Insane Clown Posse – “The Great Milenko” review

When talking about Detroit hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse, it’s impossible to leave out the controversy with their 5th full-length album right here. They left Jive Records shortly after the release of their last album Riddle Box in 1995 so they could get the Disney-owned Hollywood Records to be the new distributors for their own label Psychopathic Records. As for this album, it was taken off shelves by Hollywood just hours after it’s original release on June 24, 1997 & the duo were dropped from the label shortly after in response to criticism from the Southern Baptist Church that the release didn’t reflect Disney’s family-friendly image, despite Disney themselves claiming the album was released due to an oversight by its review board. ICP then signed another new distribution deal with Island Records after they agreed to release the album the way it was originally intended & then it was back on the shelves again in August 12, 1997. The first 2 tracks are both 2-minute spoken word intros pretty much telling the listener what to expect, the first one being with Alice Cooper over an ambient-esque instrumental & then the other one with ICP over an eerie yet more traditional hip hop instrumental. The album’s first song “[Hokus Pokus]” is basically the duo introducing themselves (starting the first 2 verses with a decent back wordplay line) & as for the instrumental, I think the album version is a lot more fun than the [Jason Nevins] remix. The next song “Piggy Pie” gets murderous towards an incestive redneck as well as crooked cops & even the wealthy over an ominous rap rock instrumental with some DJ scratching from Mike E. Clark, who produced this entire album along with a bulk of ICP’s previous material. The track “How Many Times?” is a Violent J solo cut talking about a day in his life & while it’s not that intriguing, the haunting beat is nice. The song “Southwest Voodoo” sees J going back & forth with Shaggy 2 Dope about dark magic over a dreary guitar. The track “Halls of Illusions” talks about using a carnival attraction to murder a wife beater & a child abuser with a killer Slash riff during the hook & the song “Under the Moon” is Violent J talking about a man who was convicted of murdering someone who tried to rape his girlfriend over a gloomy instrumental. The track “What’s a Juggalo?” sees J & Shaggy going back & forth informing their new listeners about their fanbase & I really like the g-funk-esque bass on here. The song “House of Horrors” talks about 2 serial killers trapping people in the titular attraction over a fittingly haunting rap rock instrumental. The track “Boogie Woogie Wu” is Violent J rapping from the perspective of the boogie man over a creepy instrumental & the hook is somewhat catchy too. Especially the maniacal laughter at some parts of it. The song “The Neden Game” is basically a juggalo version of “The Dating Game” & it’s actually somewhat humorous, but the line about Sharon’s 13 year old sister near the end of the first verse does make me feel a bit uncomfortable. The track “Hellelujah” sees Violent J rapping from perspective of a late-night TV Evangelist who‘s begging for money because it’s “what God would want” over a Hellish guitar & then on “Down with the Clown”, he pretty much tells the juggalos not to forget him over an old schoolesque instrumental. The nearly 90 second “Just Like That” sees J getting killed in a drive-by & then it leads us into the closer “Pass Me By, where he & Shaggy talk about immortality over a somber beat. While this is far from being a perfect album, it is ICP’s magnum opus. Primarily because it’s their most well-groomed effort it is (especially on the production tip)

Score: 4/5

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