Ask a Juggalo: What is ICP's real message? 

Q: This may be a vague topic, but one question I have is, "What is ICP's real message?" With ICP becoming more mainstream in recent years, I think it would be good to explain, both for old Juggalos to refresh their memories and for the new ones to learn something. I think we take a lot of the lyrics at face value, when it's really a lot deeper than that. I've been listening to the entire Psychopathic family for a while, but only recently thought about representing the hatchet and what it stands for. What does it mean to you to represent the hatchet and be a Juggalo?

A: That's a really good question. I wanna make sure I answer it right. Really, I believe that — and this is obviously my personal opinion — it is a positive message, and I always thought that with the first Joker's Cards that it was a way to convey a positive message. The lyrics grab your attention. The "horrorcore," as they call it, was a way to grab your attention and pull you in, but then when you listen to the actual lyrics, it's a positive message. Honestly, that's why I am the person I am today is because of those messages. Never give up on yourself. Always keep trying. It will get better one day. If stuff is bad now, it will get better. And again it's the whole family aspect, too. Look out for each other. If you have a friend that's down and out, you do everything you can to help them, even if it means just being there to listen to them and their problems. To have someone to vent to. That's why Juggalos are like the nicest group of people I've ever met. Any show you go to, it's like you're automatically friends because you have this common bond already; you have this understanding. I honestly believe it's a positive message; it's just unfortunate that people like the FBI are putting this bad name to us, because we're not gangbangers who are truly violent in real life. Horrorcore is just like a horror movie or book: it's entertainment. Behind it, I believe that ICP has a message that they're trying to get across to everybody and, again, it's the beauty in life. The song "Miracles" — and it's unfortunate people were making fun of that song — when you listen to the lyrics is about taking a step back and looking at all the miracles that happen around you every day. A lot of people don't, and they go day-to-day to work and do this and do that. When we see a butterfly and freak out at how beautiful it is, and rainbows and stuff, it's like we step back and notice that stuff. Honestly, I believe it's a positive thing to rep the hatchet. Again, it's unfortunate that, for years, it's gotten this bad name to it, because it's really not about that at all. Obviously, the music has to entertain you as well, but if you slow down and actually listen to the lyrics and the stories, it's a positive message they're trying to get across. I know the music has gotten a lot of people — not just me — through tough times in their lives.

36-year-old Juggalette Danielle Keen, aka "Dani 2 Dope," has been an ICP fan for 20 years. She lives in Fowlerville, a small town between Lansing and Detroit "surrounded by cornfields." Send your questions to askajuggalo@metrotimes.com

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