Law Enforcement Claims 'Horrorcore' Genre Incites Crime
Law enforcement says hip-hop group's lyrics contribute to violence.
March 9, 2010— -- Michael Goucher was found dead in the woods last February after having been stabbed with a knife and a meat cleaver more than 20 times. The two men arrested in connection with the attack on the 21-year-old called themselves "Juggalos."
"We've got multiple individuals committing gang-related crimes, gang-motivated crimes and they're using the name Juggalo," said Arizona Department of Public Safety Detective Michelle Vasey.
Tony Locascio, 21, was left to die, wearing only his boxer shorts after being beaten with baseball bats more than 70 times. He called himself a "Juggalo," but it's alleged he snitched and lost his life for that.
Juggalos are devoted followers of one of the most successful music acts that you've likely never heard of -- the Insane Clown Posse, or ICP. The Detroit-based duo is part of a hip-hop genre called Horrorcore -- music that celebrates murder, suicide and decapitation.
The ICP's latest album, "Bang Pow Boom," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard independent chart. Not a single track was played on mainstream radio or on television, because the material was deemed too offensive.
"Our stuff is so unique because it's not on the radio, it's not on video channels and all that," said ICP member Joseph Bruce, who goes by his on-stage alter ego Violent J. "You have never heard no s--t like this. That's why our word of mouth works so well, because we're so different than everything that's on MTV."
"Nightline" visited the Detroit set of the ICP's music video shoot for a song called, "In Yo Face," whose lyrics at first brush seem like they characterizes a brutal assault with hatchet and axes.
The lyrics are undeniably graphic: "Bang to the pow, Wang to the mouth, Boom go tha wicked clowns southwest style. From Pluto to your anus, we are underground famous..."
But when we asked Violent J about the vulgar verse, he told us they were "dope."
"Welcome to the world of rap," he said. "Maybe it's not your cup of tea; it probably sounds ridiculous to you. ...Your music probably sounds ridiculous to me."
These lyrics -- which sound almost like nursery rhymes laced with murder -- make the ICP $10 million a year. They've earned two platinum and three gold albums and have made themselves into a brand, producing masses of "Hatchet Gear" merchandise trademarked with a man brandishing a hatchet.