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A car painted with a reproduction of the Psychopathic Records logo and the word juggalo, a name given to fans of Insane Clown Posse and Psychopathic
A juggalo on his bike in California

A juggalo (feminine juggalette, or juggala in Spanish)[1] is a fan of the hip hop group Insane Clown Posse or any other hip hop group signed to Psychopathic Records. Juggalos have developed their own idioms, slang, and characteristics.[2] The Gathering of the Juggalos,[3] alternatively known as just "The Gathering", is a notable annual festival held by juggalos and the artists that they support, which have included rap stars such as Busta Rhymes, Ice Cube, and MC Hammer; over its first eleven events (2000–2010),[needs update] the festival drew a total attendance of about 107,500 fans, averaging nearly 9,800 per year, with a peak of 20,000 in 2010.[4]


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 Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope using the word thereafter to refer to themselves and their friends, family and fans, including other Psychopathic Records artists.[5] 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.[6]


According to Shaggy 2 Dope, "[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."[7] Juggalos have compared themselves to a family.[8][9]

Common characteristics of identifying a member of the Juggalo subculture are as follows:

  • Drinking and spraying the inexpensive soft drink Faygo.[10][11]
  • Listening to horrorcore and other types of underground rap music.
  • Wearing face paint, generally those either like an evil clown or perhaps similar to corpse paint.
  • Wearing HatchetGear or Chapter 17 branded clothes.
  • Having the Hatchet man logo applied on personal effects and, die cast, worn as jewelry.
  • Doing hair in the "spider legs" style, i.e. like the Twiztid members[8]
  • Displaying the gesture of "wicked clown", the "westside" sign with the left hand and the "C* sign in American Sign Language 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.

Juggalos view the lyrics of Psychopathic Records artists, which are often violent in nature, as a catharsis for aggression.[12][13]

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.[14] Due to their poverty, the Bruce Brothers were the butt of many jokes in school. However, the brothers were not ashamed of their living standards, and instead embraced it.[14] Joe even made a name for themselves, Floobs.[14] 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."[14] 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.[14]

Charities, benefits and community activity of Juggalos

The Dead Stephanie Memorial Cleanup

Since 2008, Florida Juggalos organized The Juggalo Cleanup Crew to pick up trash for the Dead Stephanie Memorial Cleanup, in honor of Stephanie Harris, a high school student who died of diabetes in 2008.[15][16]

Hatchet House and community outreach

In Buffalo, New York, a group of Juggalos formed the Juggalos outreach program and started cleaning up Buffalo's East Side.[17] In addition to the community cleanup they run Hatchet House which operates a 24/7 helpline referring community members in crises to services and serves as a base of operations for volunteer work and community service programs.[18]

Juggalos Making A Difference (J.M.A.D.)

Juggalos in Denver, Colorado, founded the charity Juggalos Making A Difference.[19]

Juggalo gangs

Although the Juggalo subculture stems from the horrorcore subgenre of the general hip hop music fandom, criminal and gang-related activity has been attributed to self-described 'Juggalos' in recent years,[when?] including assaults,[20][21][22] drug trafficking,[20][21] vandalism,[20] burglary,[21] shootings,[21] theft,[20][21] robbery,[21] and numerous murders.[20][23][24][25]

Interaction between violent and nonviolent Juggalos

According to a 2011 National Gang Intelligence Center 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,[20] and criminal Juggalo gangs have committed attacks on non-gang-related Juggalos.[26] 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.[20]

Public and artist reactions

The Insane Clown Posse filed a lawsuit against the FBI about the gang-listing.[27] In December 2012, ICP agreed to withdraw their involvement as plaintiffs.[28]

Psychopathic Records launched the website 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.[29]

The classification of Juggalos as a criminal gang was ridiculed by the technology magazine Wired in a November 2011 article, with journalist Spencer Ackerman referring to previous scandals involving FBI harassment of Muslim-Americans.[30]

