Wednesday, June 2, 1999

THE LANGUAGE OF LOW-LIFE

Posted By on Wed, Jun 2, 1999 at 12:00 AM

insane.jpg

The most derided and least respected act in mainstream music defies all the rules of good marketing and still outsells scads of corporate-backed bands. It goes to show that even for poor white Midwestern kids, there are creative ways to decadence and the in-your-face amplification of their small, tragic histories. If that means finding a great producer (Mike E. Clark), putting on clown makeup, spraying Faygo and making intentionally ridiculous rap songs, so be it. Everybody has to make a living. So, instead of working at the local car wash, ICP mainmen Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J have set themselves up in a much bigger arena, raking in more cash than we are just by screaming "fuck the Dalai Lama."

I’m one step closer to empathy than admiration after listening to The Amazing Jeckel Brothers because – as disgusting as it is – the language is so close to the experience, as if its vile naïveté finger-paints pictures in blood, shit and trash not collected but lived in. Instead of just exploring evil, everything is relived, like some post-traumatic stress syndrome nightmare – all the way down to the final and appropriately titled, "Nothing Left." I’d guess that, once upon a time, ICP chose rap because it was the popular form of music into which the duo could most easily insert its WWF-meets-the-Jerky-Boys free fall through the realities of having nothing in a world that offers everything – especially sex, money and esteem. But their success with it is no mystery. The fact that most of the entertainment industry fails to "get it," doesn’t mean a million "Juggalos" aren’t going to spend their days and nights in the dark brutal haze of "I Stab People" or the murderous spoofing of "Another Love Song."

Tags: ,

More by Norene Cashen

Best Things to Do In Detroit

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.