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Forty minutes or so into the Insane Clown Posse's show Tuesday night at Warehouse Live, Aftermath relapsed. Not with drugs or drinking, mind you, but with our love of the Posse, which we had all but forgotten. As one song transitioned into another, we heard the beginnings of the backbeat to "Homies," a simple, upbeat ditty about being yourself and keeping good company, and at that point we lost our composure.
We made our way into the mosh pit, found an old juggalo friend and began stomping in the Faygo puddles while screaming and bouncing off fellow juggalos. And, of course, while all of this was happening, we all had enormous smiles on our faces. Now that we think about it, maybe that's what the clown makeup is about: No matter your mood, when you're a juggalo, you're always smiling.
A lot of people just don't understand it and simply consider the Posse and its fans pin-heads or degenerates, but anyone who's ever attended a show or listened to ICP knows better. They may not be able to put it into words or succinctly describe what it is about the group that makes them all so happy, that makes them all feel like family, but that's exactly it: It's a feeling.
This is more than music. For many, this is a religious awakening. Most people put on a tie and go to church once a week, but juggalos have a different kind of worship service, and they're happy to share it with anyone who's willing to keep an open mind and an open ear.
Say what you will and feel free to use the anonymity of YouTube and the comments-section on this very blog to spew your hate, but the juggalo family will not and cannot be fazed. They may get a bad rep in the news, because it's easy for the media to say, "Look at this piece of trash who robbed a liquor store. He's wearing makeup, and it's different from what we look like, so let's all ridicule and be afraid of him." But that's not a fair representation of what ICP or their fans are all about.
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If you fall down in the mosh pit, people will pick you up. If you spill your drink on someone, they'll smile and give you a hug. They may chant along about killing piggies, chugging 40s and seeking revenge on those who have done them wrong, but most juggalos, from what we can tell, live vicariously through the songs that ICP sing, and that's where it all ends.
These shows are a roller coaster of emotions, reaching all the way from undying rage to euphoric happiness and everywhere in between. Judge if you must or if it helps you sleep at night to put others down who are different than you, but we consider ourselves juggalos because, having spent a decent amount of time with these people now, we can honestly say that finding a more accepting group of concert-goers simply isn't going to happen. And for that reason alone, never mind how much fun ICP's music can be if you give it an honest chance, we will forever be fans, and we'll be at all their shows, smiling as we're sprayed with Faygo, shoulder to shoulder with a group of people that accepts us fro who we are and expects nothing from us save for a good attitude.
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And since we're in Texas and all, Aftermath appreciates the hospitality. Be it southern or juggalo, it's a nice feeling to go to a show and, regardless of how you look, be accepted by a large group of people.
Personal Bias: It's been a long time since we listened to ICP, but the feelings are still there, somewhere deep down inside of us. Their music is akin to riding a bicycle, if that makes any sense. You might not hop on for a while, but once you're familiar with it, if you decide to get into it again, you'll pick back up right where you left off.
Overheard in the Crowd: At one point, during Blaze's performance, a juggalo tried to inch behind us and accidentally groped our buttocks. At that very moment, the crowd, and the juggalo whose hand was touching us, chanted, "Bitch, shut up!" We kind of felt violated.
Random Notebook Dump: You know those ads that show people kayaking, motorcycling and doing all sorts of fun stuff that end with, "My name is so-and-so, and I'm a Mormon?" They should totally do those for juggalos.