Psychopathic Records, also known as "The Hatchet", is an American independent record label based in Farmington Hills, Michigan that specializes in hip hop music. The label was founded in 1991 by Alex Abbiss and hip hop group Insane Clown Posse.

In addition to producing music, the label has divided into several other departments that deal with merchandise, video, and professional wrestling. Psychopathic runs its own manufacturing and distribution operations for merchandise, managing nearly 30 full-time employees.[1] The label produces an average 10 million US$ in revenue per year, and has been continuously producing well since its creation.[1][2]


Establishment (1991—1993)Edit

Following the release of their 1991 EP Bass-Ment Cuts, Detroit hip hop trio Inner City Posse, consisting of Violent J (Joseph Bruce), 2 Dope (Joseph Utsler), and John Kickjazz (John Utsler), hired local record store owner Alex Abbiss as its manager.[3] Taking the advice of Joseph Bruce's brother, Rob Bruce, the group and Abbiss agreed to create their own label.[3] After debating between the names Mad Paperboy Records and Psychopathic Records, they decided on Psychopathic and the label soon started operation out of Abbiss's mother's basement.[3] A drawing Joseph Utsler scribbled on a napkin, now known as the Hatchetman, became the company's logo.[3]

Inner City Posse released their first professionally recorded album, Dog Beats, on the label later that year. Shortly after, the group under went a change in style, look, and name to become Insane Clown Posse, and created the Dark Carnival concept that would be continued by much of the label's other artists for years to come.[4] Esham and Kid Rock were paid to appear on the debut "Insane Clown Posse" album to increase the album's marketability.[5] The group and their label began to gain moderate popularity in the Detroit area following the releases of Carnival of Carnage and Beverly Kills 50187, as well as through their extensive amount of independent promoting.[6]

Fluctuation and expansion (1994—2000)Edit

Mike E. Clark was selected as the label's core producer, with his recording studio The Fun House being the main studio. On March 8, 1994, Insane Clown Posse released Ringmaster, which sold 40,000 copies independently by the summer.[6] Later that year, Project Born was the first outside act signed to Psychopathic Records with the belief that they would become "the next Dayton Family".[6] The group's debut album, Born Dead, received minimal sales, and they were subsequently dropped from the label in 1995.[6]

Insane Clown Posse signed a record deal with Battery/Jive Records in 1995, but left the label the following year after it poorly promoted their new album, the Riddlebox.[7] One day after the group left Jive and one day before it signed with Hollywood Records, Insane Clown Posse released Tunnel of Love on its Psychopathic label.[7] The group released The Great Milenko in 1997, but were notified that Hollywood Records had deleted the album within hours of its release, despite having sold 18,000 copies and reaching #63 on the Billboard 200.[8][9][10] The removal caused a public controversy, creating major mainstream coverage of the group and their Psychopathic label.[8][11]

In 1998, the label signed Myzery, former members of the House of Krazees Jamie Spaniolo and Paul Methric, and Blaze Ya Dead Homie.[12] Taking the name of Twiztid, Spaniolo and Methric created the identities of Jamie Madrox and Monoxide Child, and released their first album, Mostasteless, that year.[12] Insane Clown Posse, Twiztid, and Blaze also formed the supergroup Psychopathic Rydas, and created Joe & Joey Records to release the group's albums to avoid any lawsuits.[13] Myzery soon left the label after releasing the album Para La Isla.[12]

Later that year, Island Records bought the rights of The Great Milenko from Hollywood Records, and signed Insane Clown Posse and Twiztid to their label.[14] Island also helped Psychopathic Records expand into the movie business by funding Insane Clown Posse US$250,000 to begin work on a full length movie, Big Money Hustlas, written by Joseph Bruce.[15] The film was released through Island Def Jam Music Group, Psychopathic Video, and Non-Homogenized Productions on July 18, 2000.

Following their success in WWF, WCW, and ECW, Insane Clown Posse founded the professional wrestling promotion Juggalo Championship Wrestling in 1999 and created the Psychopathic Sports department. In July 2000, Psychopathic Records staged the first annual Gathering of the Juggalos at the Novi Expo Center in Novi, Michigan. Described by Bruce as a "Juggalo Woodstock", the Gathering of the Juggalos drew over 7,000 people to Novi, Michigan for the 2 day event.[16] Both Insane Clown Posse and Twiztid permanently returned to Psychopathic later that year, and the label soon built its own recording studio, named The Lotus Pod.[16] Twiztid released the album Freek Show, which debuted #51 on Billboard 200.[17]

Steady production (2001–present)Edit

In 2001, the supergroup Dark Lotus debuted, consisting of Jamie Madrox, Monoxide Child, Violent J, Shaggy 2 Dope, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, and non-Psychopathic artist Marz.[16] Later that year, Anybody Killa was signed to the label. While also working on his own album, Hatchet Warrior, Killa replaced Marz in Dark Lotus for a short period.[16][18] Major influence on Insane Clown Posse, Esham, also signed with Psychopathic Records, and released a greatest hits album, Acid Rain, the following year.[19]

