For all the press (negative and positive) Insane Clown Posses horror rap music receives from mainstream and underground media alike, theres one aspect of the Insane Clown Posse shtick that is all too often overlooked: the Dark Carnival.
That could be because many people dont take the time to understand it, which is unfortunate because the Dark Carnival is just one more element of Insane Clown Posses music that makes them so unique. Ever since crafting the concept of Dark Carnival and Jokers Cards at the beginning of their musical career, its been central to the band successfully connecting with fans.
Dark Carnival: The Origins
It all came to Violent J in a dream. In this dream, spirits in a traveling carnival appeared to him. After deliberation between Violent Js older brother, Robert Bruce (better known by his stage name JumpSteady) and the other half of Insane Clown Posse Shaggy 2 Dope, it was decided that the Dark Carnival was a static state between life and the after life in which spirits of the dead waited before going to heaven or hell.
Dark Carnivals Involvement with Insane Clown Posse Song Material
Insane Clown Posse members have intelligently decided to use this dream to their advantage and make it a permanent fixture in their persona. Insane Clown Posse uses the Dark Carnival as a platform to relay messages or moral stories through their albums, or Jokers Cards. These Jokers Cards all communicate unique messages.
But what morals could a band like ICP possibly convey through Jokers Cards and the Dark Carnival? After all, their music doesnt exactly lend itself to virtuous living.
The best examples are outlined in the Carnival of Carnage, The Riddle Box, and the Great Milenko Jokers Cards. In Carnival of Carnage, the Jokers Card takes the form of a traveling carnival that releases brutality upon the upper class and government that were negligent to societys lower classes during their lifetime. The moral here is equality.
The Riddle Box urges onlookers to seek their own morality deep inside themselves, and correct it if its on the wrong path. Finally, the Great Milenko symbolizes the inner hedonist within us all, and emphasizes that this desire must be fought off in order to reach heaven. The entire Dark Carnival mythology becomes amazingly complex when all seven cards and their meanings are analyzed.
There are currently seven Jokers Cards in the Dark Carnival, six in deck 1 and one (soon to be two) in deck 2. The Dark Carnival Jokers Cards in order of release are as follows: Carnival of Carnage, The Ringmaster, Riddle Box, Great Milenko, The Amazing Jeckel Brothers, Death (end Deck 1), and Bang! Pow! Boom! (end Deck 2).
Insane Clown Posse is looking to release card #2 in Deck #2, The Mighty Death Pop, in 2011. It has been announced that The Mighty Death Pop Jokers Card will have two faces instead of one, look out for number two coming soon!