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Inner City Posse

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Inner City Posse
Inner City Posse
2 Dope, Violent J, and John Kickjazz
Background information
Also known as ICP
Origin Delray, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Genre(s) Hip hop
Years active 1989–1991
Label(s) Psychopathic Records
Former members
Violent J (Joseph Bruce)
2 Dope (Joseph Utsler)
John Kickjazz (John Utsler)

Inner City Posse was a hip hop group active from 1989 until 1991, named for the street gang which the members belonged to. The group later adopted the acid rap style created by local rapper Esham, changed its name to Insane Clown Posse, and the use of face paint.

Musical CareerEdit

Joseph Bruce (Violent J), Joseph Utsler (Shaggy 2 Dope), and John Utsler (John Kickjazz) met in Oak Park, Michigan, a poor, crime-ridden suburb nine miles (fourteen km) north of Detroit, Michigan.[1] In 1990, Bruce and his friend Dale recorded Intelligence and Violence on a karaoke machine under the name of Bruce's gang Inner City Posse, though Dale was not a member.[2] The following year, after spending several months in prison, Bruce began frequently listening to hip hop with Joseph and John Utsler. The trio soon began performing at local night clubs under the name Inner City Posse.[3] The group released the EP Bass-ment Cuts later that year. The EP was sold first hand by Inner City Posse, their friend Rudy Hill and his cousins, and Bruce's then-girlfriend Karen.[4]

After a recommendation by Bruce's brother Robert, the group reached out to his friend Alex Abbiss, who owned the record store Hot Hits, to help sell the album. The group also took Rob's suggestion to hire Abbiss as a manager, who later established the Psychopathic Records record label with the group in 1991.[4] Later that year the group released the self-produced EP entitled Dog Beats.[5] Growing popularity in the local music scene turned negative for the group's gang, which became the target of growing violence. After receiving jail sentences, the group members abandoned gang life.[6]

By late 1991, the group had begun investing more money into production than was covered by returns. The group decided that its gangsta rap style was the cause of the problem, due to most rappers at the time using similar styles, making it difficult for Inner City Posse to distinguish itself stylistically.[7] Referring to local rapper Esham's acid rap style, Bruce suggested the band adapt this genre, in a bid to have Detroit represent acid rap, much as Los Angeles represented gangsta rap. The group agreed, but not to copying the style of Esham closely. Instead, they suggested using horror-themed lyrics as an emotional outlet for all their negative life experiences. They were also unanimous in deciding not to rap openly about Satan, which Esham often did.[7]

After the change in musical style, the group decided it needed a new name. Utsler suggested keeping the "I.C.P." initials to inform the community that Inner City Posse was not defunct, an idea to which the group agreed.[7] Several names were considered before Bruce recalled his dream of a clown running around in Delray, which became the inspiration for the group's new name: Insane Clown Posse. The other members agreed, deciding that they would take on this new genre and name, and would all don face paint due to the success of their former clown-painted hype man.[7]

DiscographyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "JJ Boys and The Royal Oak Township". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. page 51–61. ISBN 034544762X. 
  2. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Intelligence and Violence". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 121–144. ISBN 09741846083. 
  3. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Complete Discography". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. page 539–540. ISBN 034544762X. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Intelligence and Violence". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 136–138. ISBN 09741846083. 
  5. All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap & Hip-hop. Backbeat Books. 2003. pp. pages 229–231. ISBN 0879307595. 
  6. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Intelligence and Violence". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (second ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 125–132. ISBN 09741846083. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "The Dark Carnival". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. pages 174–185. ISBN 034544762X. 
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