What up doe? You aint gonna believe this flavor! Remember last issue I was tellin you ninjas all about the RassleRap Charity Tour that we're doing to hook up the sick kids of St. John's Children's Hospital of Illinois? Remember how I told you that 2 local acts from every stop on the tour was going to perform along with the one and only Young Wicked? Well, that's all still true, only mad more flavor has been added! MAD MORE!!! The tour is now fatter. Much fatter! Like it's been stuffin' its fat fuckin' face with chocolate Twinkies! It seems the holiday spirit is spreading and we received several calls from absolute powerhouses in the rap world who wanted to be on this tour and help hook up the kids! Now the tour not only features 2 local acts from each city, plus 5 exciting and brutal JCW Matches and a hype ass, slammin' set from Psychopathic's hottest act in years Young Wicked, but it also features the Best in the Southwest, The Psychopathic Iconic DJ, Dangerous DJ Clay! And also added to the tour, strictly out of love for the kids, it's The mother fuckin' Louisville Slugger himself, Bukshot! How dope is that shit? And it don't stop there, my friends. Talk about Psychopathic Icons, how does this sound... from the South Bronx of New York City; he's actually my brother-in-law... I'm talkin' about Myzery! And you know Myzery wrecks shop! But there's still more, ninjas! I'm tellin' you all the heavy hitters called and wanted to jump on this tour to lend their support for free! How cool is this shit? Also performing some witchcraft on every stop of the tour, is the witch doctor of Detroit Murderous... Big Hoodoo! It just keeps gettin' liver and fresher! Everybody called and wanted to come out on this tour and support the cause ... for free! And that's why we need you ninjas to come out and show YOUR love. Let’s show the world how fuckin' awesome Juggalos really are! They say we're killers but we're actually saving lives. I'm dead serious about this, y'all! We need your help. We need to pull together. Even if you can’t afford to be an Elf, a Snowman, or a Big Baller Santa Clause (if you don’t know what I'm talkin' about, click here "SCHOOL ME") Just you buying a ticket to this big ass show helps the cause plenty, homie! We need you there to help them kids and that’s why we're making the tour as fat as can be. And we still ain't done stuffin' its fat ass and makin' it even fatter! Because also on the tour is the Hatchet Warrior. How about a fat dose of some Native Funk y'all? That's right, ninjas, also on this incredible tour is Anybody Killlllla!!! Straight Up Murderous!
Before we drop EVEN MORE NAMES, let me run this down right quick: We got 2 local acts from each city that hopefully don't suck, we got 5 bloody ass JCW matches going down, we got The Hatchet's sharpest weapon, Young mother fuckin' Wicked rippin' it down, We got the Southwest bad ass, Deadly DJ Clay, we got big, bad Bukshot in this bad ass bitch, we got the East Coast, serial killa Myzery bustin' out a fat set, we got some Detroit west side wicked shit with Big Hoodoo, and we still ain't even done! We also got the bloodthirsty serial killer herself, direct from SKR Records, the one and only Razakel, who can bring the wicked shit just as hard as anyone in the boys club. Peep the fresh video to her song "Bite Me" if you don't believe me! I swear to God this shit has turned into an indoor Juggalo Festival! No lie. That's exactly what this shit is now. In fact I'm officially changin' the fuckin' name right now. This shit is now called The RassleRap Charity Festival Tour, bitch, know that.
And now I'm about to peel your wig back and slap you on the top of your bald ass head, with even more flavor. I couldn't even believe it when I saw his name callin' my phone. I instantly got nervous. He's one of me and Joey's biggest heroes, and when he told me he wanted to do the tour, I instantly peed my pants a little and passed out. When I woke up, the pee was dry, but then I remembered what he said and I peed and passed out again... I'll just get to it. Joining the RassleRap Charity Festival Tour is... From the motherfuckin' 5th Ward in Houston, Texas... A true pioneer of Horrorcore Rap, from the mother fuckin' Geto Boys ... Willie D!! I'll give you a second to find your wigs ... It probably flew off your head and landed somewhere behind you... did you check in the garbage can?... Maybe the cat took it.... It could still be stuck to the wall back there... Well, you might as well just glue it to your fuckin' dome piece because I've got more news. Yes, Willie D is going to be there performing Geto Boys classics, but your mind is not playing tricks on you, there's still more flavor.
