Insane Clown Posse and Their Very Sane Business

The Insane Clown Posse have popped up on my radar recently.  A couple months ago I was in San Francisco and I saw all these guys headed for the Warfield Theater in clown makeup.  I didn’t even realize ICP was still active, let alone playing a 2200 seat theater.

Next I was grabbing some CDs at the library and noticed they had the new ICP one.  I’d never listened to them so what the hell? I’ve always got a soft spot for the underdog that the industry says sucks.

The CD was ok.  They’re kind of like the hip-hop version of Rob Zombie.  Over the top violence and a little humor.  It’s all very cartoonish.  I did particularly like the track about them luring in internet pedophiles and then chopping them up in the basement.  Very funny. 🙂  As to the quality of the songwriting, rapping, and production… meh.  But it was a fun listen.  I don’t see myself donning clown makeup anytime soon.

BUT… From a business standpoint you have to admire these guys.  They’re over 20 years into their career.  Putting out records on their indie imprint, playing good size venues… That is success, my friends.  On their terms and doing art they way they want to do art.  They have a clothing line.  They have a podcast style radio show.  They have a wrestling league!  And most impressively, they have the Gathering of the Juggaloes – a yearly gathering of 10,000(!) of their fans for a multi-day festival featuring themselves and other acts they work with.

People talked a lot about this type of event when Phish did it for a few years.  ICP is in their 10th year of the festival.  It’s underground.  They support their fans, they love their fans.  They’ve created one hell of a community.

In the modern entertainment industry that’s what is going to give an act longevity.  Find the people that get it and give it to them.  Until SNL skewered one of their videos recently, I’m sure most of the world had no idea who they were.

If you’re an entertainer, whether or not you like their music, do yourself a favor and watch what they’re doing with their business.  And learn.  I sure am.  Ten years from now, when Justin Bieber is looking for work on a reality show to pay for the rehab on his smack addiction, the Insane Clown Posse will still be riding a fat and happy career.

Phil Johnson

Song of the Day: Two Of Me (click to stream)
What happens when a guy with split personalities falls in love with a girl? Well, when one personality is a super nice guy and the other is a homicidal maniac, things can get pretty messy.

Don’t forget your 8 free MP3s from me!

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