Music Review: INSANE CLOWN POSSE – The Mighty Death Pop!
The clowns that everybody love to hate are back with their most ambitious release yet. The second in a new series of 'Joker's Cards' is not only one of the finest offerings from Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope ever, but it's an album of the year contender. 'The Mighty Death Pop!' is quickly becoming a hip hop horror classic.
Insane Clown Posse are likely not your thing and that's OK. The duo of Detroit rap legends have been dealing with mainstream hate their entire careers and the Juggalo fanbase has thrived year after year in the underground. ICP have consistently and constantly improved with each album over the past decade and 'Mighty Death Pop!' is another fine example how they've aged like a delicious Faygo flavored wine.
Producer Mike E. Clark is a madman and the samples used throughout ICP's 12th full length studio album are perfect. The riffs of the title track turn out what sounds like ICP's ode to Michael Jackson's 'Beat It' – in its own way. 'The Mighty Death Pop!' is my favorite song on the record and an instant classic from the dynamic duo. Other standouts include 'The Blasta', which chronicles a man who murders bullies, 'Night of the Chainsaw', 'Where's God' and 'Forever'. Those are some of my personal favorites but because the album is as perfect as it can possibly be I may find myself swayed by other songs down the road.
What 'The Mighty Death Pop' also does well, is incorporate the ugly side of real life and pop culture. ICP do not shy away from letting their feelings be known when it comes to the dark side of Hollywood. In 'Shooting Stars', Violent J and Shaggy rap about murdering Chris Brown at the Grammys. It's dark, funny and appropriate in ways like the 2012 movie God Bless America. 'Dog Catchers' takes aim at Dog the Bounty Hunter and 'Chris Benoit' is loosely based on the wrestler who went off the deep end and murdered his family. To say that ICP are attracted to the grim aspects of life is an understatement.
The record's theme is death. Shocking. ICP have always rapped freely about murder and mayhem. The perfect example of this is on their astounding double record 'The Wraith' exploring both sides of the afterlife. 'The Mighty Death Pop!' is that moment of impact however, so the death is fresh with this album.
If you didn't like ICP before, you won't like them now. If you liked ICP before, you'll love them after listening to 'The Mighty Death Pop!'. The new effort is proof that a band can still show tremendous progress and evolve two decades into a career. ICP are at the top of their game in 2012 and whether or not you're down with the clowns, 'The Mighty Death Pop!' is relevant, terrifying, hilarious and a must-own for Juggalos everywhere.
'The Mighty Death Pop!' is released in three formats:
'Red Pop', which contains the bonus album 'Smothered, Covered & Chunked'. This is a collection of cover songs ranging from House of Pain's 'Jump Around', Christina Aguilera's 'Beautiful' to 'Hold Still' from children's TV show Yo Gabba Gabba. It's my favorite of the bonus releases. ICP covering Yo Gabba Gabba? Greatest cover in the history of anything.
'Black Pop' contains the 'Freaky Tales' bonus disc. That record features one track, clocking in at one hour long. The song is funny but it's definitely the most difficult to grasp considering it's nothing but line after line about various sexual conquests. Many of them quite gross as one would expect. Classic ICP.
'White Pop' includes the remix effort 'Mike E. Clark's Extra Pop Emporium'. This collection surprised me the most because many of the tracks come off even stronger than their standard album counterparts. The 'Chris Benoit' remix features Ice Cube and Scarface. It's fantastic. The album is loaded with cameos from the Psychopathic Records family as well as outside appearances by Kottonmouth Kings, Swollen Members, Three 6 Mafia and more.
2. "The Mighty Death Pop"
3. "Night of the Chainsaw"
4. "Chris Benoit"
5. "The Blasta"
6. "Kickin' Kickin'"
7. "Bazooka Joey"
8. "Shooting Stars"
9. "Juggalo Juice"
10. "Hate Her to Death"
11. "Skreem!" (Feat. Tech N9ne & Hopsin)
12. "Ghetto Rainbows"
13. "When I'm Clownin'"
14. "Dog Catchers"
16. "Where's God?"