Everything You Missed At The Big Ballas Christmas Party
Written By: Sid Jones
Photos Courtesy Of Curtis Bolt
Big Ballas was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I got to live out my childhood dream of being inside one of the most legendary buildings in hip hop. The Insane Clown Posse opened their doors to the juggalos. I was fortunate to be one of them.
The entrance was remarkable and historic. The former Hatchet House warehouse. We were greeted with old school merch, along with new merch. All reasonably priced. Jerseys from the Wraith era were 175.00 and the t-shirts did not exceed a 20 dollar bill.
To the left of us, a stage set up and folding chairs were arranged. As I write this, I can see the banners hung up from their previous tours and shows. For a moment, I was in complete shock and went to go sit down, forgetting the entire building was free for us to roam around in.
To be completely honest, I was a little skeptical. I didn’t think we were allowed to just go anywhere we wanted. However, I was proven wrong.
This is the story of what happened next.
The Party Officially Began
I walked past the long merch booth and walked into a room, set up for taking pictures. What I found inside taught me a lot about the Insane Clown Posse.
I can honestly say, they love the juggalos and keep them near and dear to their hearts. The walls in the room were covered with photos and artwork. I know, for some this is hard to believe. In these pictures, were juggalos. From years back, to the present. The artwork that hung on the walls were gifts from juggalos.
Imagine for a moment, you’re going to the place where your heroes work. You’d expect to see celebratory monuments and achievements. This isn’t the case at the Psychopathic Records headquarters.
I stood in the room and took the time to look at all of the pictures. They are truly remarkable and one of the greatest highlights to my visit.
Big Ballas showed me that the juggalos mean the world to the Insane Clown Posse. For those that believe they are in it for the money, or forgot where they came from. You’re sadly mistaken. We’ll get to that a little later. For now, let’s take you upstairs.
Welcome To Big Ballas
As I walked up into the hallways, I noticed Jumpsteady was in his office, talking with the juggalos. I hung around for a minute to hear his stories and what items meant a lot to him. It turns out, Jumpsteady is a very sentimental man that relishes in memory, not fame and fortune.
As it turns out, him and others truly appreciate the fans and credit them with everything. He pointed at the gold and platinum plaques that hung on the wall. Among them, was a glass frame with wooden planks that said Big Money Rustlas. As it turns out, he had input in what was in the film and was one of the things he was most proud of.
The juggalos respected the building and it’s contents. With that said, I wondered just how much of the building we truly got to see. After hearing Jumpsteady’s stories and watching him interact, left his office and grabbed myself a glass of Black Cherry Faygo on the rocks and a delicious cookie.
The Prop Room
I know, I can’t believe it either. We got to walk into the prop room where the costumes and props are kept. I observed closely and treated it as if I was in a museum. Apparently, one of the gentleman stopped me and assured me we could pick up the props.
Yes, this is the truth. We weren’t under watch or untrusted. We were treated as guests and gifted trust. Did we have fun with the props? Yes, but we were respectful. If you’re reading this in the hopes an incident occurred, you’re going to be disappointed.
I think old school juggalos will appreciate this, but we got to see Chad standing in the corner of the room. I was told the history of this legendary mannequin and the role he played at one of the gatherings.
Everyone To The Conference Room
When I think conference room, I picture a long table like you see in the movies. Or maybe a table with an emblem engraved like in Sons of Anarchy. This isn’t the case. There’s a small table where Billy Bill and Jumpsteady sit with interns to make plans for events and share ideas.
Perhaps you didn’t catch that. Interns have a say in who should play at gatherings, where the events should take place and what the spectacles are. There was a gentleman at the door named Chris that allowed us to sit and share our ideas.
I pitched one of my own and I got a little insight. At one point or another, Body Count was up for being booked and for some reason, it fell through. This opened my mind and my eyes to all the things possible at Big Ballas. I can share ideas? I can learn things and get some knowledge on things? All on the record? Oh, this changed everything.
Sid Jones Joins The Juggalo Show
You heard that right. I was able to join the Juggalo Show, interact with Kegan, Rude Boy and DJ Carlito. For me, it was more than an experience. I lost my best friend in the world back in 2014. The Insane Clown Posse and their music brought us together.
