The term originated during a 1994 live performance by Insane Clown Posse. During the song "The Juggla", Violent J addressed the audience as Juggalos, and the positive response resulted in Bruce and Shaggy 2 Dope using the word thereafter to refer to themselves and their friends, family, and fans, including other Psychopathic Records artists. The fanbase boomed following the release of their third album, Riddle Box, in 1995, leading Insane Clown Posse to write the songs "What Is A Juggalo?" and "Down With The Clown" for their 1997 album The Great Milenko.
According to Utsler, "[Juggalos come] from all walks of life – from poverty, from rich, from all religions, all colors. [...] It doesn't matter if you're born with a silver spoon in your mouth, or a crack rock in your mouth." Juggalos have compared themselves to a family.
Common characteristics of identifying a member of the Juggalo subculture are as follows:
- Drinking and spraying the inexpensive soft drink Faygo.
- Listening to horror-themed rap music.
- Wearing face paint, generally like a clown.
- Wearing HatchetGear.
- The Running Hatchet man logo applied on personal effects and die cast worn in a necklace.
- Doing hair in the spider legs style, i.e. like the Twiztid members
- Displaying the gesture of wicked clown, the westside sign with the left hand and the C sign in ASL with the right, with arms crossed over.
- Making and responding to "whoop, whoop" calls.
- Expressing a (generally) tongue-in-cheek obsession with murder, committed with a blade weapon.
Many characteristics of the Juggalo culture originated from in the 1980s, when Joseph Bruce (Violent J) and his family were living in poverty. He and his brother Robert received all their clothes from rummage sales, and their food from canned food drives held at their own school. Due to their poverty, the Bruce Brothers were the brunt of many jokes in school. However, the brothers were not ashamed of their living standards, and instead embraced it. Joe even made a name for themselves, Floobs. According to Joe, a Floob was essentially a scrub, but not just an ordinary scrub. A Floob "wore the same old shoes and shitty clothes from rummage sales [...] but [...] didn't even have to be cool. [Floobs] turned [their] scrubbiness into something [they] could be proud of." Though Joe only specifically names himself and his brother as Floobs, he alludes to other Floobs whom he had not met or known of, but were living in the same conditions as he and his brother; the respect that Floobs had for each other and their family-like embrace of likewise people influenced the philosophy held among Juggalos.
Charities, benefits and community activity of Juggalos
Juggalos in Denver, Colorado founded the charity Juggalos Making A Difference. In 2010, Psychopathic Records ran a toy drive to benefit children of poor families. Since 2008, Florida Juggalos organized The Juggalo Cleanup Crew to pick up trash for the Dead Stephanie Memorial Cleanup, in honor of Stephanie Harris, high school student who died of diabetes in 2008. In 2013, Juggalos organized a fundraiser to cover the funeral costs of a murdered Juggalo.[not in citation given]
Although the Juggalo subculture stems from horrorcore hip hop music fandom, criminal and gang-related activity has been attributed to self-described 'Juggalos' in recent years, including assaults, drug trafficking, vandalism, burglary, shootings, theft, robbery, and numerous murders.
Interaction between violent and nonviolent Juggalos
According to a 2011 Intelligence Report, the Juggalo subculture is split between violent and nonviolent factions. Some members of the Juggalos street gang even look down on non-criminal Juggalos, considering them to be weak, and criminal Juggalo gangs have committed attacks on non-gang-related Juggalos.
Both Juggalo gang affiliates and nonviolent Juggalos believe in the Juggalo "family".
However, some nonviolent Juggalos do not believe that any gang related activity should be associated with the Juggalo lifestyle.
Public and artist reactions
Psychopathic Records launched the website juggalosfightback.com for fans to submit stories about unfair treatment by law enforcement. ICP hopes to use these stories in their legal battle to declassify Juggalos as a gang.
Gathering of the Juggalos
The Gathering of the Juggalos (The Gathering or GOTJ) is an annual festival put on by Psychopathic Records, featuring performances by the entire label as well as numerous well-known musical groups and underground artists. It was founded by Robert Bruce, Insane Clown Posse, and their label in 2000. The Gathering has featured bands of a variety of genres within hip hop and rock, though the majority of the acts perform horrorcore and hardcore hip hop, similar to that of Psychopathic Records artists.
Described by Joseph Bruce as a "Juggalo Woodstock", the Gathering of the Juggalos spans four days and includes concerts, wrestling, games, contests, autograph sessions, karaoke, and seminars with artists. Over its first eleven events, the festival has drawn an attendance of about 107,500 fans.
On July 14, 2012, Vice's Music Channel Noisey released "American Juggalo," a twenty-minute film documenting the festival.
In popular media
Psychopathic Records launched the professional wrestling company Juggalo Championship Wrestling in 1999.
Mainstream media has also made references to the Juggalo subculture. In 2009, television sketch comedy Saturday Night Live began a reoccurring series of sketches about the "Kickspit Underground Rock Festival" which parodies Juggalos and the Gathering of the Juggalos. The following year, the television show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia parodied Juggalos on the episode "Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth". In 2011, the television show Workaholics aired an episode called "Straight Up Juggahos" that revolved around Juggalos and an Insane Clown Posse concert. Later that year, an independent documentary entitled American Juggalo was released.
Several well-known figures have identified themselves as Juggalos. These include actors Kane Hodder and Charlie Sheen, professional wrestlers Kazushige Nosawa, Vampiro, Colt Cabana, and Willie Mack, and rappers Chuck D, Coolio, Kung Fu Vampire, MURS, and Vanilla Ice.
