THE LANGUAGE OF LOW-LIFE

by

comment

The most derided and least respected act in mainstream music defies all the rules of good marketing and still outsells scads of corporate-backed bands. It goes to show that even for poor white Midwestern kids, there are creative ways to decadence and the in-your-face amplification of their small, tragic histories. If that means finding a great producer (Mike E. Clark), putting on clown makeup, spraying Faygo and making intentionally ridiculous rap songs, so be it. Everybody has to make a living. So, instead of working at the local car wash, ICP mainmen Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J have set themselves up in a much bigger arena, raking in more cash than we are just by screaming "fuck the Dalai Lama."

I’m one step closer to empathy than admiration after listening to The Amazing Jeckel Brothers because – as disgusting as it is – the language is so close to the experience, as if its vile naïveté finger-paints pictures in blood, shit and trash not collected but lived in. Instead of just exploring evil, everything is relived, like some post-traumatic stress syndrome nightmare – all the way down to the final and appropriately titled, "Nothing Left." I’d guess that, once upon a time, ICP chose rap because it was the popular form of music into which the duo could most easily insert its WWF-meets-the-Jerky-Boys free fall through the realities of having nothing in a world that offers everything – especially sex, money and esteem. But their success with it is no mystery. The fact that most of the entertainment industry fails to "get it," doesn’t mean a million "Juggalos" aren’t going to spend their days and nights in the dark brutal haze of "I Stab People" or the murderous spoofing of "Another Love Song."

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.