After I won my prizes out of Kegan’s pocket, this is what I said to him.
“I cannot put into words how much this means to me. My best friend Steve and I became friends because of the Insane Clown Posse.” I held up the charms. “This would bring a smile to his face. I appreciate this and letting you guys have me on the show.”
Kegan and Rude Boy showed my departed friend and I love and respect. Live on air.
The Lotus Pod
After another glass of Faygo, I continued walking through random hallways. What I stumbled upon next, sent sensations down my spine.
People were gathered in, what I thought was another office. Turns out, it was the Lotus Pod. The recording studio at Psychopathic Records. Straight Jacket was playing music for us, or so I thought. What was actually taking place, was the recording of a song. Yes, you heard that correctly, Big Hoodoo was recording.
So, there’s a couple of things I learned. One, they go through the same section of a song over a hundred times to make it perfect. Second, they work all hours of the night to perfect a song. Even though Big Hoodoo knew we would all be there, he worked hard on the track and didn’t stop.
About an hour or so later, I returned the Lotus Pod and found Big Hoodoo listening back to what he had recorded. He went back into the recording booth and moved on to the next portion of the song. This time, I stuck around.
Meeting Big Hoodoo
I have to be honest, I wasn’t always a fan of Big Hoodoo. I’ve mentioned this in my Bitch I’m Gone review. The person I didn’t tell that too was the man himself. Big Hoodoo.
I was upfront and honest with him.
The conversation went as followed:
“What’s up man, my name is Sid Jones and I noticed that T-Money Green was credited in your recent music video.”
Hoodoo replied, “He’s my uncle.”
Shock doesn’t even describe what I felt.
“He’s the homie man, and him and I are tight. I know you’re gonna be performing at Hyped Up Live Sessions, and I was wondering if I could lock in an interview with you.”
I handed him my card and he looked at it.
“I’m with RoxxxTV and we focus on the music. We’re the new MTV.”
“For sure man.” He replied and slipped my card in his pocket.
“I have to be honest, I wasn’t always a fan of you. The metaphysical stuff was never really my thing. When I heard you had a new song out, people told me I would like it. I have to say man, you proved me wrong. I’ve become a Hoodoo fan.”
“I appreciate that man.” Believe it or not, he smiled.
“I do have a question. Off the record.” I closed my notebook. “What inspired you, or what made you decide to go from making music based around a New Orleans-metaphysical concept to what you’re doing now?”
To which the man replied, “You’re gonna have to wait for the interview.”
As happy as that made me, that wasn’t the highlight of the night. What you’re about to read next may surprise you.
Insane Clown Posse Acoustic Set
Bare with me as this portion of the article may be a little lengthy. Therefore, it will be broken down into sections. There’s a lot to read, but I assure you it’s exclusive and it’s crucial.
After leaving the Lotus Pod, I walked out to the stage area. Yellow thrones were brought onto the stage and set behind microphones. I sat at the very front and waited in anticipation. This is the story I walked away with.
Eventually, the Insane Clown Posse had walked out onto the stage. The crowd went insane and I had my notebook at the ready. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope sat down in the chairs, holding their mics and looked down at the track list. I had my notebook ready and began looking at their reactions to the crowd.
That was when I discovered my story. The one thing I wish I could have captured on film or taken a picture of. I wish I had, and I hope someone did. Violent J had a grin on his face. Not the cocky grin, or the snarky smirk. A genuine grin. What I wouldn’t have given to taken that picture.
I wonder to myself, “What was he thinking about? What brought so much joy to the man?” I know you’re probably wondering, “What’s the big deal? The man was happy.”
Its a big deal because I saw Violent J, behind the paint and joyful. As if, a memory or a thought had emerged. I’m just speculating, but I think I figured it out.
Welcome To The Show
The Insane Clown Posse welcomed us to Big Ballas and thanked us for being there. As it turns out, that was the main night for Big Ballas. The Friday show turned out to be an after thought. Violent J announced that we got, “The double benefit” of being there that particular night.
Both men looked more than happy to be there, doing it again. No signs of exhaustion or boredom. DJ Carlito and Rude Boy were also on the stage. I’m not going to lie to you, I thought DJ Carlito was fighting back tears. Shaggy and Violent J went on to talk about the idea behind Big Ballas and all of the incredible things they do for the juggalos to, “Keep up with the freshness.”
