After 16 years of presenting Hallowicked concerts, Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J has his Halloween nights down to a science.
Despite his on stage responsibilities, the rapper (real name Joseph Bruce) makes sure to trick-or-treat with his two children — JJ, 5, and Ruby, 3 — around their suburban Detroit neighborhood. “We have a golf cart,” J, 38, notes, “and I sit in a golf cart like a lazy bum and drive around while the kids go up to houses and get their trick-or-treat on. Either I’m wearing my (face) paint for the show that night or I just throw a mask on.
“It’s great. Every year since the kids have been born I’ve been able to get my trick-or-treat on with them. I’m real fortunate.”
Then, of course, he and partner Shaggy 2 Dope (Joe Utsler) will finish the night delivering their own brand of treats to the Juggalos, ICP’s insanely devoted, Faygo-spraying fan base that’s made the Novi-based duo one of the most successful independent acts in the world, gobbling up a steady stream of albums (the latest, 2009’s “Bang! Pow! Boom!” debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart), merchandise, releases by other acts on ICP’s Psychopathic Record label and lifestyle events such as Juggalo Championship Wrestling and the annual summer Gathering of the Juggalos.
Hallowicked, however, is more about fun than finances.
“Each one is something big for us, something huge,” explains J. “Is this really the 17th annual? Some people in the crowd are 17, y’know? And some have been going to ICP shows on Halloween their whole lives. That’s cool, man, awesome.
“But we don’t really look back too much. We look forward. That’s why the 17th Halloween show is going to be different than the other 16. We’re trying to keep climbing, keep things fresh. We don’t want to be stale. We keep building our legacy, not say, ‘Look what we’ve done’ and sit back.”
ICP will, in fact, continue that building process in 2011 — though it’s also taking a brief moment to look back, too.
The latter comes in the form of “Featuring Freshness,” a three-CD compilation of ICP’s guest appearances on other artists’ records, including Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Three 6 Mafia and Vanilla Ice — plus new recordings with Paris, Above The Law and Detroit MC Tone Tone. One disc from the set, which is due in February, will focus entirely on outside artists, while another will contain collaborations with Psychopathic mates. And the third will be comprised entirely of team-ups with Psychopathic’s Twiztid.
“This is the ultimate collection for people who want to hear stuff we did on other people’s albums without having to get all the other albums,” J says. “It’s a big trip, man. Some of it we say, ‘God, we could’ve come tighter on that one ... ’
“But it moves through different times and different eras, different things we were going through, different ways we sounded over the years. It’s just cool if you’re an ICP fan and you want to hear everything we’ve done outside of our own albums.”
Even more exciting, though, are plans for ICP’s next album, whose title and concept will be announced at Sunday’s Hallowicked show. J, Shaggy and producer Mike E. Clark are already putting together beats and song topics and will head up to Clark’s studio in northern Michigan during January, “way up in the middle of nowhere where the only thing going on in our life is that album ... This one’s just gonna take a lot of time. There’s so much that needs to be recorded.
“It’s definitely a job, a lot of work. But I’m excited, I’m not (complaining).”
And while there are few details to share yet, J does promise “the bombest, most devastating thing we’ve put out yet,” another entry in ICP’s “joker’s card” series of thematic albums that “teach the listeners something about themselves.”
“We’re so excited about this next album,” J says. “We’re really gonna bring it. We have an idea and a grasp on what we should be doing, who we are and what we need to sound like on this next album.
“And I can promise you this; the packaging is so ... devastating. I don’t know how it came to us; one day it was just delivered into my brain, like a gift. So as far as Juggalos go, it’s going to be everything they can dream of because what comes with the album is so dope.”
Insane Clown Posse’s 17th Annual Hallowicked, featuring Dayton Family, AMB, Boondox, ABK and Mike E. Clark, takes place Sunday, Oct. 31, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $42. Call 313-961-5451 or visit www.livenation.com. The official Hallowicked Afterparty, featuring Blaze Ya Dead Homie and Juggalo Championship Wrestling, takes place Sunday at the Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 day of show. Call 313-833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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