It's the most Juggalo time of the year as this weekend the 15th annual Gathering of the Juggalos goes down at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. Our sister publication the Riverfront Times will be there, and in an expression of, as the Juggalos would say, MMFCL ("Much Mutha-F***in' Clown Love") we're bringing you our guide to the different types of Juggalo rappers. For almost two decades, the Gathering of the Juggalos has assembled one of the most diverse rosters of underground music in the world, so figuring out which acts are there takes a little more than just some clowning around at the camp site. Here's our guide to the Five Acts You Meet At the Gathering of the Juggalos.
The Psychopathic Family
By now, we all know what the Insane Clown Posse look like. Their label, Psychopathic Records, has spent the past 23 years bringing their brand of "wicked shit" to their "Family" all around the world. The other acts on the label, but current roster members and alumni, are easily identified by their gothic clown facepaint and "Hatchetman"-rebranded takes on popular urban clothing. Whether cowboy, like Boondox, native American, like Anybody Killa or Voodoo practitioner like Big Hoodoo (who debuted at the Gathering last year), these painted faces are the icons of the Gathering and are the biggest exclusive acts to the annual festival.
Juggalo Associates and Acquaintances
Say what you will about Psychopathic Records, if nothing else, they're fiercely loyal. In an industry where friendships seem to last a lunchtime, it's commendable how they've maintained such good terms with so many artists who join them for the Gathering seemingly each and every year. While you may not find facepaint on Kottonmouth Kings, Madchild or The Wolfpac, we're pretty sure it can be detected on their souls.
Indiscriminate Indie Rappers
Throughout most of the '90s and 2000s, there was a weird stigma about acts who had substantial Juggalo fanbases, to the point where some MCs would deliberately make efforts to distance themselves from an entire market. Despite this, there were some artists who tried to get their music heard by as many ears as possible, even if they were painted. Tech N9ne is probably the most successful to take this approach, picking up Juggalos among an numerous other niche fanbases he's amassed in his army without even having to pander. Also under this banner are, making their Gathering debut this year, the Ill Bill lead supergroup La Coka Nostra and Funk Volume's Hopsin and Dizzy Wright.
Universally Loved Hip-Hop Legends
Every year The Gathering also manages to have a surprisingly eclectic mix of celebrated more straight-forward hip-hop artists that rival those of just about any other hip-hop festival in the country. This year finds the clowns joined by Da Mafia 6ix, Cypress Hill, Shock G of Digital Underground, Yelawolf, Lil Wyte and Bone Crusher.
If you feel you've had your share of rap at the Gathering, there's plenty of rock-rap to go around. I'm hesitant to call these acts "revivalists" because they were the ones there when the rock-rap renaissance was happening and they never really stopped doing their thing. From Biohazard (who go back to recording a remix for Onyx and appearing on the Judgment Night soundtrack) to hed (PE) and Wayne Static of Static-X, it's a shaken-up can of Surge ready to explode.