They talked about how amazing they wanted Big Ballas to be. So they came up with the idea to invite the juggalos to their house for Christmas. The crowd erupted. Three Rings was announced as the first song of the Big Ballas acoustic set.
Dead Body Man
“A radio station played this song. We couldn’t understand why.” Violent J began telling the story behind the next song. “Come to find out, the station was becoming a newer station. They did it with this song. It was number one in their top 5, or whatever and then, it went off the air to end the old format.”
Both Shaggy and Violent J laughed. “To end their old format. So we went off at the number one and never had the chance to drop down the charts. We went out at number one.
That’s when they announced that a video would be made for this song. Not only that, but there will be old school songs released with new music videos. That’s when they announced the song to be, Dead Body Man.
So, there you go. Fresh new material coming out to old school music.
We were given the history of a song that Shaggy 2 Dope admitted to screwing up when performing live. Because there are two versions of the song, he confuses some of the lyrics. Violent J talked about shooting the video for the song and how great of an experience it was.
What he said next, will stick with me the rest of my life.
“You can only be new once.” Which he admitted he had worded poorly. “Enjoy the freshness of being new once. The most rewarding time in our career was when we were officially old school.”
Violent J went on to talking about an interview where they were asked, “Are you still the most hated band in the world?” To which, Violent J laughed. “The hate is still there, maybe they just don’t like us. We aren’t the most hated band in the world.”
“The most awesome thing is being old school.” Violent J said. With that, they announced the next song. Piggie Pie.
This would be the first and last time the next song would be performed. They told the story of Two Tuff Tony losing his mind after being on drugs. He had apparently, smoked something and they brought him back to the studio to help calm him down. This all started on Jefferson Ave, when their friend called them and told them government agents were climbing through the floor.
This was the inspiration for the song and Violent J also mentioned that Esham had done a good job at producing it. With that, Shaggy explains the creative process of making Hell’s Pit. “It was one of the darkest times of our life, making that album.”
Instead of being dressed up, or focused around, “The Shine” they hung out with crackheads and prostitutes. Another thing I learned that night. As dark as Hell’s Pit was, there’s a song coming out on Fearless Fred Fury that is going to be, “The wickedest wicked shit ever.”
The next song was announced as being, Crooked Preacher Killas.
Crossing Thy Bridge
For me, this song being performed live meant everything. As it turns out, it’s one of Violent Js favorite songs. He felt as though it would be the song that could hang with P.O.D’s music. He called his mom from Dallas and told her all about it.
This song has personal meaning to me. As I stated earlier, I’ve been listening to the Insane Clown Posse since I was 13 years old. A story I didn’t share was when my family dog passed away, I was told I can get one CD without the lyrics being listened to first.
At this time, I was going through the five stages of grieving. I was definitely at the anger stage. Anyway, I went into a store and picked up a copy of The Wraith: Shangri La. I was drawn to the art and had to have it.
I brought it home and listened to it, without hitting the skip button on my CD player. When this song played, I was hit with a lot of emotions. It helped me get through that time in my life and it still does, to this very day.
That song is called, Crossing Thy Bridge.
As I’m sure you’ve guessed, each song comes with a story and this one is short. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope admitted to being bored of playing this song. So, in order to keep true to how they did it, I’m going to keep it short as well.
Who’s going Chicken Huntin’?
Another fun fact and we’ll be moving on. This is Shaggy 2 Dope’s favorite song, We Belong. I would have to say, it remains one of my favorite tracks off The Wraith: Shangri-La. I would have to argue that The Raven was mine. Again, just sharing a fun fact with you guys.
What’s better than being offered cash to play a part in a song? While you think about that, here’s more knowledge for you guys that I didn’t know.
The man who was voiced as the host for the Dating Game song was a news anchor. Instead of being paid in American dollars or in GPB, he was paid in Cappuccino Coffee Ice Cream.
The more you know!
I use to be big into wrestling. I remember when the Odyssey was around during the Attitude Era in WWE. However, I didn’t watch much of WCW. Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J told us some of the funniest moments, involving Goldberg.