On January 8, 2014, Insane Clown Posse along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan filed suit again against the FBI. The suit aims to have Juggalos no longer considered to be a gang and to have any "criminal intelligence information" about Juggalos destroyed.[31]

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.[32][33]

Described by Joseph Bruce as a "Juggalo Woodstock",[32] 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.[4]

In July 2012, the media organization Vice released American Juggalo, a twenty-minute film documenting the festival, through their subsidiary music channel, Noisey. Sean Dunne directed the work.[34]

On August 9, 2013, 24-year-old Cory Collins died at the festival, following three more deaths at previous festivals.[35]

Juggalo Day

In 2012, Shaggy and Violent J created the annual Juggalo Day, a yearly event to thank and celebrate its fans.[36]

2013 started the album shows, playing a joker card album from front to back. 2013 was the "Riddle Box Show" in Detroit.[37]

2014 was the "Great Milenko Show" in Columbus, Ohio.[38]

2015 had the free concert called "Take Me Home" at the Detroit Masonic Temple.[39]

In popular media

A man in Juggalo face paint next to a small child.

Psychopathic Records launched the professional wrestling company Juggalo Championship Wrestling in 1999.

In 2009, Psychopathic Video filmed a documentary about Juggalos entitled A Family Underground.[40][41][42]

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.[43][44] The following year, the television show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia featured a Juggalo character in the episode "Dee Reynolds: Shaping America’s Youth".[45] In 2011, the television show Workaholics aired an episode called "Straight Up Juggahos" that revolved around Juggalos and an Insane Clown Posse concert.[46] Later that year, an independent documentary entitled American Juggalo was released.[47] Gathering Prey, the 2015 crime novel in the Lucas Davenport series by John Sandford, features a villain named Pilate who, with his disciples, are Juggalos. Much of the book takes place at the Gathering of the Juggalos.[48] The 2018 Film Family includes characters that identify as Juggalos and a pivotal scene takes place at a Gathering of the Juggalos.

Notable Juggalos

Several celebrities and other well known figures have identified themselves as Juggalos. These include actors Kane Hodder[49] and Charlie Sheen;[50] professional wrestlers Kazushige Nosawa,[51] Vampiro,[52] Colt Cabana,[53] and Willie Mack;[54] and rappers Chuck D,[55] Coolio,[56] Kung Fu Vampire,[57] MURS,[58] MC Lars[59] and Vanilla Ice.[60]

