

  10. Carl says:

    Oh, I wasn’t attacking the way he speaks or his facility with profanity at all. But you gotta admit that there’s a certain degree of absurdity about a clown-faced man who has elected to film himself rapping in outer-space, floating between his pregnant wife’s legs, clumsily waxing poetic about the wonders of “fuckin rainbows!” and butterflies and “long neck giraffes and pet cats and dogs”. And then there are the impenetrable mysteries of “fuckin magnets!” And to whatever degree you agree that absurdity abounds here, you are far more aware of it than fat-miracle clown apparently is (else, we presume, he’d not have made the choices he did). That’s all!

    “Pure muthafuckin MAGIC.”

  11. braak says:

    Aw, man. I kind of like it. I think his abundant enthusiasm he has for the awesomeness of…you know. Things. It’s pretty rad.

  12. dagocutey says:

    @Carl: Dude, I LOVE you! I am crying over here! I will read your last post over and over, because belly laughing is just that sweet. But really, you had me at, “dressed like a patron at a Latin dance-club.” Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    But I stand by my assertion that the ICP is very self-aware. They are balls-out American street poets. And absurdity is relative, know what I’m sayin’? I mean, to Violent and Shaggy, our nicknames, speech, wardrobes and makeup are muthafuckin reedonkulous. If we strip out all of the cultural influences and theatrical aspects, the song is about the very deep shit that, at one time or another, has kept each and every one of us up at night: nature, space, procreation, music, science, love. Go back to the first line: “If magic is all we’ve ever known, it’s easy to miss what really goes on.” Your joy only goes as deep as your sorrow — this piece is a celebration of life, a joyful exclamation of gratitude and wonder, written by men who’ve “seen shit that’ll shock your eyelids.” True dat f’ damn shuh. There are truck loads of shit rap out there — this is definitely not that. Haters, listen up — their looks and lines are in a “language” that you might not understand, but these are guys who use horror rap to persuade their listeners to mend their evil ways. And spray pop on their audience. “To all those who thirst, come to the water ” . . . or Faygo, as it were.

  13. Carl says:

    Well, maybe I was a bit too hard on the old Clown boys. It is a lovely sentiment, execution notwithstanding.

    Wait now, wait a minute! How did it happen that I’m the cynic in this discussion? I’m looking your way, CEB! Denouncing scientists, putting ghosts in the same category of human experience as quantifiable phenomena like rainbows and pelicans? I’m the cynic in a discussion of clowns who rap about magic in earnest? Very unexpected. Almost a muthafuckin miracle.

    “Fuckin’ reversals-of-expectation, how do they work?”

  14. Braak says:

    Insane Clown Posse. Turning the fuckin’ world UPSIDE DOWN!

  15. braak says:

    Also, man. I would have preferred it if they had recognized that our capacity for science (as in, the rigorous inquiry into the natural world) is ITSELF a miracle, but what the hell. These guys aren’t school administrators or textbook publishers or senators or newspaper columnists or public intellectuals. They are Insane Clown Posse. Given the choice, I’d rather their fifteen million juggalos think life is miraculous but not understand magnets than the other way around.

  16. RixiM says:

    Having been aware of ICP since the first time their first single was played on the radio, watching this video the first time was mostly a yawner for me. But then I realized that the people re-posting it knew nothing of juggalos or faygo and a light went off. Just so you guys know, yes they are serious. But their idea of serious and your idea of serious might vary slightly. They are from Michigan and, for the most part, an accurate porthole into mindset and mentality of many people in the post-industrial midwest.

  17. dagocutey says:

    @Braak: Hell yes to that!
    @Carl: You’re a man among men. A true motha fuckin’ HOMIE!

  18. V.I.P. Referee says:

    @ dagocutey : True that, this challenged me in ways unexpected. And I’m a strong believer in not discounting an artist’s voice just because it’s in a language that’s new and/or strange to an audience. But, you know, these guys are dressed as clowns. Of all things to choose as “masks”, they choose traditional characters that have long been used to communicate humor, sorrow and human folly, to centuries of audiences. I’d give them enough credit to at least be capable of acknowledging that some–most–people would find at least pieces of this video, profoundly hilarious. As Carl put so well:

    “…you gotta admit that there’s a certain degree of absurdity about a clown-faced man who has elected to film himself rapping in outer-space, floating between his pregnant wife’s legs, clumsily waxing poetic about the wonders of ‘fuckin rainbows!’ and butterflies and ‘long neck giraffes and pet cats and dogs’. And then there are the impenetrable mysteries of ‘fuckin magnets!’…”

    I think Insane Clown Posse is perfectly capable of “getting” how this video could be funny. I really do. And I’d be surprised if neither laughed, at least once, while viewing the playback. Maybe where the music came from is in earnest and the message about being in awe of life and to a higher degree, existence, was intended in all seriousness, but I think they used their roles as artists to create something that was intended to make their audience chuckle, soften-up and allow themselves to become a little vulnerable. You get crank-shank gangsta laughing at “Rainbows” and “Fuckin’ magnets” and you prime him to thinking about his humanity without tough-guy reservations.

