The Great Milenko – Insane Clown Posse


1997 – Psychopathic

Hip-Hop/ Rap/ Rock/ Hard-Rock

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The Great Milenko is the fourth in the ‘Joker’s Card’ series of albums produced by Detroit’s favourite circus themed rap outfit Insane Clown Posse, and I’ve got to say that the record is pretty much every bit as daft as this explanation of it. Starting out with a nonsense redneck sketch (saved only by the brief appearance of Alice Cooper’s voice) and the title track we get a pretty good feel for the kind of evil stupidity that we are going to get with this record, and I’ve got to say that really it didn’t excite me all that much.

It picked up a bit musically as it progressed into the more rock inflected, Beastie Boys styled Hokus Pokus and the metal/ b-grade horror tinged Piggy Pie, but still I just found myself wondering what on Earth this was all meant to be for. I mean, the music is fine and the beats are somewhat catchy, but the whole clown motif just seemed to get so wrapped up in to the point where everything became completely inaccessible to anyone who wasn’t already a fan of the group. This feeling was just compounded by the following tracks which just seemed to revel in their own anti-intellectual juvenility, stupidity, and sick humour. I mean, How Many Times and What Is A Juggalo? come across more as fan service than any kind of fully formed art, almost as if ICP were some kind of tribute band to themselves.

This being said, there is some fun to be had with some of these tracks. Southwest Voodoo, for instance, is almost funny in its comic-book deconstruction of gangsta culture, but for the most part these tunes just run along the lines of rather bland hip-hop with some ultra-violence thrown in to grab the attention of whatever concerned parents may be listening in. It just sounds like this duo is more concerned with provocation, and this overbearing sense of outrageousness to no real purpose, in my opnion, just lessened the impact of the whole record to the point where it was nothing more than mere silliness.

This acceptable if irritating silliness, however, fell straight into the realm of awfulness with the ‘suicide hotline’ sketch that follows Piggy Pie. At first I let this sick humour go by, giving it the benefit of the doubt and thinking that it might just be some kind of joke that I missed by not being overly familiar with the band, but after numerous call-backs and the further garbling of the group’s politics in Hallelujah and How Many Times? I found myself so confused with where this band stands on certain issues that I just gave up a resigned myself to hating most of the so called humour on this release. I mean, if you’re going to get political about your music, then just stick with one set of politics: you can’t make a track about the need to live righteously with Halls Of Illusions and then go and make some inane joke about child murder with Boogie Woogie Wu. It just doesn’t make sense.

Really, when all is said and done, I just couldn’t seem to have very much fun with this record. The music in itself is fine, but nothing special and the rhymes are occasionally clever, but never enough to drown out the overwhelming stupidity and occasional offensiveness of the lyrical content. Not to mention the fact that the record was, on the whole, just confusing (or perhaps confused) as it jumped from serious preaching to joking quips within seconds and moved from a Limp Bizkit style heavy metal based rap style to a more Snoop Dogg feel without any kind of warning or reason. Really I was just underwhelmed by this album, and it got on my nerves more than once. So, even though I did enjoy one or two of the tracks, I really can’t move myself to give it anything more than two stars.

 

RATING: **/5

 

 

And here is the clip for Piggy Pie, just to give you an idea of what this nonsense is all about.

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