Insane Clown Posse:
The Great Milenko 20th Anniversary Tour
with R.A. The Rugged Man, Lyte, Ouija & Web Three
@ The Hangar in Miami.
Insane Clown Posse
Few artists have as devoted a fan base (“Juggalos” as they call themselves) and are as roundly dismissed by critics as Insane Clown Posse, the Wayne, Michigan, rap-metal duo of Violent J (a.k.a. Joe Bruce) and Shaggy 2 Dope (a.k.a. Joey Utsler). Still, ICP’s longevity and marketing acumen have brought a success even their detractors must acknowledge.
Originally, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope were part of a rap quartet called Inner City Posse, which formed in 1988; when the group broke apart, Insance Clown Posse took its place in the local firmament. Their debut, 1992’s Carnival of Carnage, introduced the group’s new sound, which mixed harder rock elements among the beats and rhymes and its essential pose (clowns in full make-up anticipating the apocalypse, basically). But despite a steady stream of albums that sell well to the group’s surprisingly large core, ICP’s main draw is its live show featuring all manner of sideshow shenanigans, including pyrotechnics and the liberal tossing of Faygo soda onto a willing audience.
With a growing fan-base, 1994’s The Ringmaster sold well, eventually going gold, and led to the band signing with Jive records for 1995’s The Riddle Box. The band jumped to Hollywood Records for 1997’s The Great Milenko (Number 63) which helped propel ICP into the national spotlight; Hollywood’s pulling the album off shelves due to questionable lyrical content gave the album an even further push as the burgeoning nü-metal audience couldn’t wait to hear what all the fuss was about. Island eventually issued the disc. The band began making headlines but not so much for their music but thanks to a road accident (Violent J suffered a concussion), fights with their own audiences and at an Indiana Waffle House, and a panic attack onstage in Minneapolis (J’s).
By 1999, when the group issued The Amazing Jeckel Brothers, it had enough clout to debut at Number Four on the Top 200, and like Kiss before them, they began merchandising like crazy: multiple CD covers, a movie (Big Money Hustlas, which bypassed theaters for video), comic books, even part-time careers as professional wrestlers for both members, as well as appearances in a pair of wrestling video games. The group closed out the initial run of its ‘Dark Carnival’ series of albums with Shangri-La and Hell’s Pit, with the former album proclaiming that they had been leading their fans to God the whole time. ICP’s profile has shrunk in recent years (they’ve gone back to indie labels and tour in less high-profile a fashion), but their fan base remains as loyal as their 2007 release the The Tempest, which debuted at Number 20 on the Top 200, proved.
R.A. The Rugged Man
R.A. Thorburn, better known by his stage name R.A. the Rugged Man, is an American rapper. He began his music career at age 12, building a reputation locally for his lyrical skills. After a nine-label bidding war for his services, R.A. signed to major label Jive Records at age 18. Eventually R.A. and the label parted ways. His first album, Night of the Bloody Apes, was never released.
Since then, he has worked with the likes of Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang Clan, Kool G Rap, and Notorious B.I.G, as well as producers Erick Sermon, Trackmasters, DJ Quik, The Alchemist, J-Zone, and Ayatollah. He was featured on all three of Rawkus’s Soundbombing albums, as well as the platinum-selling WWF Aggression album. After a brief stint on Capitol Records (during which he recorded another unreleased album, American Lowlife), R.A. signed with independent label Nature Sounds and released his official debut, Die, Rugged Man, Die. In 2013, R.A. released his second album, Legends Never Die. The album was released on April 30, 2013 by Nature Sounds.
The newest addition to the Psychopathic Records roster for 2017, Lyte comes to the label with an already well established fanbase built upon his his exhilarating and energetic live performances — a wicked blend of chopper-like rhymes and banging beats teamed with an unmistakable stage presence. He has toured with such acts as Critical Bill, Project Born, Motown Rage, and Twiztid. Lyte released his first mixtape (“Follow the Lyte) in 2014 and is readying his debut album for Psychopathic Records for its release in mid-2017. A multitalented performer, songwriter, and producer, Lyte is certain to illuminate the underground rap world in 2017.
Way more than just a rock/rap fusion outfit, Web Three Music is its own genre. It’s a “work hard, party hard” ethos mixed with social commentary, hard-hitting beats, live instruments, witty lyrics, and an undertone that urges listeners to be themselves. Web Three is “Do You” music, blending genres from hip hop to rock, with a touch of electro and soul. Having shared the stage with such artists as HED (p.e.), Twista, Project Pat, and Rehab, the band has developed a dedicated fan base and a close-knit family like following which fills venues. Web Three’s sound has been compared to Linkin Park, The Beastie Boys, and Rage Against the Machine… It’s up to you to decide for yourself.
Web Three’s name derives from his initials. Born William E. Bachelor III, Web is a charismatic rapper who is a self-described one-man mosh pit of style and a hip-hop fiend. He blends a natural gift for verse with a “f— it” attitude, making him the MC that stands out in a field of regurgitating one-offs. Equally important is his supporting cast. The incessantly joking Dita Von Bloom functions as the band’s hype man and second vocalist. Mike Dickson, the band’s guitarist, brings live instrumentation and adds energy to the already amped-up shows. Demonic theatrics are embodied by Ratt. The soft-spoken DJ Needlez runs the sequencing and turntables during the live show.
The lyrical flow has variety and is effortless. The music is firm and thick. The entire sound is full yet rageful. The complementary releases of the harder album “Do You,” and the more introspective “Loss, Love, and The New Normal” featuring Kaaren Styles, taken together present a complete range of talent that showcases the true depth of Web Three.