What is a Juggalo: Portrait of an American Phenomenon 

written by Feezy C (Lord Frederick Cook)

A Juggalo first and foremost is more than a fan of Insane Clown Posse, it’s more than facepaint and Faygo, and yet, it’s also none of that shit. So, what is a Juggalo? If that’s what it is, we’ll then fuck if I know!

A Juggalo is part of a family; Juggalos are people who have been brought together by a mutual draw to the lifestyle, aesthetic, phrases, music, beliefs, et al. Juggalos come in all shapes and sizes, all races and nationalities, all genders and religions, and we all come together as a family, to help one another, to hang out, to simply…enjoy one another’s company. Juggalos have been described as modern hippies, hip hop hippies, dirty hippy psycho clowns, gang members, outcasts, underground music fans, horror music fans, extended family, and many other descriptors. 

The truth is, Juggalos and Juggalettes, the female versions of Juggalos, are as diverse as can be and are all brought together under one name, one family, one call sign, “whoop whoop!” 

The Juggalo sub-culture was created by the rap group “Insane Clown Posse,” formally, “Inner City Posse,” in 1994 in southwest Detroit, but it has since expanded to include dozens of artists and groups and even other labels, aside from Psychopathic records. Although animosity formed a division between Psychopathic records artists and created MNE records, today, Juggalos are treated to acts from Psychopathic, MNE, and C17 records alike, as well as unique aesthetics, supergroup, and more. Truthfully, never has there been a better time to be a Juggalo!

Merchandise-wise, there is a plethora of… well everything Juggalo, across three labels from jewelry to vinyl records, to high-end clothing, to Funko pops, and everything in-between. Juggalo music has also transformed and has elements of country, pop, metal, and rock, alongside its horrorcore and hip-hop roots. Juggalos are often misfits, outcasts, and sometimes loners, but truthfully anyone can be a Juggalo regardless of wealth, social status, gender, sexuality, how you look, how you dress your religion, or anything else… just be real, true, and above all, be a good mother fucker to your fellow Juggalo. 

Chapter 17 Records as fronted by the talented Ouija Macc, is directly affiliated with Psychopathic Records and is a reference to Violent J’s book, “ICP: Behind the Paint,” having sixteen chapters and VJ saying we are all the pages writing chapter seventeen. 17 is also a significant number to Juggalos as the first ICP album “Carnival of Carnage,” initially only sold seventeen copies.” So seventeen has some pretty deep meaning to Juggalos, but what about MNE?

…well, MNE is another story…

Twiztid formed MNE after they disagreed with ICP on making a big thing over the FBI assessment looking into whether or not Juggalos can be classified as a gang. Twiztid went off and formed MNE (Magik Ninja Entertainment) to compete directly with Psychopathic Records, but maintaining Juggalo love and aesthetics, whoop whoop!

A Juggalo supports Juggalo artists, period… so, I love all of the labels giving Juggalo love and showing that passion for those swinging the hatchet. I see it as a divorce, like mom and dad fighting, don’t choose sides and love both and you still get gifts for the holidays from each of them. 0 hate… only Juggalo love.

That’s all out of the way… Juggalos have never been “cool,” and have been shit on by society, dissed, treated as lesser people, called scrubs, but none of us ever gave a shit about any of that, because we have always had each other. We watch out for each other, take care of each other, and defend each other, just like you would do for any member of your family. We’re not the bad guys in society, that we’re made out to be, in fact, our music is a reflection of the dark side of society, a warning to do and be better… to find the divine in your life!

So, what is a Juggalo? It’s a lot of things to a lot of different people, but to me, it’s family, it’s something that helps enhance my life, and makes me want to be a better person. It’s all about that wicked clown love which, unless you are there to feel it, to understand it, to experience it for yourself, to listen to it in the music (not just hear it) you have no idea. It can’t be put into words honestly, it has to be experienced first-hand and willfully listened to in their music. 

A Juggalo follows a particular way of life, one which is based around the sub-culture of horrorcore rap, but as previously stated, being a Juggalo runs far deeper than that. There are also several terms Juggalos use, such as our greeting, “Whoop whoop,” “Juffalo,” which is used to denote a fake Juggalo in it for false reasons, and Juggahoes, which are basically people who are haters or people Juggalos dislike. Juggalos often refer to one another as, “ninjas,” in place of the common use “N1@@a,” in hip hop which is used and is often confused as having racial connotations. 

Yearly thousands of Juggalos get together at the gathering of the Juggalos just to be in one another company and freely experience all things Juggalo for several days consecutively. Mini-gatherings also occur, which are localized city or statewide versions of the gathering, that are unofficial and generally organized by Juggalos themselves. These are both beautiful events that let Juggalos and Juggalettes let their hair down and be themselves, all within and while enjoying each other’s company. 

Although Juggalos are an American-born phenomenon, we are worldwide today and we’re happy to say that there are Juggalos around the globe counted alongside family right here in our own backyard. What’s even crazier is that today, Juggalos can be found in places they never would have in the past, positions such as lawyers, doctors, politicians, actors and actresses, mainstream musicians (I’m looking at you Drake) etc…

Juggalo merchandise is often limited edition, and sells out very quickly, due to high demand from Juggalos, and demand for more and new merchandise is always coming. I don’t know of a Juggalo alive that doesn’t have something merch-wise that doesn’t proclaim their Juggalo love!

Juggalo merch makes the identification of Juggalos easy for one another and lets their Juggalo pride be seen in public. It is a self-identification that shows defiance in the face of society’s acceptance and one that gives a middle finger to what’s “cool,” by mainstream standards. Everything from flags to jewelry, to clothing to drip over every inch of that ass, you can buy, and in every form and color imaginable. A lot of Juggalos have a story behind pieces of their gear, for me, I have a story behind my blue hat…

So, there is far more to Juggalos, but I am not writing a book, just an article or essay, so let me wrap this jawn up a bit… Faygo, the Jewish soda company, also plays a huge role in Juggalo life and often in performances, where Faygo showers/apocalypse are normal. 

Faygo and its many flavors are also often delicious… I’m just saying!

…anyway, I’m sure if you ask some Juggalo what a Juggalo is and ask them to read this, their response will sound a lot like the song “What is a Juggalo,” by Insane Clown Posse, but a lot will ring true. This is my piece, my take on being a Juggalo, and agree or disagree as you will, I’ll be down with the clowns till I’m dead in the ground… a Juggalo till they lower me in the dirt…