|It all began in the early 90's in Southwest Detroit. Joseph Bruce (Violent J) and Joseph Utsler (Shaggy 2 Dope), along with a crew of neighborhood homies started an ill-fated street gang called ICP "Inner City Posse". They also began to rap, with a mildly successful independent release, "Dog Beats". Having just moved to the inner city from the suburbs, the young J and Shaggy had little knowledge of any real gang life, but attempted to throw ICP's name right into the dangerous mix of Southwest Detroit's street gangs anyway. The little notoriety ICP received from their music also proved to be an almost fatal setback. Southwest Detroit's established gangs, some of which had been around for generations, began to harbor serious resentment towards ICP. The entire Inner City Posse became the target of much gang related violence, and after 2 years of battery most members bailed out... some barely escaping town with their lives. J and Shaggy were among the last few that remained true to their weakened ICP clique. They remained in Southwest Detroit, still trying to uphold their name, while basically trapped, alone, and fearing for their lives. It finally looked as if ICP's road had reached a dead end when Violent J took his 4th trip to the county jail and was put away for the entire winter of 90. Right around J's release from county jail in 1991, J and Shaggy suddenly reached a turning point of their lives and careers. According to their own wild assertions, they claim to have been visited late one night by spirits of a mysterious Dark Carnival. They claim that this pack of neutral, carnival phantoms ordered them to deliver 6 very special messages for them to all that will listen. J and Shaggy claimed they were specifically chosen by this phantom circus to deliver these 6 messages, and do their best in making the entire planet listen. These ghosts allegedly explained to J and Shaggy that many souls will doubt them and only a few souls will listen, but those few that do listen, are worth all the effort 10 fold. They were also informed that there are to be no leaders or followers of the carnival and its messages... only believers. J and Shaggy are merely messengers, sent to gather believers, nothing more and nothing less. Their mission is to find as many believers as possible, before the end consumes us all. Now, we'll admit, it's a little hard to swallow, but it's interesting none the less. With their new found mission from the beyond, J and Shaggy finally got their lives back on track. They quit their own gang, and changed their rapping name from Inner City Posse to Insane Clown Posse. Having been told that each special message will come one by one, and only when the time is right, J and Shaggy chose the only form of expression they know anything about... Music. J and Shaggy say that they gave themselves the identity of clowns to better fit in while spreading the messages of the Dark Carnival, others say they're clowns because... well they're buffoons. However you perceive this strange rap group from Detroit, the fact is that they're here to stay. With their grease painted faces, fat, heavy carnival beats and demented, vulgar lyrics injected with positive messages and magic... You have the band you love to hate... the Insane Clown Posse.