I'll be honest though, there is a big bit of major staleness I have to tell you about, and there is no way to get around it other than to just come out with it. It turns out that Shaggy Shaggs cannot do the tour. He is having emergency back surgery. I know, I know, that fuckin' sucks buttholes. Those of you that follow us closely know that Shaggy has had serious back problems with a fucked up spine ever since he was wrestling in Milwaukee years ago and got slammed off the top of a steel cage. Well, those problems only got worse and worse and now he's finally doing something about it. He's having a Laminectomy/Discectomy for you medical students and doctors reading this, and I'm sure there's LOTS of them out there. The problem is, the only surgery date they could fit him in for right away happens to be on December 11th, dead smack during the tour. But, Ninjas, please don't let this staleness discourage you from coming to see the show. Number 1: We WILL have a life sized, cardboard, cut out stand of Shaggy posted on the stage. Number 2: Don't forget the sick children that need your ticket money and support! All hope is not lost, as the song says, "The Show Must Go On" and it will! You see, there's one more act that’s going to perform on this tour! In fact he's going to headline this bitch! Performing solo for the first time in his entire career and for the absolute last time -- in fact, this 6 city tour will be the ONLY time this ninja will ever perform solo in his lifetime! He's doing it for the kid’s y'all, for the fuckin' kids! Who is it you ask? It's ME!!! Violent J! Yes it's true, I will be performing ICP jams, and some of my solo joints as well, for the first and last and only time in my life. I will have a fresh ass hype man up there with me, though. He's the only ninja capable of standing in for the great Shaggy 2 Dope. If I can't be with my brother up there on stage, then instead I'll be with my brother. My brother from the same mother... Jumpsteady! I'm trying to say that my brother Jumpsteady will be my hype man for these ultra, ULTRA RARE, solo performances. So if you want to see something happen, that will absolutely, positively, never, ever happen again, then come see me perform along with all the above mentioned greats on this massive, indoor festival tour, the now forever legendary RassleRap Charity Festival Tour!!!!! We at Psychopathic Records and the Juggalo underground are proving to this wicked dirt ball that we all live on, that we Juggalos will do WHATEVER it takes to help out the sick and needy kids of St. John's Children's Hospital of Illinois.
And now, some very sad and serious news...
OK. Here it goes. Loooong time Juggalos, I'm talkin' really, really long time Juggalos. Juggalos from way, way, WAY back before the fuckin' internet, and before cellphones and even before DVDs, those long time Juggalos actually remember ICP's first professional release... It was called "The Dog Beats Maxi Single". It was 4 songs recorded at a studio called Miller Midi Productions with a crazy, whacked out ninja named Chuck Miller who I'm assuming took waaay to much LSD during his hippy days. He was cool most of the time with rare, sporadic, evil outburst of anger. He moved slower than a tortoise full of rigor mortis. He pretty much sucked as an engineer.
Anyway we had previously only recorded on a karaoke machine so we didn't know any better. We had a few tapes out. When I say "out" I mean for sale in one store, and we gave them out or sold them for a buck, mostly in Southwest Detroit. One of them was called "Intelligence and Violence" that one was me (the Violent rapper) doing songs with a kid I hardly knew who called himself D Lyrical (he was the intelligent rapper, I guess) We recorded at his mom's house in her basement because he had a karaoke machine. His mom hated me because I cussed so loud when I rapped. When I finally got my own karaoke machine that was the end of D-Lyrical and I started rapping with my real homies Joey (Shaggy), his older brother John (John Kickjazz) and another kid named John Rode (Kid Villain). With them we did a tape called "Basement Cuts", and another one was called "Enter The Ghetto Zone". When we hooked up with our first manager, a ninja named Alex Abbiss, who together with his brother operated the record store that sold our bootleg tapes, we became dead serious about having a career in rap (Remember record stores? Stores full of tapes and CDs and vinyl albums? They we're fuckin' awesome. We used to spend hours in them places. Anyway, don't let me lose focus).
