Exclusive: Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Potluck, Kung Fu Vampire and Rehab speak about what sets The 14th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos apart from other festivals.
The 14th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos will be held tomorrow (August 7) through Sunday (August 11) in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois. Vanilla Ice, Brotha Lynch Hung, Tech N9ne and Insane Clown Posse are set to headline the event. Twiztid, Madchild, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, Slaine, Potluck, Kung Fu Vampire and Rehab recently spoke with HipHopDX about The 14th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos.
"[Insane Clown Posse] wanted to start a concert festival of sorts that would be the mega event of the Juggalo world each and every year," Twiztid's Madrox says to HipHopDX. "Monoxide and I were there for the initial one and privileged to be at each and every one after it as well. This year is the fourteenth year we have played The Gathering and been a part of its sheer magnitude."
"It is unlike anything else and it is the first and original movement of its kind," adds Madchild. "I highly respect the loyalty and the family concept of Juggalos. We have a similar movement called the Battleaxe Warriors. Some of the similarities are the respect that Juggalos show to each other and how they can all connect through the music and the underground music. The Gathering is an amazing event and I have such respect for the Psychopathic Records crew who put it all together."
Performers also talked about what it means to be asked to perform at the event.
"It's just raw and crazy unfiltered chaos," Slaine says of The Gathering of Juggalos. "It's probably the closest thing to like a Woodstock for the underground because there are just no rules. It's out in the middle of nowhere and the fans are just crazy about underground Hip Hop music. I totally respect what the Juggalos have built and how fanatical their fans are. They built an underground movement from the ground up that is unlike anything else in music. I'm glad to be asked back again this year to perform."
"They are extreme about their music, so you know you have to bring that high energy and raw intensity," Rehab's Demun Jones adds. "I think we do that well."
Artists also talked about how The Gathering compares to other festivals.
"It differs from other festivals just on the accessibility of the performers on the grounds," Blaze Ya Dead Homie says. "You could be there the entire five days that it's happening and short of staying in your tent or R.V. the entire time, you are sure to see one of your favorite artists, possibly walking, or partying right next to you. Along with that, the freedom on the grounds are not like anything anywhere else."
"It's a great fucking time," Madchild adds. "It's a place you can go and not have to worry about being judged or looked at strange because you're different. It's a place where you can go let your freak flag fly and be comfortable. It's a place where you can go and celebrate individuality, and the best part is Juggalos don't really care if the outside world doesn't like it."
That type of environment creates a distinctive experience for fans and entertainers alike.
"The thing that makes The Gathering truly special and unique is [that] it is literally like a family reunion," Potluck's 1 Ton says. "Kids post on message boards, hitch rides from complete strangers and carpool across the country to go there. People camp, live and eat together with complete strangers and share all of their supplies and food like they are brothers and sisters. There is 15,000-20,000 kids and days go by without even one fight. There is a lot of face paint and crazy costumes, so to the outside eye it is a big scary place. But once you go one time, you will see why everyone chants ['family' at the event]."
Several celebrities have attended The Gathering over the years.
"I could talk for hours about crazy stories, from kicking it with Charlie Sheen to Tila Tequilla getting booed off stage and her whole security team getting rat packed," Potluck's 1 Ton says.
"It was surreal," Twiztid's Monoxide adds. "Seen a lot of people get booed but never booed [and] then surrounded. If they could have got a hand on her, I think [Tila Tequila] would have been killed."
Other high-profile entertainers have also participated at The Gathering.
"We seen MC Hammer bring out his whole dance crew and get 100 Juggalos on stage dancing with Potluck and DJ Quik jumping up and down with cameras in the middle of the stage," 1 Ton says.
Nudity is also prominent, according to rappers.
"It's funny," Slaine says. "I remember when I went to the Gathering of Juggalos for the first time, everyone told me that there was going to be naked women all over the place. When I got there, one of the first things I saw was this giant naked 300-pound bitch letting it all hang out. Then later on that night, I was partying with everyone, but I just had this weird feeling that someone was trying to spike my drink, so I went and traded it out for another one. A few minutes later I finished my drink and looked down and there was the remnants of some sort of fluorescent capsule sitting in the bottom of the cup. The Gathering of Juggalos is just [a] fucking crazy time that everyone has to experience for themselves."
"The very first time I showed up in our bus, someone ran next to us for like half a mile as we entered the Gathering, and they were completely excited and trying to hand us a big joint to smoke," Kung Fu Vampire adds. "When we got out of the bus, the very first thing we saw was three chicks hanging on to the back of a golf cart completely naked. The stories go on and on, I think you get the point. It's nuts."