Episode 115: Juggalos: Anarchists or Family?

This episode of the Sofa King Podcast looks at the music-based sub-culture known as Juggalos. Juggalos (females are Juggalettes) are a fanatical group of people who share a bond through their love of the Detroit rap group Insane Clown Posse and other “horrorcore” artists signed under their Psychopathic Records label. What are the traits of Juggalo? For one, they love Faygo soda (just like Dave does). Second, they have jewelry, clothing, or a tattoo of the “Hatchet Man” (just like Brad does). Third, share an often mock love of violence and anarchy. And did I mention that they wear clown make up? Well, they do.

So what motivates them to dress and act this way? It is a self-proposed sense of family. At first, Juggalos seem like juvenile and immature anarchists who are acting out for no good reason. But as our research indicates, there seems to be something deeper than that and more legitimate. They are statistical and social outliers, people who are often embraced by nobody except other Juggalos. Predominately white and poor (but not only that by any means), they share a bond with each other through music, as well as an annual festival called The Gathering of the Juggalos, clothing, and a soda that gives them a family where often might not have support.

Juggalos tend to support each other, almost like the nation’s largest fraternity. But they are also often violent or at least express a love for the artistic violence expressed by the ICP. However, there is a true dark side as well. Many states consider them a criminal gang, and there are large numbers of violent crimes committed by Juggalos ever year. In fact, the National Gang Intelligence Center wrote a report in 2011 condemning a small percentage of them as a criminal group worthy of concern for all law enforcement agencies. These criminal Juggalos have ties with every gang from the Blood and Crips to the Aryan Brotherhood, and with over a million active Juggalos in the nation, the criminal ones become hard to track or catch. So, break open a Faygo, play some ICP, put on your makeup, and see what we think of the Hatchet Man!

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