Tuesday, October 6, 2020

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 8: The Great Milenko



Welcome to my latest review of the Insane Clown Posse and Psychopathic Records's catalog. It has been a while since I reviewed an album here, so I am excited. Today's subject is The Great Milenko, released in 1997. This is ICP's fourth major release and the fourth Joker's Card album. The card in the album calls this ICP's "most controversial release yet". This should be fun.

Before I start, the album liner notes are particularly interesting. The thanks might be the longest thanks I have ever read in an album. There is also an interesting blurb on who is The Great Milenko. I am not sure I understand what they are talking about, but perhaps the album will make it clearer.

Intro

The album starts with a country-western vibe. People are playing a jukebox when a voice comes over the air warning about the Great Milenko. This is actually a very cool and informative introduction of the Carnival of Carnage. It tells the story of why the carnival exists and its purpose. It also describes how three Joker's Cards have already come and gone. This seems like an introduction for those who might not already be down. But it is a good reminder for those of us trying to figure out the clown philosophy. 

Great Milenko

This beat is nice. Violent J introduces The Great Milenko and who he is. A wizard of the dead. I wonder how Violent J and Shaggy brainstormed these ideas. Was it a team effort? Or did one just go along?

Hokus Pokus

Violent J opens this song with a song introducing that ICP is in town. Nice beat. I can see this song being nice in concert. Definitely upbeat. Even Shaggy's verse in this song is decent. I like the DJ scratch segment and breakdown. This song seems like the clowns are announcing the circus is back and led by the Great Milenko. Fun song.

Piggie Pie

This song starts in a prison. Woah, a rock-driven beat. Violent J and Shaggy rap about murdering rednecks and rich people. I am still not sure how the anti-redneck theme jives with the circus. Are the clowns avenging the wrongs committed by southern white culture? Is this is sort of a Django-type fantasy? Interesting mention of a rich man as the devil and Violent J killing the devil. Does this pit the devil versus the carnival?

This songs ends with an awkward suicidal phone call.

How Many Times

A slower beat. This seems like a reflective song. Violent J raps about some of the wrongs of the world, especially the awkward responses of people to wrongs and death. I like this song. It really has nothing to do with the circus or the clowns. It is just interesting observations about life from the perspective of ICP. A weird ending by a braggatocious wannab who gets called home by his mom. 

Southwest Voodoo

Wait, was that a shout-out to Da Lench Mob's "Guerrillas in tha Mist"? Nice. (Ed note: I paused it to find out that "Voodoo, running from my magic" is actually a X Clan line that Da Lench Mob sampled as well.) This song starts with a Shaggy 2 Dope verse. I think he is making things up here. The verse makes no sense. This song also sounds like it would be fun in concert, even if the lyrics are nonsense. This isn't the first time ICP has mentioned Southwest in a song. I am not sure where they are referring. Is it southwest Detroit? Southwest USA? I am confused. Again.

Halls of Illusion

Shaggy 2 Dope starts this song as well. I am not sure what he is talking about. Violent J follows with a verse taking revenge on wrong-doers. Interesting rock-riff chorus. One Shaggy's verses is about how seemingly perfect families and neighborhoods often hide dark secrets. 

Under the Moon

This is a weird song about an obsessed dude who kills for a girl. While he sits in prison he thinks about her. Does this song have anything to do with the carnival or the clowns? Dumb song.

What is a Juggalo?

I am not sure this song actually defines juggalos. But I think that is the point. The point is that the juggalos aren't defined by the song, but the fact that they dig ICP and are strong in their identity. Otherwise, if you take the song seriously, you aren't down with clown.

That's part of my confusion with ICP. If this song isn't supposed to be taken seriously, is the carnival? What about their hatred of rednecks?

House of Horrors

We are now back to the carnival theme. Shaggy 2 Dope opens with a verse welcoming people to the House of Horrors. This is actually a good verse, especially if you consider he is trying to scare people who entered the house unintentionally. Cool beat.  

Boogie Woogie Wu

Interesting intro. Definitely a horror movie vibe. Violent J is back with a scary verse about the Boogie Man. The Boogie Man scares or kills his victims.

The Neden Game

This song was on the Mutilation Mix album from the last review. It follows a TV game show format. Definitely creative. Not sure what this has to with the carnival or the clowns. 

Hellalujah

The intro is of a preacher on TV. Then Violent J drops a verse from a crooked preacher's perspective. At least this song is consistent. While I understand the content, not sure what this perspective has to do with the carnival. Why are the clowns not taking revenge on the preacher? The breakdown "pass me the collection plate" is very cool.

Down with the Clown

I like the upbeat vibe of this song. I like the opening verse, in which ICP discuss how they have their niche and listeners will not seeing them selling out. The group is definitely sure of their identity here. And they are asking the fans to be sure of their fandom as well. This is much more of an affirmation song than What is a Juggalo. All ICP asks is that you be down with them. If you are down, then you are a juggalo.

Just Like That

Not sure what to think about this song. It sounds like filler. What does it have to do with the rest of the album? Eh.

Pass Me By 

Shaggy 2 Dope raps over a piano-driven beat about how he dies and joins the carnival. Interesting chorus. Violent J also drops a similar verse about dying and joining the carnival and being more happy in death with his juggalo brethren. This is almost a 2Pac-like reflection song. Curious way to end the album.

Overall, I liked this album. Some of the songs are filler. But some would be fun to see in concert. ICP shows a lot of growth on this album. They define themselves and what they believe in. They also invite others to be down with them, while still staying true to their underground roots. This album is not as underground sounding as their previous albums, but it is definitely not mainstream. ICP shows a bit more depth and maturity on this album, as much as they can. It is definitely a deeper album than their previous offerings.

Previous Reviews:

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 7: Mutilation Mix

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 6: Tunnel of Love

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 5: Riddle Box

A Journey to Hatchet City Part 4: Shaggy 2 Dope F*ck Off




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