- Mike Brown (July 2008). "Mike Brown's Juggalodown". SLUG Magazine. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
- Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "Ringmaster's Word". In Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 237–238. ISBN 0-9741846-0-8. Unknown parameter
- Nathan Rabin (12). "Violent J of Insane Clown Posse". A.V.Club. Onion Inc. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
- Mervis, Scott (May 20, 2010). "Insane Clown Posse is back in the Dark Carnival". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- McDevitt, Katie (July 27, 2008). "Fans or gang? Meet the Juggalos". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
- Cizmar, Martin (November 18, 2008). "Insane Clown Posse’s Juggalos Aren’t a Gang — Just Punk Kids". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
- Hotts, Mitch (27 June 2012). "Insane Clown Posse inspires pop vandalism (with video)". The Daily Tribune. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Walker, Rob (27 August 2010). "Consumed - When Celebrity Endorsements Are Unwanted". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Stevens, Bill (March 29, 2009). "Gulf High's Juggalo Cleanup Crew displays edgy look, genuine caring". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
- Davila, Florangela (July 18, 2006). "Hanging with the Juggalos". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "The Floobs". In Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. p. 35. ISBN 0-9741846-0-8. Unknown parameter
- Name * (2012-03-26). "National Gang Intelligence Center Juggalos Intelligence Report". Public Intelligence. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- "FBI — 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment". Fbi.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Miller, Jessica (2012-10-08). "'Juggalo Killers' a new breed of gang". Standard.net. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- "A gathering of Juggalos accused in grisly Ohio murder | Trench Reynolds". Trenchreynolds.me. 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Andrew Scott (2009-04-25). "Teens to be tried in Price Township 'Juggalo' murder". PoconoRecord.com. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Bashir, Martin (2010-03-09). "Law Enforcement Claims 'Horrorcore' Genre Incites Crime - ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- File Photo. "Insane Clown Posse suing FBI in Flint federal court over Juggalo gang listing". MLive.com. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Dodero, Camille. "Insane Clown Posse Actually, Legitimately, Amazingly is Suing the FBI". Gawker.
- By Spencer AckermanEmail Author. "FBI's Newest Gang Threat: Insane Clown Posse Fans | Danger Room". Wired.com. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "Hatchet Rising". In Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 470–496. ISBN 0-9741846-0-8. Unknown parameter
- ICP on Howard Stern 9.1.09. The Howard Stern Show. 1 September 2009. 3:00 minutes in. Sirius Satellite Radio. Howard 100. http://www.insaneclownposse.com/media/interview/icp_howard_stern_090901.mp3.
- Gary Graff (2011-07-29). "Insane Clown Posse: Juggalos Will Love Charlie Sheen, Bobby Brown at Gathering". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-07-30.
- Graham, Adam (October 30, 2008). "ICP's annual Halloween bash brings the insane circus to town". The Detroit News. Retrieved 2008-11-02.
- Insane Clown Posse (presenters) (2009-01-27). Weekly Freekly Weekly January Edition (internet news). Detroit, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. Event occurs at 7:45. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
- Fats Pepper (presenter) (2009-04-11). Weekly Freekly Weekly April 2009 (internet news). Detroit, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. Retrieved 2009-04-12.
- Hammerstein, B.J. (December 8, 2009). "Detroit rappers ICP amused by recent SNL skit". Detroit Free Press.[dead link]
- Dave Itzkoff (2011-05-01). "Beneath the Greasepaint, the Roar of ‘Fam-i-ly!’". Music. The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
- David Sims (2010-11-11). "Dee Reynolds: Shaping America's Youth". Onion Inc. Retrieved 2011-05-31.
- Camille Dodero (2011-05-19). "Q&A: Workaholics Director Kyle Newacheck On Setting His Comedy Central Show At The Gathering Of The Juggalos". Village Voice, LLC. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
- Aaron Foley (2011-09-29). "Video of the day: 'American Juggalo,' a look inside Insane Clown Posse's annual gathering". Michigan Live LLC.
- Eugene Morton (2009-02-12). "The Five Best Actors To Play Jason Voorhees". Attack of the Blog!. G4 Media, Inc. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
- TMZ (7 July 2011). "Charlie Sheen -- I'm A Hardcore JUGGALO". TMZ.com. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Corporal Robinson (June 12, 2007). "The State of the Game". Psychopathic Records. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
- Vampiro (July 7, 2006). "For my Juggalo brothers and sisters". MySpace. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
- Colt Cabana (Interviewer) and Insane Clown Posse (Interviewees) (2011-02-17). "AOW 30: Insane Clown Posse". Art Of Wrestling Radio. Event occurs at 9:25. http://tsmradio.com/coltcabana/2011/02/17/aow-30-insane-clown-posse/. Retrieved 2011-02-17. "I'm a Juggalo. I have been for a while."
- Colt Cabana (Interviewer) and Willie Mack (Interviewee) (2011-05-04). "AOW 41: Willie Mack". Art Of Wrestling Radio. Event occurs at 21:53. http://tsmradio.com/coltcabana/podpress_trac/web/121/0/show41.mp3. Retrieved 2011-05-05. "Yeah I'm a Juggalo."
- Dansby, Andrew (October 22, 2003). "Violent J on ICP's Bizaar, Bizzar Ride". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
- TMZ Staff (2010-06-07). "Coolio's Tattoo Screw Up -- Nothin' But a 'G' Thang". TMZ.com. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
- Dark Jedi Hillz (December 6, 2009). "Exclusive Interview - Kung Fu Vampire". JuggaloNews. Retrieved 8 December 2009.
- Hodge. "An exclusive interview with MURS". Milenko500. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "I’m A Survivor: Vanilla Ice". Interviews. The Entertainment Nexus. September 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-09.
- Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). Nathan Fostey, ed. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. ISBN 0-9741846-0-8.
- Juggalos Fight Back, a website established by Insane Clown Posse and Psychopathic Records as part of their legal action against the Federal Bureau of Investigation