|Well we’ve come to it, the point where one of our members officially jumps the shark. I don’t want to say who, I’m pretty sure you’ll all figure it out. I’m also certain, that after (attempting) to listen to this mess of nonsense, I’ll have no trouble throwing said member under the RC Bus. But, all I do is make the playlists people. So, here, in all of it’s under-educated, masked-makeup, fago-drinkin, methed-out madness, is:Insane Clown Posse’s Riddlebox….apparently, the Twilight Saga of incomprehensible music, but I’m sure I shouldn’t judge.|
|RC: Insane Clown Posse – Riddlebox
Least favorite track/tracks:
Overall (1-5 stars): $.02 ß Don’t waste your time.
|This album is actually kind of fun. – Freshness McMurderman|
|Insane Clown Posse – Riddle Box: 1.5 stars
Precon: Nerdcore gangsta rap metal set in a demented circus. These guys crafted a brand from the ground up, and it earned them two things: a hardcore base of devoted fans allowing them to make records for two decades and counting and a lifetime of ridicule from the public at large. I just look at them as a couple of guys trying to make their nut. Do they believe the stupid things they say? Hard to answer yes, but I suppose it’s possible. More likely they just know what’s good for them. This juggalo thing is their livelihood. They might still believe what they’re doing is unique and creative and has a good message, but ehrybody gotta hustle homey.
Favorite Track: The Show Must Go On
I read some of the wiki on the Dark Carnival thing so I think I know what’s going on here. Some guy (by extension us) at the beginning of the album died and he goes to the Dark Carnival to be judged. He has to turn the crank on the Riddle Box to find out what happens, and then I guess ICP comes out of it? I don’t know, I get kind of confused at that point, but I can appreciate the idea. It’s stupid but it does require some thought.
How does it work?
Magic the Gathering Card: “Tumble Magnet”
|Insane Clown Posse- Riddlebox
Preconceived Notions: How have we fallen this far? It’s not even a full year into this musical experiment and this is happening. I think I’ll hate this. I kind of want to hate it. I feel like “wanting to” or feeling like I “should” like ICP would be the equivalent of thinking that going bungee jumping without a cord might be a fun thing to try on the weekend. It makes no sense. I’m getting this over as quickly as possible. A lot of people view these painful situations as being analogous to ripping off a band-aid. No, in this case I would rather be covered in a full body suit of adhesive tape and then have each strip be SLOWLY removed, leaving me looking like the kid that Andrew Clark made bleed that earned him his detention. In fact, I feel like this is my work detention. Sure, I thought Record Club sounded like a good idea, but that was when I foolishly thought that people would want to listen to music, not yammering painted-faced fools. Let’s get this over with.
Ok, I heard the second track end, but the third track sounds exactly the same. Although I just heard a wonderful lyric “don’t say a word or I’ll kick you in the neck bitch”
He just used the word “wang” un-ironically didn’t he? And that track just ended in hail of bullets.
Chicken Hunting-it might be the height of irony that this is so derogatory towards “hillbillies”, no? Or do I still not “get it”? Also it makes me wonder what kind of lyrical genius they could have dropped on us if the KFC Double-down had been around before this song.
After Listening: I can say this, I guess that was easier to get through than I first thought it would be. To their credit, as something of a “concept” album, this works better than some that we’ve listened to. The beats aren’t awful, just uninventive and slovenly, but the “circus” atmosphere does put it in a weird atmospherically hypnotizing state. I guess that you could say whatever they were aiming for they succeeded in. But the lyrics were so over the top ridiculous, the gunfire, the killing and “guts on the camera”, it’s just too much for me. But then again, I’m sure I’m not their target audience. I think they refer to me at some point as either a “stuck up ho” or a “rich bitch” although such simplistic categories don’t really apply to me. That’s ok. I’m intrigued by the fact that they seem to hate hillbillies and yet, I’m sure if I went to Juggalo-mania or whatever they call The Gathering of Clowns, that there’d be a fair share of what I would consider to be “hillbilly-esque” folks. Well Insane Clown Posse wouldn’t be the first group to pull the wool over the eyes of the people buying their records. I guess they appeal to people who feel they’ve been treated crappy by life and overlooked by all those rich people and this is their grand way of saying eff you to the “system”. I guess I’m ultimately just thankful that there wasn’t screaming. Maybe I used to confuse these guys with Slipknot.
Favorite-I guess I’ll go with Headless Boogie
|Preconceived Notions: My juggalo name is Maltkikker Angelstab. I fear this will be the coolest thing about this experiment. Honestly when I do an objective analysis of the ICP – I realize they have brought more humor into my life than anything, I only have heard about 1.5 songs – but I’ve had hours watching their culture get mocked by comedians, or watching interviews where the fans pretty much do all the work for you. I guess I just prefer to try and laugh, rather than cry…afterall on the list of societal ills elements of the ICP culture are very very disturbing, but sadly hardly without corresponding conditions in other areas of or culture. I am holding my breath here, and I have a bad feeling that now having to examine the actual music- is going to be a lot less fun than watching white trash in makeup hurt themselves.