Jumpsteady released his debut EP Chaos Theory in 2002. On November 5, Insane Clown Posse released their sixth Joker's Card, The Wraith: Shangri-La, which debuted at #15 on Billboard 200.[19][20] The following year, alternative rock group Zug Izland were signed, and quickly released Cracked Tiles. Psychopathic later created the experimental sub-label Ax & Smash Records specifically for the group. In 2004, the group and the label separated in mutual agreements, and Ax & Smash Records was abandoned. After releasing Master of the Flying Guillotine in 2005, Jumpsteady retired from music.[21]

That summer, the two supergroups Soopa Villainz and Drive-By were created. The first, consisting of Mr. Diamond (Bruce), Mr. Club (Utsler), Mr. Spade (Esham), and Mr. Heart (Lavel), released Furious in August. The latter, consisting of Blaze and Anybody Killa, released Pony Down (Prelude) in October. Esham and Lavel left the label that same month, disbanding the Soopa Villainz. A feud between the two and the label transpired. Anybody Killa left the following February. Later that year, Psychopathic Records and the group D12 squashed their beef by holding a bowling match. Following Proof's murder that April, Esham and Psychopathic Records also made amends.[22]

In April, Axe Murder Boys won a single album contract with Psychopathic Records and released Blood In, Blood Out before being released from the label. That June, Alex Abbiss announced his retirement. Long time body guard and friend of Insane Clown Posse William Dail, referred to as Billy Bill, was named new President and CEO of Psychopathic Records.[23] Later that month, the label launched its own internet radio station called WFuckOff Radio.[24] Boondox signed with the label at that year's Gathering of the Juggalos, becoming the first southern rapper on the label. In 2007, R.O.C. signed with newly created Psychopathic sub-label, Hatchet House.[25]

In 2008, Anybody Killa resigned with Psychopathic.[26] That May, the label hosted the first annual "Hatchet Attacks".[27] Axe Murder Boys signed with Hatchet House on August 22.[28] At the 2008 Gathering of the Juggalos a documentary on Juggalos, entitled A Family Underground, was filmed and was released on May 12, 2009.[29] On February 17, 2010, Psychopathic Records signed a contract with Universal Music Group's Fontana Distribution.[30] During this period, the label was nominated for Outstanding Local Record Label by Detroit Music Awards.[31]




Additional departmentsEdit

Hatchet GearEdit

Psychopathic Records began distribution of merchandise in 1992 by selling T-shirts. After several comic books drawn by Joseph Utlser sold quickly in 1994, the label also started manufacturing collectibles.[1] Psychopathic later created a separate department for their merchandising and called their line Hatchet Gear, named after the label's Hatchetman logo. Hatchetgear currently sells everything from T-shirts, jerseys, and hoodies to "energy drinks, action figures, ski masks, liquor flasks, jewelry, and sneakers."[1] The range and marketability of their merchandise has become a nearly "unprecedented" aspect of the company.[1]

Psychopathic VideoEdit

Psychopathic Video has released 6 professional wrestling videos, 5 concert films, 5 documentaries, 1 mockumentary, 1 mini-movie, 1 collection of music videos, 1 feature film, and is set to release a second feature film in 2010.[32][33][34][35][36][37][38] On August 31, 2004, Psychopathic Video made world history when it released the mini-movie Bowling Balls with Insane Clown Posse's album Hell's Pit.[39] The video was the first ever 3-D film shot in high-definition.[39]

Psychopathic SportsEdit

Psychopathic Sports was launched in 1997 when Insane Clown Posse released a VHS entitled ICP's Strangle-Mania, which featured a compilation of death matches from the Outrageously Violent Wrestling from Japan video collection, overdubbed with their own humorous commentary.[40] It hosted two Strangle-Mania Live wrestling events in 1997 and 1998.[41] With Juggalo Championship Wrestling's inception in 1999, the department turned its full focus to the promotion. In 2007, it started the SlamTV! internet wrestling show, as well as the SlamTV! Express mini-show in 2010.[42]

The department expanded in January 2010, announcing that it had bought a warehouse to run operations in Novi, Michigan and had hired full time workers.[43] They also announced plans to run Juggalo Championship Wrestling full time by holding tapings of SlamTV! every other week, as well as running one additional show a month, at the Juggalo Arena.[43] All shows will be taped and released on DVD, and a clothing line is set to be created.[43]

Annual eventsEdit

Psychopathic Records holds several annual events throughout the year that feature performances by the entire label, sometimes referred to as the Psychopathic Family or Hatchet Family. Every May since 2008, the label hosts "Hatchet Attacks," which features performances by the entire label and JCW wrestling.[44] Since 2000, the label has been hosting the Gathering of the Juggalos, an event that spans four days throughout August.[16] It features over 100 bands, professional wrestling, and various party activities. Within the week of Christmas, Psychopathic hosts "Big Ballas X-Mas Party." Along with JCW wrestling and guest performers, the final act consists of the entire Psychopathic label performing together, known specifically as the Deadly Medley.[45]