When we walked into that real recording studio (remember those too? Nowadays all you need is a computer and a mic) with our manager, it was on for real. We consider that day the official beginning of ICP's career. That was when we first decided that we were going to "make it" as rappers and failure wasn’t an option. My entire life changed forever that day.
Just after the recording of "Dog Beats" came out, John Rode quit the group. It was too much work for him. Everybody in the group had to get a job and pitch in all our money to the group and work endlessly on handing out flyers and promoting the group. Constantly. And that proved to be too much work for John Rode and he was like "fuck this" and left. And just before we released our first album and 1st Joker's Card "Carnival of Carnage" Shaggy's older brother John quit the group. And I very rarely ever saw either one of the Johns ever again. Our lives completely changed from that first day in the studio. For Joey and I it became all about ICP and only ICP. It was way to much for the Johns and they were outti. We worked like seriously obsessed psychopaths. If you’re interested in more about our struggle and the slow rise of ICP you can read our book "Behind The Paint" (available at HatchetGear.com).
The Johns just weren’t having the extreme change in our lives. They weren’t about all the constant work, work, work. They wanted to party and party they did. What sucked was they fuckin' kept parting harder and harder. They fuckin' partied way to hard. To make a long and sad story short, John Rode (Kid Villian) eventually got into serious hard drugs and he fuckin' overdosed on heroin and died in his mid 30s. He can be heard on the song "Dog Beats" as the drive through window guy, and he can also be heard on the song "Ghetto Zone" as the bitching old man in the chorus. John Rode is also on the original song, "Wizard of the Hood" playing the role of the lion.
Joey's older brother John had several problems. At first, after he left the group, things were going somewhat OK for him. He had a girlfriend and he was working as a DJ at some clubs around Detroit. Plus he was making beats from time to time. He never released anything professionally but at least he was still involved in what he loved. John was who actually introduced me to rap. The first rap song he played for me was called "Roxanne Roxanne" by a fresh group called U.T.F.O. Years later he introduced me to "Freaky Tales" by Too $hort. It was even John that first played me Eazy E, and N.W.A. I will never forget hearing Eazy E's high pitched voice for the first time. And the shit he was saying in his raps was so fresh and funny. I'd never heard anything that sounded like that before. The closest to it was The Beastie Boys album "Licensed To Ill" and John put me up on that too. I remember John and Joey went to see the Beastie Boys on the Licensed To Ill tour. I was so, SO fuckin' jealous that I was actually mad. John was my best friend from the 6th Grade all the way until I was 19. We went from being little kids, through all of those super impressionable years of becoming a teenager and then becoming young adults, we went through all of that together as best friends. Those are the years you spend discovering who you are, and what crowd you fall into and what music you like. We were even discovering girls for the first time together. Those years mean so much in a ninja’s life. They define so much about you and who you are for the rest of your life. John was my best friend during this special time. It was even in my bedroom that John got some neden for the first time in his life from the girl who lived down the street from me. John was always the smart one of our crew. He always was the one who got the decent grades and he always knew how to spell shit right. Or do a math problem. And again, I was always so impressed about how much him and Joey knew about music. Even rock bands like Deep Purple and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I was hearing those names for the first time in my life.
