Insane Clown Posse

The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Blog

Sponsored by the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association
January 14, 2014


Insane Clown Posse, better known as ICP and comprised of two members, Joseph Bruce and Joseph Utsler, have been on the fringe of the music industry for decades with its “horrorcore” rap style. Although predominantly underground, ICP’s fanbase is loyal and comprised of individuals who are passionate about everything ICP and being “juggalos”. “Juggalos” is a moniker used by ICP fans to describe themselves, similar to “Deadheads” for Grateful Dead fans or “Little Monsters” for Lady Gaga’s followers.

In 2011, the FBI designated the “Juggalos” as a “loosely organized hybrid gang” in its 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment. In response, ICP sought evidence as to how this determination was made and filed a FOIA request. That request has gone unanswered in any substantitive manner.

ICP and four “Juggalos” have filed suit in order to combat the gang designation which they allege has “violate[d] fans’ constitutional rights, including free speech, freedom of association and the right to due process”, as well as having caused significant financial harm to Insane Clown Posse and its label.

While the suit is not likely to impact the industry on a grand scheme or cause a large-scale ripple effect, it is interesting to note that other mainstream artists have fans who are rather zealous, but certainly should not be deemed a “loosely organized hybrid gang”, such as Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters”, Justin Bieber’s “Beliebers”, and Opie & Anthony’s “Pests”.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/08/showbiz/juggalo-gang-lawsuit/index.html

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