Monday, August 27, 2012
Insane Clown Posse - The Mighty Death Pop (4 Disc Box Set 2012)
Insane Clown Posse - The Mighty Death Pop (2012 4 Disc Box Set) - Those infamous wicked clowns from Detroit are at it again, despite the fact that this music is now considered by the FBI to be "gang music." Wow. Incredible how that happened. They didn't even start the horrorcore genre, (it was Esham back in the 80's) but they were the one group who's music started a gang, called the Juggalos. Which this is incredibly funny, because it shows how stupid our government and people in general are. The term, "Juggalo" actually refers to the second track off the band's first release, 1990's Carnival Of Carnage. The name of that track? "The Juggler."
See? There's nothing mysterious about that. It's just a name for the fans, and now big brother thinks it's a gang. In the words of Dave Mustaine, "If there's a new way, I'll be the first in line - but it better work this time." Indeed. These knuckleheads and this system are flawed, most obviously. If this keeps up, corpse-painted black metal fans are next on the list.
Now, as for the albums. Yes, in a very bad marketing ploy; the band decided to make three different color backgrounds for this seventh (Yes, they already did six, but need for money means that a new hand had to come out. I do not see this hand ever finishing though.) Joker's card. Each color comes with a different bonus disc. While that's nothing new, the band decided that instead of a bonus DVD, they would instead throw three standalone music albums along with this album: a covers disc, an hour long sexual rap, and a disc with b-sides and better mixes of the tracks already on the card.
The Mighty Death Pop has a very serious message in nature, speaking out to the youtube generation. In a world of break.com and other such "fail" websites, people are going above and beyond to injure and kill themselves. The "pop" represents the pop of a balloon as a metaphor to a shortened life. The group is basically telling people not to do stupid shit that will get them killed. But the disc is a clusterfuck of ideas, and some of them are executed quite poorly.
The introduction for the Joker is weak, "The Mighty Death Pop 2:48" and though we'd expect "Night Of The Chainsaw 3:12" to redeem it, it doesn't. I have no fucking clue what was going through these two men's minds when they decided to rap in this fashion. It does not sound psychotic, it sounds silly. This could have been rapped normally, and would have been much better. "Chris Benoit 3:23" is supposed to sound psychotic, like the devil has him under control, but the song is executed poorly. There's nothing about this that even warrants a single.
"The Blasta 4:07" is actually decent, due to the fact that it reminds me of "Mr Johnson's Head" from their earlier releases, and has a satisfying end rhyme. "Kickin Kickin 3:38" is probably one of the worst songs that this band has ever done in the history of their career. Nothing redeems this track. "Bazooka Joey 3:20" is about a soldier who carries a bazooka, and is negligent in battle (as so many soldiers of war are) killing himself with the "pop" of the balloon. "Shooting Stars 2:05" is short, but one of the best ICP songs that I've ever heard. It talks about how we seem to worship the stars, and while they do horrible things (like Chris Brown beating the shit out of Rhianna) they get off with just a mere slap on the wrist. This song is about taking justice into our own hands. Hopefully, nobody will take it too seriously though. I'd hate for ICP to get into more shit, because a Juggalo shot Chris Brown or something. But people these days don't think.
"Juggalo Juice 3:04" is the band's first song for Faygo. It is a type of cheap soda that is sold where I live, so I have had it before. It's not bad, but certainly not healthy. It's an upbeat track, certainly good enough for a single. "Hate Her To Death 4:51" is a little psychotic, but it actually works far better than the chainsaw flop. This is the kind of controversial material that we'd expect from the band. "Skreem 4:40" is a song about sex, featuring Tech N9ne and Hopsin. Tech delivers, but Hopsin does not. The song itself is very boring, just a regular old sex song. But it's odd how it comes right after the song about wanting to kill a woman. "Ghetto Rainbows 3:46" is a good track, definitely worthy of a single, although it has a sort of meme-quality that the band warranted due to their weird use of singing profanity. "What the fuck could this be, up in the sky? There is a rainbow..." You get the idea.
"When I'm Clownin 2:24" is a bullshit song that doesn't have any place on the disc. Might as well be filler. "Dog Catchers 1:46" is a diss to some other guy. Bands just do this to piss people off. Necro did it with Ugly Kid Joe. Who gives a fuck? Aren't we all grown adults by now? "Daisies 3:42" works, it has a eerie sort of vocal tone and style that reminds me of only the best ICP material. "Where's God 3:41" also works, as it's a well done song with some thought provoking lyrics.