John always knew how to hook up a car stereo or a turntable. Later in life when we became crooks, he always knew what car stereos were fresh and which ones weren’t worth shit. He knew about all that shit. Of course he was the first one to get his license and he would drive everywhere. He would borrow his stepdad's jeep. We would take the top down off that bitch and bounce that fuckin' thing everywhere, man. We had a big crew in our teenage years. Noel Simington, John Rode, John Klein, Lacey Morris, Rudy, me, Joey and John all piled into the jeep bumpin' NWA and Awesome Dre. I never drank or even swore back then, but then when my brother Rob went into the Army, suddenly all bets were off for some reason. Suddenly I was the only one, who didn’t cuss, or drink and so after about a year of that I was like "Fuck This" and I just started swearin up a storm. But I never drank much. I drank, but those guys drank all the fuckin' time. I would get pissed at them for drinkin' so much. I would be like "Come on, man, we just fuckin' drank yesterday man! What the fuck, man! Two days in a row, that's fuckin' stupid, man!" I bitched about drinkin' so much that they started to ditch me. Man, that would hurt. I dropped outta school long before those guys did and I would find out they all skipped school and never picked me up because they would all go drinkin' someplace and they didn't want me around. Fuck I hated that shit. We would go all the way out to Milford or Melvindale, MI in the jeep chasin' bitches. Man, I loved those times. I practically lived over at John and Joey's house. Joey was my boy, but back then John was my ace in the hole. We were so close, we shared the same dreams -- first to be wrestlers and then to be rappers. I was over there constantly. We would sit upstairs in John and Joey's bedroom and just spin albums. Joey would scratch and we'd all listen. Sometimes at night we would cut the lights out and play D-Roz or Danny "K"AE tapes for hours. They were two rappers that were so unbelievably fuckin' incredibly fuckin' amazingly terrible that it was awesome. I can't explain it but we fuckin' LOOOOOVED to listen to their music. It just relaxed us and put us in a great mood. Their music for some strange reason was like drugs to us. Both D-Roz and Danny "K"AE were local from Detroit and we used to dream about how great it would be to hang out with them. I'm pretty sure some of Danny "K"AE's shit is on You Tube but D-Roz fuckin' vanished from the earth long before You Tube. But holy shit did we love there shit, man. The cool thing is, last year J-Webb actually contacted Danny "K"AE who now lives in Alaska (ALASKA!) and we brought him to the Gathering to perform! Me and Joey were fuckin' front row for his show, just watching in awe at the magical spectacle. It was him. It was actually him performing the great music. Songs that only he could write like "Track and Field", "After School Snack Attack", and "The Goverment's Responsible." I'm not exaggerating AT ALL when I tell you that standing next to Joey and watching Danny "K"AE perform in person, front row, at the Gathering was easily one of the best times of my entire fuckin' life man. It's just too fuckin' bad that John wasn’t there with us to enjoy the greatness of The "K"AE. We did film it, though, and that DVD is one of my absolute greatest possessions. Some ninjas in the crowd were just confused by what they we're witnessing and most weren’t really paying attention, but there was one ninja, I'll never forget him. He was totally gettin' live, and rockin' out. He got it. He fully understood the magic of what makes Danny "K"AE so incredibly fuckin' awesome. Maybe we will bring Danny "K"AE back for Gathering 17 because it's, well you know, Gathering 17 and all!
Anyway, John was a more than a great friend and he played a very important role in my life for a very long and special time. Back then our crew were so close to each other that we considered each other sellouts if you had a girlfriend. John always had a job too. He was always the responsible one working all the time. He just really had his head screwed on right tight while the rest of our crew was more like me ... dumbasses. Ha!
Once we began ICP though, it became a straight up obsession for us. When John Rode left it sucked ,yeah, but when John Utsler quit I was devastated. I was crushed. We all were. Me and Alex just stared at Joey wondering what his next move was going to be. Was he gonna leave now? We had John's raps all over the album and now he was gone. Besides that I'd just lost my best friend. I always say that was the fuckin' night Joey became a man in his life. For real. The night he made a strong, enormous decision for himself and it paid off. My respect for Joey suddenly intensified to the point of no return. But I felt demolished at the same time over the fact that John could just up and walk out on us like that. It was so shocking, it truly terrified me that a person could do that to a friend. How could somebody be that cold hearted? We didn't have money to redo the entire album and take him off it. This was years before Pro Tools where you can just upload the song and pick up right where you left off. This was back when running a mix to tape was incredibly difficult. Everybody had several jobs to do when we would run a mix. Mike would have to remember to turn down the claps at a certain point and turn up a certain vocal. I would have to turn down the guitars during the second chorus and make sure the high hats were loud enough at the ending and Joey would have similar responsibilities. We would all have to work together just to get a mix on tape. If anybody fucked something up even the slightest, we would all have to do it again. The shit would take forever. So to remix the entire album replacing John's vocal parts was mission impossible. So we decided to just release the album as it was, with him on there. He is now forever cemented in Juggalo history because his vocals are all over the 1st Joker's Card "Carnival of Carnage".