Written WorksEdit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 McCollum, Brian (2009-10-27). "ICP's lucrative empire includes clothing, comic books, DVDs and even wrestling exhibitions". Retrieved on 2010-04-18.
  2. "Nightline 3.9.2010". Martin Bashir (Interviewer), Joseph Bruce (Interviewee), and Joseph Utsler (Interviewee). Nightline (American Broadcasting Company). 2010-03-09. Transcript. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Intelligence and Violence". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 139–144. ISBN 09741846083. 
  4. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "The Dark Carnival". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 179–185. ISBN 09741846083. 
  5. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "The Broken Path of a Dream". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 191–195. ISBN 09741846083. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Ringmaster's Word". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 231–253. ISBN 09741846083. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "Fuck Jive". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (second ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 268–280. ISBN 09741846083. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "Banned by a Filthy Rat". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 306–314. ISBN 09741846083. 
  9. Browne, David (July 25, 1997). "Review of The Great Milenko". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 2008-05-08.
  10. "Insane Clown Posse Angry At Disney's Decision". MTV. July 4, 1997. Retrieved on 2008-05-04. 
  11. "Insane Clown Posse Album Recalled". MTV. June 27, 1997. Retrieved on 2008-05-04. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Angels and Devils". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 371–375. ISBN 09741846083. 
  13. Insane Clown Posse (1999). The Amazing Jeckel Brothers. Liner notes. Island/Psychopathic. ISBN 731452465924
  14. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "Disney's Hoe Tactics". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (second ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 330–335. ISBN 09741846083. 
  15. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Big Money Hustlas". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 414–433. ISBN 09741846083. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Hatchet Rising". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 470–496. ISBN 09741846083. 
  17. - Artist Chart History - Twiztid
  18. True, Chris. "Dark Lotus > Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2008-07-14.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin (2003). "Diamond Rain". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (second ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 509–519. ISBN 09741846083. 
  20. Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales
  21. Insane Clown Posse (Presenters). Gathering 2008 - ICP Seminar. [Videotape]. Event occurs at 25:58. Retrieved on 2008-08-17. 
  22. JuggaloNews - Esham on W-FuckOff tonight!
  23. Insane Clown Posse - Official Artist Website - News
  24. "June 2006". Show Calendar. Psychopathic Records. Retrieved on 2010-05-30.
  25. JuggaloNews - JN's Blaze and ROC video interview
  26. Weekly Freekly Weekly Mar 2008
  27. Weekly Freekly Weekly Jan 2008
  28. "Friday, Aug. 22nd 2008". Canonize Productions/Hatchet House Records (2008-08-22). Retrieved on 2008-08-28.
  29. Insane Clown Posse (presenters). (internet news). Weekly Freekly Weekly January Edition. Detroit, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. Event occurs at 7:45. Retrieved on 2009-01-30. 
  30. "Fontana Partners With Psychopathic Records". PR Newswire (2010-02-17). Retrieved on 2010-03-27.
  31. "2010 Nominees". Nominees. Detroit Music Awards (2010-04-17). Retrieved on 2010-04-17.
  32. "Flicks". Flava. Psychopathic Records. Retrieved on 16 August 2009.
  33. Jeffries, David. "Review of Hell's Pit". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2008-06-30.
  34. "Psychopathic Video [us]"., Inc.. Retrieved on 16 August 2009.
  35. Jeffries, David. "Review of Man's Myth, Vol. 1". Allmusic. Retrieved on 2008-08-21.
  36. "Insane Clown Posse to Release New Limited Edition Album with Bonus DVD!; Grass Roots Approach Gathers Major Steam on the Internet". Business Wire. October 22, 2002. Archived from the original on 2012-07-09. Retrieved on 2008-06-15. 
  37. ""8/5 TORCH DAILY BLITZ: "The Gathering of the Juggalos" week: Burgan talks to the Insane Clown Posse's Violent J - BloodyMania III, Deadpool, Juggalo movement (40 min.)". Derek Burgan (Interviewer) and Violent J (Interviewee). Torch Daily Blitz (PWTorch). 2009-08-05. 
  38. Graham, Adam (October 30, 2008). "ICP's annual Halloween bash brings the insane circus to town". The Detroit News. Retrieved on 2008-11-02. 
  39. 39.0 39.1 Anderson, John (March 26, 2009). "3-D not an alien concept in Hollywood". Newsday. Retrieved on 4 April 2009. 
  40. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Life on the Road". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 353–365. ISBN 09741846083. 
  41. Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Taking Bumps". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 398–413. ISBN 09741846083. 
  42. "JCW tour information". WrestleView (2007-02-15). Retrieved on 2008-08-14.
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 "The Winner Is...". Psychopathic Sports (2010-01-18). Retrieved on 2010-03-13.
  44. Fats Pepper (anchor). (flv). Weekly Freekly Weekly April 2009. [News Broadcast]. Detroit, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. Event occurs at 13:56. Retrieved on 2010-06-05. 
  45. "See you at the party!". Psychopathic Records (2006-12-13). Archived from [ the original] on 206-12-14. Retrieved on 2010-06-05.

External links Edit

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