  19. Jeff Holland says:

    “Just so you guys know, yes they are serious. But their idea of serious and your idea of serious might vary slightly. They are from Michigan and, for the most part, an accurate porthole into mindset and mentality of many people in the post-industrial midwest.”

    You’re gonna have to explain this a little more thoroughly.

  20. dagocutey says:

    @Rixim: Oh, no doubt there’s intentional humor — it wouldn’t be a party without laughter. They had to be on the ground after viewing the giant pregnant belly with Violent bouncing around between the legs. His line at that point is the one about having seen things that would “shock your eyelids” — I mean, come on. But what exactly is the “mindset and mentality of many people in the post-industrial midwest”?

  21. dagocutey says:

    @Rixim and
    @ V.I.P. Referee: All but the last line of my last post should have been directed to V.I.P. Referee. The last line is to Rixim. So sorry, it seems I got my insane clowns all mixed up together.

  22. Carl says:

    I want to say that having now familiarized myself with some of ICP’s other work, I am the *more* awed by the existence of this piece among their catalog. I note, too, that they are somewhat complex thematically. Some offerings from the same album, if I may. Apologies to those of you with sensitivities.

    Here is the first verse of the aptly named IMMA KILL YOU, from which the album title is drawn, which seems to describe mob justice exacted against a child-molester:

    fuck fuck you
    fuck fuck you
    guess what
    fuck fuck you
    fuck fuck you
    guess what

    first i slap your head with a bat
    the bloody splat crack wooden bat
    wind it back whack your cheek bone
    stomp your nose in ’till it’s gone
    pick you back up and puch your gut
    double you over and fold you shut
    let you drop and invite the crew
    to kick you face in two- ooohh
    racist biggot you dirty demon
    dig your eyes out while your screamin’
    drive your head into the concrete
    use your forehead to paint the street
    child abusin’ piece of crap
    a couple of knee drops across your back
    rip your pants down for the cause
    take two bricks and clap your balls

    They are less kind with the fellow in the verses that follow. Some more bad things happen to his head and genitals, hammers are employed, he swallows the teeth he isn’t able to spit out, etc. So a grim dramatization of mob-violence, obviously, though I’m sure that ICP would morally equivocate on the basis of the fact that the victim here is not just anybody– not a random, theoretical foe whose faults consist exclusively of being on the wrong side of a contest of wills with ICP, as is the case in many hardcore-rap narratives– but a heinous and immoral person whose actions call for justice.

    Also on the album that features MIRACLES is this piece called IN YO FACE:

    (shaggy 2 dope)
    Smash through the glass as the fireworks blast
    shaggy the clown here to murda some ass
    i be the strangala! known coast to coast
    and i turn any thug into a ghost

    (Violent j)
    I was fuckin this slut up in her dirty ass
    threw the rubber out the window as we drove past
    funny thing i see you standin’ on the grass
    and it fuckin’ stuck to your mustache

    Now look, hardcore is hardcore (or actually, I think the group is actually sub-genred as horrorcore) and I get that, but a number of questions *do* sort of arise here.

    The one that I am most interested in is which of the ethos in question should we take at face value and which should we take with a grain of salt and why? Also, could it be that on BANG! POW! BOOM!, we’re seeing ICP in transition, as they let go of one set of assumptions about effective and purposeful art while another is being adopted? In which case, what we are seeing here is the incongruity of overlap? On the other hand, I wonder if my perception of a conflict in sentiments between these songs and MIRACLES is just imagined. The fragility of the human body under assault by blows from hammers and bats is certainly no less miraculous than rainbows or magnets, from a certain point of view. Maybe the fat clown gets very contemplative beating a guy’s nuts with bricks. And listen, the statistical probability of having a prophylactic jettisoned by a passing vehicle actually manage to adhere to the face, has to be so extraordinarily low as to be rightfully called miraculous. So who knows.

    @Braak: Hm, this raises some questions for future discussion. You’re an interesting fellow, my friend.

  23. dagocutey says:

    @Carl: There you go again! You’re KILLING me!! Please, please interpret more — it’s the funniest shit around! But no, I don’t pick up on any “conflict in sentiments” — the songs are about different things. All of their stuff is jam-packed with emotion, so it would follow that some might seem to contradict others.

    And what I found most shocking was that a prophylactic was even employed — THAT’S friggin’ miraculous.

  24. Carl says:

    In typical SNL fashion, they caught up to this one about a month and a half behind the general public. But here ya go, anyhow:

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