The two Johns went one way in life and me and Joey went completely in another direction. Joey saw John around his mom's house from time to time but as the years went by, he saw less and less of him. I was constantly asking Joey if he saw John and if he said anything about us. Whenever the two spoke, which was rarely, John would never speak about leaving the group. Ever. I was obsessed with knowing how he felt about it, because it had hurt me so bad when he walked out. In a lot of ways it was like losing a girlfriend that you deeply loved and knowing somebody who knows her now. You would be asking, "What did she say about me? What did she say?" I wanted to know how he felt, and when we started to do better and better, I ,of course, wondered if he regretted his decision.
One year it was crazy as hell though, because we actually decided to have Joey ask John to appear at the 3rd Annual Gathering in Peoria as a mystery guest. Surprisingly, he showed up for a question and answer session. It was very weird. I hadn’t seen my former best friend in years. We didn't say much of anything at all to each other. I think John was overwhelmed and extremely nervous about all the Juggalos asking him so many questions and snapping pictures of him. He barely spoke. He let Joey answer it all. He had never in his life been a part of anything like that and it completely freaked him the fuck out. He had no idea people were that interested in him like that. He wouldn't come back after that year. Think about it. The answers to all the questions they were asking him had to of all been let downs.
Anyway, he and John Rode continued on down that dark path getting further and further into hard drugs. A few years later, Joey and I decided to try and help John. We hired him at our warehouse but that only lasted a few weeks. He just kept fuckin' up. Over and over again. Sometimes I would go in the back to try and talk to him but it was always the same. He would just dodge my questions and I could see how uncomfortable he was so I'd just leave him alone. He would come in super late and we'd find him asleep in the warehouse. It just didn't work out at all and after a while we had no choice to let him go. It's true what they say -- you can't help somebody who doesn’t want to help themselves.
Things only continued to spiral downhill for John. Around the same time that John Rode died, (Kid Villain) something terrible happened to John. Joey told us that they found him lying out front of his house in a puddle of blood. Nobody knows exactly what went down, even he says he doesn’t remember. I guess they pretty much cracked a hole in his skull, Doctors had to remove a piece of his skull because his brain was swelling up so badly that it couldn't fit in his head and he had to wear a soft helmet for a year so. The incident really did some serious damage and he and was never really the same again after that. Joey thinks it was possibly some kind of drug deal gone bad, like maybe John tried to fuck over some bad dudes or something. But nevertheless, John still kept on using and drinking.
The years continued to roll on by and John just kept on moving into and getting kicked out of group homes, the Salvation Army, convalescent homes and shitty places like that. At one point he was even living in an abandoned house. Joey's younger brother Mike called and said "We gotta do something about John and get him out of there" so Joey went over there and found John laying on an old mattress in the back room and described him as skin and bones. So he helped him up and into his car and took him home. John stayed with Joey for a while as Joey fed him and nursed him back to somewhat decent health until he caught John drinking again and stealing from him. Joey had no choice but to drop John off again at another Salvation Army. Things were OK for a while until one night about 8 years ago, John had a seizure and fell out of his bed and hit his already wounded head on the floor. From that day on John damaged the nerves his brain and could no longer walk. Even while confined to a wheelchair, John continued to use basically any drug he could get his hands on.
I saw John at Joey's wedding about 2 years ago. He was smoking a cigarette outside on the side of the chapel. He was barely recognizable. His skin tone looked almost grey to me and there were large black circles around his eyes. I thought about not saying anything to him at all, but instead I walked up to him and said a friendly "What up, John?", and introduced my wife Michelle. He just muttered out a simple "hey" avoiding eye contact with me, and instantly rolled himself in the other direction.