After Listening: Perhaps ICP is correct in the 2nd track with “the joke’s on you” – you meaning whomever had to listen to this. Very rarely does an album live up to hype – for richer or poorer, but this thing is every bit as piss poor as advertized. It’s sort of interesting to me that they seem to have a concept for not only the album, but the direction of the entire band. However, the actual album comes across as a ramblely confused mess….it has a clear beginning with a car crash and deaths – but when the carnival elements enter the picture, things get stale and stupid quickly. Too many of the tracks have unrelenting and repetitive beats –although I have to give some basic credit for at least using a few different instrumentation setups. Lyrically, while the ideas of this album could be deemed interesting-the individual songs have terrible rhymes – and are a logical mess. I hate to use stereotypes, but this is just bad “white boy rap” – it says a ton that they had to self finance this load. Of the many criticisms one can level at this thing – bad beats, bad rhymes, lame humor – its most unforgivable sin is its repetition. I mean here you have an album that proclaims to tell all of these different tales (exhibits at the carnival), and yet really, do we get any variation? Do we get a style change up? Maybe guitar on this track, maybe – but these are the sort of minor things that really do get lost in a shuffle of bland beats and terrible rapping. I guess the skits and the samples are varied enough-albeit on the same subject- but even these are flat.
Individual Track Observations: “Headless” – a swipe at Kurt Cobain? Was that necessary? Damn.
Overall: 0.54 To paraphrase the Simpsons: There’s a right way to do something like this (cf Gravediggaz), a wrong way to do it, and the ICP way. Isn’t that the wrong way? Yes, but dumber. ICP would like you to hate them b/c they’re vulgar and counterculture, and too unique…but in reality you’re gonna hate them b/c they’re lame, boring, and generally musically talentless. I wonder how many Juggalos really breakdown and enjoy the full concept of this album and the dark carnival? As an outsider I think it’s likely they just hear some carnival elements, and some death references and are more than content not to worry about the execution of the rest of it. Maybe the carnival imagery was new to them, maybe the makeup-as it had done for Gwar or Kiss years and years before, maybe that’s all they needed to feel like this was new and groundbreaking. It’s not- even the supposedly signature carnival stuff is one or two variant organ tracks – and lyrics that constantly remind us of our setting. It shouldn’t be like this, if you have a concept flush it out the entire way – develop your music, your lyrics, your imagery to something beyond 16 tracks of similar suckitude. Why did it develop into a culture? Who can say? I never liked any of the Grateful Dead stuff, and look at what happened there. I tried to listen to this album in the vacuum apart from that traveling nonsense, and either way – with the Juggalos or without them this is a terrible effort.
|ICP – Riddlebox
Preconceptions: This is my prank pick, RCers. Hope ya’ll enjoy it. So, I hate Juggalos, and I can’t stand ICP. I blame whoever came up with all that evil clown and joker imagery of the early-90s. ICP and Juggaloism is the result of stoned ass mf’ers going into head shops and seeing bongs with evil jokers on them, as well as lighters, t-shirts and various other early-90s mass produced faux-subversive garbage culture. This stuff poisoned the mind of too many poor souls. I also blame the inventor of Jnco clothing. He or she undoubtedly has a hand in this disgrace—and let’s not forget Kid Rock, a fellow Detroit area scumbag who, if I’m not mistaken, is down with these clowns. He’s an enabler of some sort, and he sucks almost as much. Lastly, I’d like to blame Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman and the entire Republican establishment. If not for the results of their “conservative revolution”, war on the middle class and organized labor, and general top down supply-side economic policies, Detroit may not have devolved to the point of producing white trash of the ICP, Kid Rock and Eminem variety, and the poor and vulnerable types of folks who fall victim to Juggaloism. It’s all very sad.
This being said, I vow to review this album as objectively as possible.
After listening: I’ve determined that Juggalos and Juggalo culture is far, far worse than the actual music. This is not to say that the music is good, but rather just not as bad as looking at and listening to Juggalos feels. The music is in fact just mediocre at its best. The main problem I have with this album is that it lacks cohesion for what is supposed to be an installment in this larger Dark Carnival mythology. I sense that there is some sort of concept going on, but it completely lacks focus, and suggests to me that Violent J and the other guy, whatsisface, are not nearly as clever as they think they are. Also, the album has some momentum to it, but for whatever reason, these moronic clowns chose to end the album with three painfully slow paced songs that are so bad they make the rest of the album seem like Pet Sounds (yeah, because we all loved that one, right?). Ok, maybe not Pet Sounds, but, like, some other music that doesn’t want to make me want to kill myself as quickly as possible, or drink enough of Dawn’s goddamn Puerto Rican coffee in hopes that the caffeine overload might dull my senses.
But in all, this sh*it is just straight bad. Like worse than Beyonce in Goldmember bad. Worse than Criss Angel bad. Worse than Gallagher bad. Like the complete opposite of Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Oh, but Cemetery Girl is pretty good. I liked that song.
Favorites: Cemetery Girl
Overall: 1.7 stars
And lastly, allow me to unveil a new feature of my RC reviews. In honor of the return of NBA basketball, I will conclude each review for the next few weeks with an NBA player to represent each album This weeks player is Jason Williams, who just has to be a Juggalo or a Juggalo sympathizer
|Insane Clown Posse – Riddlebox
A review by Commodore Hategroin bin Sliceliver bin Jawadiddler, OBE
Preconceptions: Fck me. What did I do to deserve this?
Post Listening: Oh, yeah. I shoplifted a comic book from Paperback Trader in Groton when I was 13. We’re even, world.
The Mack: n/a
Overall: I am rating this album purely on it’s musical merits and disregarding the meth-addled subculture it bafflingly spawned. My main thoughts on the album:
The last track cut off before it ended, but I doubt anyone noticed.
Is this album terrible? Abso-fukkin-lutely. Is the cartoonish imitation of “gangstah” talk hovering a hair shy of racism? Ballz-a-fuk-hella-yeah. Should anyone concerned with the creation of this album have earned a dime from it? Hellz-a-staba-puke-la-no, ninja! Is it anywhere close to sounding as bad as I’d imagined? Not really.
Extra Credit: Gravediggaz – 6 Feet Deep