See also


  1. ^ "Juggalo (feminine Juggalette, or Juggala in Spanish speaking countries) is a name given to fans of the group Insane Clown Posse or any other Psychopathic Records hip hop group. Juggalos have developed their own idioms, slang and characteristics". Juggalos.
  2. ^ Mike Brown (July 2008). "Mike Brown's Juggalodown". SLUG Magazine. Retrieved July 8, 2009.
  3. ^ Neely, Anthony; Marone, Vittorio (2014). "From fan to fam: The bonding 'counters' in the Juggalo culture" (PDF). Communication and Culture Online. 5 (1): 252–266. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Graff, Gary (July 29, 2011). "Insane Clown Posse: Juggalos Will Love Charlie Sheen, Bobby Brown at Gathering". Billboard. Retrieved November 17, 2019.
  5. ^ Bruce, Joseph; Echlin, Hobey (August 2003). "Ringmaster's Word". In Nathan Fostey (ed.). ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 237–238. ISBN 0-9741846-0-8.
  6. ^ Nathan Rabin (August 12, 2011). "Violent J of Insane Clown Posse". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  7. ^ Mervis, Scott (May 20, 2010). "Insane Clown Posse is back in the Dark Carnival". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  8. ^ a b McDevitt, Katie (July 27, 2008). "Fans or gang? Meet the Juggalos". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
  9. ^ Cizmar, Martin (November 18, 2008). "Insane Clown Posse's Juggalos Aren't a Gang – Just Punk Kids". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
  10. ^ Hotts, Mitch (June 27, 2012). "Insane Clown Posse inspires pop vandalism (with video)". The Daily Tribune. Archived from the original on July 3, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  11. ^ Walker, Rob (August 27, 2010). "When Celebrity Endorsements Are Unwanted". Consumed. The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  12. ^ Stevens, Bill (29 March 2009). "Gulf High's Juggalo Cleanup Crew displays edgy look, genuine caring". St. Petersburg Times. Archived from the original on 5 April 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  13. ^ Davila, Florangela (July 18, 2006). "Hanging with the Juggalos". The Seattle Times. Retrieved April 11, 2009.
  14. ^ a b c d e Bruce, Joseph; Echlin, Hobey (August 2003). "The Floobs". In Nathan Fostey (ed.). ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. p. 35. ISBN 0-9741846-0-8.
  15. ^ Greene, Richard D. (March 5, 2011). "Juggalo Cleanup Crew Polishes Community and Image". Patch. New Port Richey, Florida. Retrieved August 11, 2021.
  16. ^ Bill Stevens (March 28, 2009). "Gulf High's Juggalo Cleanup Crew displays edgy look, genuine caring". Tampa Bay Times. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  17. ^ Marth, Stephen (November 12, 2014). "Juggalos Clean Up An East Side Neighborhood". Time Warner Cable News. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015.
  18. ^ Veix, Joe (November 11, 2014). "Juggalos launch community outreach program". deathandtaxes. Archived from the original on January 18, 2015.
  19. ^ Maletsky, Kiernan (November 1, 2011). "If Juggalos Are A Gang, Why Are They Starting Charities?". Riverfront Times. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g "National Gang Intelligence Center Juggalos Intelligence Report" (PDF). Public Intelligence. March 26, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  21. ^ a b c d e f "FBI — 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  22. ^ Miller, Jessica (October 8, 2012). "'Juggalo Killers' a new breed of gang". Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  23. ^ "A gathering of Juggalos accused in grisly Ohio murder | Trench Reynolds". April 9, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  24. ^ Andrew Scott (April 25, 2009). "Teens to be tried in Price Township 'Juggalo' murder". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  25. ^ Bashir, Martin (March 9, 2010). "Law Enforcement Claims 'Horrorcore' Genre Incites Crime - ABC News". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  26. ^ Jessica Miller (October 11, 2010). "'Juggalo Killers' a new breed of gang". The Standard-Examiner. Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  27. ^ File Photo (September 26, 2012). "Insane Clown Posse suing FBI in Flint federal court over Juggalo gang listing". Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  28. ^ ScottyD (January 8, 2013). "Update on Psychopathic's lawsuit against the FBI!". Faygoluvers. Retrieved January 10, 2014.
  29. ^ Dodero, Camille. "Insane Clown Posse Actually, Legitimately, Amazingly is Suing the FBI". Gawker. Archived from the original on February 12, 2013.
  30. ^ Spencer Ackerman. "FBI's Newest Gang Threat: Insane Clown Posse Fans | Danger Room". Wired. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
  31. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (January 8, 2014). "Insane Clown Posse Defends Fans, With F.B.I. Lawsuit". NY Times. Retrieved January 8, 2014.
