Hell's Pit

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The Wraith: Hell's Pit
Hells Pit Cover.jpeg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 31, 2004 (2004-08-31)
LabelPsychopathic Records
Mike Puwal
Insane Clown Posse chronology
The Wraith: Shangri-La
The Wraith: Hell's Pit
The Tempest
The Wraith: Hell's Pit
Outer cardboard slip cover.
Outer cardboard slip cover.

The Wraith: Hell's Pit is the ninth studio album by Insane Clown Posse. Released on August 31, 2004, the album is the final chapter of the Joker's Card series. It is the second album for the 6th Joker Card in the 1st deck, and the group's 19th overall release.


Following the release of The Wraith: Shangri-La, group member Violent J admitted that he was considering not completing the production of Hell's Pit. He is quoted as describing Shangri-La as "the end of the road. It's the end of the Joker's Cards. After this I could do anything I want, for the rest of my life. The positivity was so unbelievable."[2]



Preceding the release of Hell's Pit, Bruce stated the album's sound was intended as a throwback to the minimalistic sound of Carnival of Carnage, particularly its darker second half.[3] Bruce also stated that it would contain less rock elements and singing, and that it would not feature guest appearances.[3] "Bowling Balls" samples the drum beat of Madonna's "Justify My Love," which was based upon Public Enemy's instrumental "Security of the First World",[4][5] which was in turn based on the end drum break of James Brown's "Funky Drummer".[6]

Lyrical themes[edit]

Hell's Pit is the second part of the sixth Joker's Card, The Wraith, written with the opposite intent of its counterpart, Shangri-La, Hell's Pit is intended to illustrate the horrors of hell itself. Many of the songs feature Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope fictitiously dying, to be sent to Hell, depicted in the album as a place void of all hope and peace, where those who do not atone for their sins and follow the ways of Shangri-La will presumably be sent upon their death. Bruce described the album as "Horror tale after Horror tale, mixed in with songs that describe hell"[3] and stated that it was the darkest, most painful work he had ever done.[7]


Two versions of the album were released, each containing a different DVD. One release featured a live concert and a twelve-minute music video for the song "Real Underground Baby", and another featured a short 3-D film for the song "Bowling Balls", shot in high-definition video.[8]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[9]
RapReviews.com3.5/10 stars[10]

The album peaked at #1 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart, #12 on the Top Internet Albums Chart, and #12 on the Billboard 200.[11]

Critic Steve 'Flash' Juon of Rap Reviews wrote that "Hell's Pit may be appopriately [sic] named, if only because I felt like I was in a burning pit of Hell in my ears while listening to it. Actually, that might be preferable to ever playing this album again."[10] Of the album's conclusion to the Dark Carnival storyline, Allmusic reviewer David Jeffries wrote that "Insane Clown Posse sound tired of the concept, only getting inspired when they've moved on from it".[9]


In 2017, it was announced that ICP would perform the album in its entirety at the 2018 Gathering of the Juggalos.

On July 13, 2018, ICP announced that in preparation for the 2018 Gathering of the Juggalos, they had found nine "lost Violent J recordings from the Hell's Pit recording sessions" and would release them as an EP on the day of the Hell's Pit show, and titled it Hell's Cellar.[12] During ICP's seminar, they announced that they found 13 songs all together, but decided to release nine then and the rest on the 20th anniversary edition.

Track listing[edit]

# Title Time Music Lyrics
1 "Intro" 1:31
2 "Walk into the Darkness" 3:26 Mike Puwal ICP
Rich Murrel
3 "Suicide Hotline" 3:34 Fritz "the Cat" Van Kosky ICP
4 "C.P.K's" 2:49 Fritz "the Cat" Van Kosky ICP
5 "Truly Alone" 3:56 Fritz "the Cat" Van Kosky ICP
6 "Everyday I Die" 3:25 Mike Puwal ICP
7 "The Night of the 44" 3:02 Esham
8 "The Witch" 3:20 Mike Puwal ICP
9 "Bowling Balls" 3:30 Esham
Violent J
10 "24" 2:16 Esham
Violent J
11 "Burning Up" 3:36 Mike Puwal ICP
12 "Sedatives" 3:00 Mike Puwal ICP
13 "In My Room" 3:53 Mike Puwal ICP
14 "Basehead Attack" 4:18 Esham ICP
15 "Angels Falling" 3:25 Esham ICP
16 "Manic Depressive" 3:18 Esham
Violent J
17 "Real Underground Baby" 12:38 Esham ICP

Hell's Cellar

# Title Time Music Lyrics
1 "Hell's Pit Intro (Extended)" 1:37
2 Clown Show 3:45
3 Can't End Myself 3:23
4 Takin' It Away 4:01
5 I Can See It All 3:41
6 Big Bad Wolf 3:37
7 Alakazam 3:27
8 Spontaneous Combust 4:38
9 The Truth 7:32

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2004) Peak Position
Billboard 200 12[11]
Top Independent Albums 1[11]
Top Internet Albums 12[11]


  1. ^ MacMurdo, Walker (October 29, 2015). "All 13 Insane Clown Posse albums ranked". Willamette Week. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  2. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (October 4, 2002). "Insane Clown Posse Find Light (And Hotties, Homies, Faygo) At End Of Tunnel". MTV. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
  3. ^ a b c Bruce, Joseph (June 25, 2004). "Weekly Freekly: Number 669". Psychopathic Records. Archived from the original on 2004-08-20. Retrieved 2008-08-17.
  4. ^ Jeffries, David. "Review of Hell's Pit". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  5. ^ Thomas, Lindsey (March 8, 2006). "She Bop". City Pages. Retrieved 2008-06-30.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Ressner, Jeffrey (1991-08-16). "Justify My Claim". Entertainment Weekly.
  7. ^ "Who R ICP > History > The Wraith: Hell's Pit". Psychopathic Records. Archived from the original on 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2008-05-02.
  8. ^ Anderson, John (March 26, 2009). "3-D not an alien concept in Hollywood". Newsday. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  9. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "Review of Hell's Pit". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  10. ^ a b Juon, Steve (August 31, 2004). "Review of Hell's Pit". Rap Reviews. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
  11. ^ a b c d "Insane Clown Posse Artist Chart History: Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  12. ^ "ICP Announces Just-Found Hell's Pit Tracks Dropping at GOTJ: Hell's Cellar!". Faygoluvers. Retrieved July 14, 2018.