Blender magazine once even voted them the Worst Band in Music History.
Not that they are, actually, evangelical Christians. Neither attends church or claims any biblical knowledge. After all, this is a group which has always chosen to illustrate the dark side of human nature in the most graphic terms possible.
In fact, neither man can even pronounce “evangelical.”“We’re not envelichiculous … From ICP’s early days, when the group aroused the wrath of the Disney company through tracks like “The Neden Game” (a super X-rated “Dating Game” parody) and “Boogie Woogie Wu” (which imagined the boogie man in particularly horrific form), Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope have courted controversy on a consistent basis. ” — included “To Catch A Predator,” which vividly imagined entrapping and torturing a sex offender.
“Even if we were Christians, what’d be wrong with that? ”Violent J admits that ICP has probably mellowed, with both men now pushing 40 and with families and success as consolation.
That, he says, makes the frequent criticism of the band less important than ever.“When we started rapping, we were broke as could be. “But for the last 20 years, there’s so much love around us from Juggalos that I can’t walk around being salty about everything, and think this world sucks, or this country sucks.
It’s not easy to claim they’ve mellowed, either: The duo’s last album — 2009’s “Bang! And thanks to the occasionally violent behavior of ICP fans — a few of whom, like cop-killing Massachusetts teen Jacob Robida, have been charged with murder (in a 2006 incident ICP publicly denounced) — the group has managed to stay infamous throughout its time in the spotlight.
However, the sweeping vision of ICP also includes a stern moral code (at least for lawbreakers); a pro-American outlook; and belief in God, even if not of the Christian variety.
“But number two, I think it’s sad that in today’s world, all you gotta do is say you believe in God, and people freak out on that. “At the end of the day,” he explains, “I was always taught by my mom, that the good people go to heaven, and the bad people go to hell.”That heaven-or-hell choice has run through ICP’s mythology for years, via its Dark Carnival and Joker’s Cards, which offer the band’s own conception of the afterlife.
“There’s an all-around message to the Dark Carnival (and) the Joker’s Cards,” says Violent J.
The British newspaper The Guardiancalled the group “a magnet for ignorance.” dutifully supplied scientific explanations of all the phenomena mentioned in “Miracles,” and multiple commentators tried to tie the song to alleged American narrow-mindness and credulity.
One response did win the band’s approval: “Saturday Night Live” parodied the tune, raising ICP’s profile to perhaps its highest level since the group’s early days.
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