  32. ^ a b Bruce, Joseph; Echlin, Hobey (August 2003). "Hatchet Rising". In Nathan Fostey (ed.). ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 470–496. ISBN 0-9741846-0-8.
  33. ^ Howard Stern (host) and Insane Clown Posse (guests) (September 1, 2009). ICP on Howard Stern 9.1.09. The Howard Stern Show. 3:00 minutes in. Sirius Satellite Radio. Howard 100. Archived from the original on October 25, 2019.
  35. ^ Reuters, Annie (August 12, 2013). "Man Found Dead At 14th Annual Gathering Of The Juggalos". CBS Local Media. Archived from the original on August 17, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  36. ^ "THANK YOU FOR MAKING JUGGALO DAY 2012 OFF THE CHAIN!". Archived from the original on July 1, 2015.
  37. ^ "ICP's Juggalo Day (Riddle Box Show edition) – Detroit, MI".
  38. ^ "2nd Annual Juggalo Day (The Great Milenko Show) – Columbus, OH".
  39. ^ "Tickets For Juggalo Day: The Take Me Home FREE Concert are now AVAILABLE on Hatchetgear".
  40. ^ Graham, Adam (October 30, 2008). "ICP's annual Halloween bash brings the insane circus to town". The Detroit News. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
  41. ^ Insane Clown Posse (presenters) (January 27, 2009). Weekly Freekly Weekly January Edition (internet news). Detroit, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. Event occurs at 7:45. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
  42. ^ Fats Pepper (presenter) (April 11, 2009). Weekly Freekly Weekly April 2009 (internet news). Detroit, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved April 12, 2009.
  43. ^ Hammerstein, B.J. (December 8, 2009). "Detroit rappers ICP amused by recent SNL skit". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on January 10, 2014.
  44. ^ Dave Itzkoff (May 1, 2011). "Beneath the Greasepaint, the Roar of 'Fam-i-ly!'". Music. The New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  45. ^ David Sims (November 11, 2010). "Dee Reynolds: Shaping America's Youth". Onion Inc. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  46. ^ Camille Dodero (May 19, 2011). "Q&A: Workaholics Director Kyle Newacheck On Setting His Comedy Central Show At The Gathering Of The Juggalos". Village Voice, LLC. Archived from the original on May 28, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2011.
  47. ^ Aaron Foley (September 29, 2011). "Video of the day: 'American Juggalo,' a look inside Insane Clown Posse's annual gathering". Michigan Live LLC.
  48. ^ Chaz Kangas (July 2, 2015). "I Asked My Dad About John Sandford's Latest Crime Thriller, Which Features Juggalos". LA Weekly, LLP. Retrieved October 13, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  49. ^ Eugene Morton (February 12, 2009). "The Five Best Actors To Play Jason Voorhees". Attack of the Blog!. G4 Media, Inc. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  50. ^ TMZ (July 7, 2011). "Charlie Sheen -- I'm A Hardcore JUGGALO". Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  51. ^ Corporal Robinson (June 12, 2007). "The State of the Game". Psychopathic Records. Archived from the original on August 5, 2009. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  52. ^ Vampiro (July 7, 2006). "For my Juggalo brothers and sisters". MySpace. Archived from the original on August 2, 2013. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  53. ^ Colt Cabana (Interviewer) and Insane Clown Posse (Interviewees) (February 17, 2011). "AOW 30: Insane Clown Posse". Art Of Wrestling Radio. Event occurs at 9:25. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2011. I'm a Juggalo. I have been for a while.
  54. ^ Colt Cabana (Interviewer) and Willie Mack (Interviewee) (May 4, 2011). "AOW 41: Willie Mack". Art Of Wrestling Radio. Event occurs at 21:53. Retrieved May 5, 2011. Yeah I'm a Juggalo.
  55. ^ Dansby, Andrew (October 22, 2003). "Violent J on ICP's Bizaar, Bizzar Ride". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on January 17, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2009.
  56. ^ TMZ Staff (June 7, 2010). "Coolio's Tattoo Screw Up -- Nothin' But a 'G' Thang". Retrieved June 7, 2010.
  57. ^ Dark Jedi Hillz (December 6, 2009). "Exclusive Interview - Kung Fu Vampire". JuggaloNews. Archived from the original on December 12, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
  58. ^ Hodge. "An exclusive interview with MURS". Milenko500. Archived from the original on May 23, 2009. Retrieved May 5, 2009.
  59. ^ "MC Lars Interview on DCG Con, ICP, Nerdcore, more! [May 2018] - Faygoluvers". May 9, 2018.
  60. ^ "I'm A Survivor: Vanilla Ice". Interviews. The Entertainment Nexus. September 2008. Archived from the original on June 17, 2009. Retrieved April 9, 2009.

Further reading

External links

  • Media related to Juggalos at Wikimedia Commons
  • 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