The disc ends with "Forever 5:04" talking about if one can resist the urge to kill one's self, they'll go onto to Shangri-La (Heaven.) Wow. Our society is pretty fucked up, if people cannot resist the urge to kill themselves. There's also a weird outro where a pilot goes mad and crashes a plane, followed by bullshit outtakes that could've been left off.
That's the seventh joker's card, ladies and gentlemen. It at least resembles a Joker's card. I can say that much. Bang Pow Boom was far better, but this disc has some interesting experiments. It's downfall, is that it was too experimental.
Now on to the other three discs.
A black background, will get you the Freaky Tales CD, which is literally a 60 minute track with Violent J rapping about each and every woman that he's ever fucked, and the one's he's passed on. Though he says it's true, I cannot for sure say that I believe all of these women were that crazy, and that he would admit to shooting one of their heads off. Don't call something real, if you're going to also say that you murdered a few of these broads.
Regardless, the material is clearly some of his best, and it doesn't get boring despite the fact that it is the same lyrical style for an entire hour. Then there is a moment of silence, and some outtakes. Again, these were not needed. But it's not bad to have them here, because some of them are a little comical, and I don't take this disc too seriously.
But he talks about wanting to fuck a Disney channel star on one of these tracks, and says he's a "dirty old man" because of it. Again, why would you admit these things? I used to have respect for the group, but that respect is dwindling. This guy's thirty something years old, has a wife and children. He shouldn't be singing about wanting to fuck a girl that's probably the age of his own daughter.
A red background, will get you the Covered, Smothered, and Chunked CD. This contains nothing but covers, and is just about an hour long. (54:00 counting 6:13 of outtakes.) Basically, the band took cover songs, changed the lyrics, made some songs that had no profanity, full of it - and destroyed others in the process. The first track, "Prelude 3:20" is one of the best, where ICP and much of the underground talk about how timeless their music is and why it has sold so well throughout the years, compared to other rappers. Their gimmick and philosophy has proved lucrative, I will certainly give them that.
Next comes "Jump Around 3:21" which is decent enough, but nothing great. Then Tears For Fears gets completely stomped, with "Shout Ft.Blaze 4:51." While it doesn't have the rock edge that Disturbed brought to it, the band did the best at keeping the original music style of the song. Lyrically though, it's a train wreck and Violent J and Shaggy shouldn't be singing this song. But they do. Yes, they sing it. Hence why this disc is free. "Aint No Future In Yo Frontin 3:49" is way before my time, but it wasn't a bad track, with some very old school 80's beats. To tell you the truth, I'm not going to track by track this - because I've never heard of several of these songs.
However, they covered Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" and made it a 3:34 song about being indestructible, no matter what people say. "Hold Still ft. Downtown Brown 2:22" is the punkiest that this disc ever gets, and "State Of Shock 4:27" is an awful 80's rock cover that will shock most Juggalos. Also, "Love For Dem Gangsters 4:19" is not going to help them to remove their name from the FBI's gang list.
Finally, the group's best cover comes at the end of the disc, entitled "Guess My Religion 6:25." This is a song worth paying for, in all actuality. It's either Madrox or Monoxide doing the clean vocal chorus on this one, and those guys actually can fucking sing, so it works there. The song is about hypocrisy in the church, and is covered profanely, but definitely real. This is probably one of the truest songs that ICP has ever done, and it really showcases that their faith in God isn't blind faith in mainstream religion. Many people were shocked to find out that the carnival was God on the sixth card. At the end of this disc, there are 6:13 of outtakes.
Finally, if you bought the white background, then you bought the ideal version of the album. Why? Because you get the album the way it should have been. But let me defend myself to the Juggalos who might be reading this, because I have been a fan of this group and many other hatchet-wielding fiends on the label for a countless number of years. (But nothing can touch that first Dark Lotus disc with Marz, not ABK.)
First of all, these are the Mike E. Clark mixes that the band promised would be on the real disc from the get-go. I have no fucking clue who mixed the rest of the tracks, but Mike E. Clark brought the thunder on these, while the rest were pretty boring. But not only that, these mixes were star studded, even the b-sides, some of them so good that they could have been singles and replaced the b-sides on the actual disc.
The "Chris Benoit (Kumas Scrub Remix) 5:44" features the legendary Ice Cube and Scarface. They both kill on their verses, and the overall mix is a hundred times better than the original. It actually sounds crazier and more psychotic. Next, comes that song I thought was a b-side "When I'm Clownin" but it's another Kumas remix with Kreayshawn and it's 3:25. Again, the mix is better and the vocals just sound much clearer. There's even some guitar and drums.