The tales of encountering Goldberg and working with Vampiro lead to a lot of funny encounters. The punchline to the series of stories was Violent J saying,
“We did a lot in wrestling and at the end of it all, we only made 50 Bucks.”
Another Love Song
Diane Martel directed the music video for the next song. She has the reputation of working with other big name artists, such as Method Man. In this story, we were given insight into what it was like filming the video. Apparently, she had said, “You need to be more like Method Man.”
She was wearing sweatpants and it was extremely hot during the day and freezing at night. Well, the video was shot in the middle of the heat. She had sweat in the butt crack of her sweatpants and that’s how Shaggy 2 Dope and Violent J remember her.
That music video was for, Another Love Song. For me, there isn’t a better song she could have directed, given the circumstances.
The song that juggalos seemed to have mixed feelings on. To be honest, it was my first time hearing the song, Fallen Apart live. I preferred it to the album version.
Fuck The World
Shaggy 2 Dope talked to us about how some juggalos saw the Amazing Jeckel Brothers as their Sophomore album. The album that went platinum and the song that everyone loves! Fuck The World.
If I Was A Serial Killer
The Insane Clown Posse, after all the stories told, reminded the juggalos of something important.
“There aren’t words that can be put together to show appreciation for the Juggalo world.” Violent J said. “It’s the perfect size.”
They went on to say, “Too big and it loses it’s meaning. Too small and the quality would fall.”
Violent J made a joke, “Some people think we’re in the illuminati.”
Shaggy held the mic and looked at the crowd. “But we are in the illuminati.”
“This saved us.” Violent J went on to say. “The music and the juggalos saved us.”
“We aren’t on a pedestal either. We aren’t better than you.” Shaggy said, pointing at the crowd. “No one is more important than someone else in this room.”
“We’re all playing equal rolls.” Violent J added. “Not one day goes by, we don’t get blown away. Everyday we are grateful and deeply loved.”
Before If I was A Serial Killer was performed, live. Violent J announced that he wanted to go and sing with the juggalos. He got off the stage and walked through the aisle of juggalos. We all sang together, joyful and the energy was overwhelming.
The Greatest Moment Of My Career
After days of reflecting, I realized what Violent J was smiling about. After hearing the stories and walking into the room with the pictures of the random juggalos. The words that they shared and the sincerity within them. The gratitude and love, I figured out what the grin on Violent J’s face was all about.
After everything, since the inception of Inner City Posse, after all the Joker Cards, the albums and thousands of shows. I would be smiling too.
Ask me what the greatest moment of my career was. Seeing Violent J break character for that second and getting that glimpse behind the paint? Yeah, I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
People say, “They sold out, they’re in it for the money.” I say to you, “You weren’t there at Big Ballas.”
It wasn’t hearing Big Hoodoo in the Lotus Pod. I can’t even say it was sharing the story of my friend Steve on the Juggalo Show. Me, beating Rude Boy at a game of, Does Psychopathic Know? No.
I’ve been to Astronomicon and met celebrities. I went to DCG Con and hung out with the juggalos, played Black Jack and met Jumpsteady for the first time. My trip to New Hampshire to host in my home state and going to Sacramento, California bringing me coast to coast? Not even close.
I would trade every single one of my trips and surrender my memories. I’d have to say, I’d sacrifice my career to see that one single smile.
If you didn’t make it, I wish you had. For those that were there, I’m glad you were. Big Ballas was the greatest night of my life. I learned far more than I thought. I can’t lie to you, I didn’t expect to go. It was a last minute phone call I got that brought me there.
The after party at the Token Lounge was absolutely incredible. Lyte gave an incredible performance in the center of the JCW ring. I drank with the juggalos and reflected on my accomplishments.
For me, it was something I had to come home and write about. I wish I could have told you more. I wish I could unplug my brain and insert it into a hard drive and show you what I saw.
This was the best I could do and I hope it made you feel like you were there. More importantly, I hope everyone reading this understands that I learned something too. The Insane Clown Posse never stopped loving their fans. They didn’t grow old and bored of what they’ve done.
I lived out my childhood dream. Ever since I was 13, I wanted to meet the Insane Clown Posse and hear their stories. Nothing compares to Big Ballas 2018. Did I mention we all received an exclusive single and witnessed Str8jaket given his Hatchetman Charm for producing Fearless Fred Fury?
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