It's the most magical, miraculous time of the year, as this week the
good people wicked clowns at Psychopathic Records bring us this year's Gathering of the Juggalos. No longer at Cave In Rock, Illinois, this year's festivities will take place at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, or as the 2014 commercial installment would have you believe, "Heaven." Our St. Louis sister paper, Riverfront Times will be there — look for that coverage later this week.
In the meantime, here are the biggest head-scratchers in the event's lineup.
5) Digital Underground
Lead by Shock G, one of the most underrated producers and all-around greats in hip-hop history, Digital Underground will be encouraging the Juggalos to "Doowutchyalike," and the safe money's on them being receptive to the message. The only reason D.U. isn't ranked higher is because they've not only played the Gathering once before, but hold the distinction of being one of the few bands to actively encourage the audience to throw whatever they want at the stage. That's the way they swing.
4) La Coka Nostra
A decade or so ago the Juggalo/horrorcore fanbase and the underground boom-bap traditionalists seemed to have an unspoken tension with each other. Today, one of the most visible underground constants, Ill Bill leads his La Coka Nostra supergroup right into the heart of Juggalo country. This might lead to one of the wildest sets of the entire festival.
3) Cypress Hill
While it's neither been confirmed nor denied that Cypress Hill are Juggalos, their penchant for bass-heavy, unpredictably intense hip-hop and what's commonly referred to as "the marijuana pot" makes them likely to be, at the very least, Juggalo sympathizers. Still, the Hill's devoted fanbase of over twenty years could very well have thrown their own festival, so seeing the crossover between Cypress Hill devotees and Juggalos should be a sight to behold.
2) Wayne Static of Static-X
No disrespect to Mr. Static, but we're pleasantly surprised to see him kicking his brand of solo Staticness pretty much anywhere. Compared to their nu-metal contemporaries, Static-X carried an aura of unpretentiousness, and their covers of rap songs and Wayne's love of eccentric campy imagery should make his set a surefire hit.
1) Gilbert Gottfried
You read right. The only act on this year's bill who has, as of press time, voiced a beloved Disney character, Gilbert Gottfried is bringing one of the most dependably outrageous and side-splitting voices in comedy to the Gathering's Fresh Ass Comedy Tent. One can hope a two liter of Faygo will make its way into the Aristocrats joke.