As the beautiful ceremony was being conducted down by the water, way up behind everybody, sitting at the top of the hill where you couldn't hear anything being said at the wedding, there was John sitting silently by himself. He wore a blank expression on his face, seemingly staring off at nothing. He was definitely sitting there, present at the wedding, but the John we all knew and loved, and my former best friend in the world, had check out of there a long time ago.
And on that bright, sunny, summer day, parked up on that green ass grass, next to that beautiful white chapel, was the very last time most of us would ever see John alive again.
Joey's Uncle Ed and his younger brother Mike would sometimes come by whereever he was staying at the time, to check up on him and drop off a bag of groceries and maybe a $20 spot for whatever as John continued to live his life at rock bottom, until the morning of November 20th, when he was found dead in his bed, living at a group home in Highland Park, Michigan. The autopsy report won’t be back for another two months or so, but it's believed that he had a major seizure in his sleep. An empty pint of vodka was found stashed under his bed. a clear violation of the rules at the group home he was living at.
At the memorial, Joey's Uncle Ed told me and my wife that about three months ago, he went to visit John and he was playing a CD of "Carnival of Carnage" and as his Uncle was talking about something, John interrupted him and said "Wait, listen... This part is me... that's me rappin' right there"
Had John Utsler only known that he is forever in time, a true, certified and authentic, Juggalo legend. Forever solidified in all of space, as one of the original three MC's of the legendary 1st Joker's Card, "Carnival of Carnage." The album which started it all. The red and blue engine which pulls a train a million miles long. The first chapter in a series of 6 chapters that mean so very much, to the lives of so very many, special people of this world, and even beyond. John probably never even realized how many thousands and thousands, how many millions and millions of ninjas around the world, knew every word to every one of his verses, to every one of the songs he ever made. He most likely never knew that during every minute, of every day, there is at least one human being out there in the world, rapping along to his lyrics as the CD plays. There is at least one, and that's guaranteed, but most likely there are hundreds, at any given time, 24 hours a day, all the way around the clock, as "Carnival Of Carnage" has sold or been burned or dubbed or copied, or bootlegged millions and millions of times, since it was first released way back in 1991. The 1st Joker's Card that started it all. John Utsler probably never even realized he was an absolute Hall of Famer in our Juggalo Universe. John Kickjazz is a legendary superstar without a doubt. He's every bit of a hero to millions and millions of wonderful and important, human lives around the world and around the entire universe as well.
He is eternally cemented in greatness for his work on "The Basement Tapes" that are true and iconic hidden treasures that remain somewhere out there, in this world sought after by collectors and traders around the globe. And his work on "Dog Beats," the first ever authentic professional recording of Inner City Posse remains timeless and forever new as somebody somewhere retraces the Dark Carnival's fantastic voyage back to its inception every day that goes by. John Kickjazz's voice appears on songs that are sung by millions of fascinating and intelligent people across the planet. John's witty and astonishingly entertaining lyrics are respected, repeated, memorized and idolized by men and women of all races and religions who lead incredible, fantastic lives. And of course "Carnival of Carnage" from The Insane Clown Posse remains a treasure trove of vast knowledge and secrets that can not only unlock time but can also allow one a peek in through the back stage doors of the Nethervoid. The 1st Joker's Card has gathered the attention of so many millions of lonely, misunderstood and frustrated souls and eventually turned their fates around and forever blessed them with the rich and priceless gifts of family, love and eternal salvation. It was John Utsler's own works of art that helped lead these people to discover one another as well as their own faith in a higher power. Today these people form this planet's last genuine, authentic subculture... unlike anything before its kind. It was John Utsler's own youthful, karma shine that helped attract, draw forth and bring together the ultra-important, mystical and magnificent lives of those who call themselves... The Juggalos.
You, John Utsler, are a savior. You, John Kickjazz, are a champion of free speech. Your art and talent, your ideas and skill, your style and charisma has helped to save something more precious than anything known to man... human lives. Thank you, brother.
I look forward to when we will reform the original group of all 4 members once again. The original ICP, together behind the golden gates of Shangri-La!