The first b-side follows, and it should have replaced "Kickin Kickin." It's called "Lost in The Music 4:28" and I am completely wondering why this track was not put on the album. It definitely communicated the concept of the current Joker card, and was something that I feel was worth being on the real thing. Swollen Members also make an appearance on this track, the mix is good, and the chorus works. "Up Ya Ass 1:32" is kind of like a fucked up nursery rhyme. It's not that great, and I'm glad it was a b-side.
Next, we've got the R&B mix of "Ghetto Rainbows." It features Color Me Badd and some R&B soul with a better mix. The chorus is really good, and the whole thing fixes the experiment of the older version. Then we have "Birfday Party 4:13" which is annoying as fuck, and it doesn't do much more than that for me. "Scrubstitute Teachers 3:09" is great, reminds me of their older material and it also features Twiztid and Willie D.
"Playin In The Woods 3:31" is another great track, it could've replaced one of the filler tracks on the other disc. Violent J's lyrics are great, just like his old shit. The chorus is weak though. Next, we've got the rock influenced "Pass It To The Sky 4:08" which needs to be a single and should have been on the fucking album, right at the very end, or right before "Forever" at least. Not only that, one of the guys in KMK died and this should go out as a tribute to him. It's about smoking weed with the dead, and would sell several copies as a standalone downloadable single. I've got friends that will definitely play this one quite a few times.
"Shugston Brooks 4:43" is an odd song that I didn't really get. The lyrics are really well done, and it is a story based track. Perhaps it falls in with the theme of the main disc, and the "pop" of the death balloon. Next, a new version of "Night Of The Chainsaw" follows. This is the Judge Strange Remix and it's 3:52, featuring Three 6 Mafia. Of course, Three 6 deliver. Much more than ICP, sadly. The mix isn't much different, but the extra verses matter.
The final track is an extended version of "Forever" with all three of The Geto Boys, which according to ICP was very difficult to do, at least to get all three of them together for that track. I'd definitely wonder why they decided to leave this one off the original, despite all the trouble it took to get all three of The Geto Boys. The disc ends just like the main disc ended, with a death pop.
So that's it. All four discs, totaling in at close to 4 hours. Yeah, 4 hours of music. If you want all this music, you can get this box set for 37.00 USD. That's really not bad, considering you would have to buy all three versions of the card to get the extra discs otherwise. That would cost quite a bit, I'd imagine.
Overall, the first disc needed as I said, the remixes to replace the originals, especially due to the other rappers - that'd have been a big selling point: "ICP with many other legends on a new Joker's card!" But they decided not to do that for some odd reason, especially since people seem to go crazy when they find tracks with six or seven different guest rappers on them, even if they're fan mixes. "Lost In The Woods, Scrubstitute Teachers, Playin In The Woods, Pass It To the Sky" and maybe even "Shugston Brooks" could've replaced tracks like "Kickin Kickin" and "Bazooka Joey." The main disc is only 63:00 and could have had room for more. The "Prelude" should have been on the album with a different name, as it represents the band's timelessness among other underground rappers; and the cover of "Guess My Religion" could have come after "Where's God?"
The only disc that should have been an extra, is the 60:00 Freaky Tales, because that works and it's a great free gift for buying the album. Everything else should have been plopped on the web for free download, or a set price. A few of those covers aren't even worth a dime folks, and that's the honest truth. I've heard all of the band's b-sides, and they've had some real great ones over the years. These aren't those kind of b-sides. Perhaps that's why the covers disc also says "chunked" as in scrapped.
Overall, it's not a complete waste and it is still a Joker's card. ICP fans should find something to like here, and non ICP fans will find much to hate and mock. Business as usual. This card is not better than any of the others, except maybe Carnival, because that stuff was a little rough - (But I don't really consider that a card, because it's more like an introduction.) but it's much better than you think it is. Don't judge it by "Chris Benoit" because there are much better and more interesting tracks on here. The magic is not gone yet, but it is fading. Even though they aim for six new cards, I don't see it happening.
Also, this is apparently the group's last physical release; which means that future material will all be digital.
Highlights: Intro, The Blasta, Shooting Stars, Juggalo Juice, Hate Her To Death, Ghetto Rainbows, Dog Catchers, Daisies, Where's God, Forever, Chris Benoit (Remix), When I'm Clownin (Remix), Lost In The Music, Ghetto Rainbows (Remix), Scrubstitute Teachers, Playin In The Woods, Pass It To The Sky, Night Of The Chainsaw (Remix), Prelude, Guess My Religion, Freaky Tales
(4 Albums, 47 Tracks, 3.9 Hours)
The Mighty Death Pop
Covered, Smothered, and Chunked
The Extra Pop Emporium
25/40 = 7/10
Final score: 7/10