In a stunning announcement today, rock legend Lou Reed is confirming reports that he will be collaborating with controversial rap artists Insane Clown Posse on what is being identified as a sequel to the divisive Reed/Metallica album Lulu.
While an announcement concerning this year’s Gathering Of The Juggalos is still weeks away, there are hints that the collaboration between the aging icon and the clown-painted rap duo will culminate in a performance of the entire album during I.C.P.’s annual festival scheduled for August 8 – 13 at Cave-in-Rock, Illinois.
Rumors began two weeks ago with a cryptic post from I.C.P.’s Violent J, who tweeted of a new record in the works that would “blow the fuckin’ minds of anyone whose (sic) down with the clown and with 70’s fag rock.”
Within days, Insane Clown Posse message boards lit up with news of J’s tweet, including several posts from fans-known in the community as ‘Juggalos’–who seemed critical of the new direction. Many of the posts appeared to be very homophobic in nature.
Fearing that such hateful comments would draw additional negative attention, Shaggy 2 Dope released a statement on the Insane Clown Posse website to diffuse the homophobic rants and to identify the mysterious collaborator they’d been working with.
“I’m motherfucking excited as fuck to announce that we just fucking finished recording an album with Lou motherfucking Reed!” he wrote in an expletive filled announcement. “A lot of family members have been postin’ shit about gays ‘n shit, and that shit ain’t cool.” he continued.
“Besides, Lou Reed ain’t gay,” Shaggy added, “He’s just married to some chick that looks like a dude.”
While I.C.P. fans–or “family” as they are referred to–struggled to make sense the announcement and to try to figure out if they even knew of any songs by the long-standing underground icon.
Meanwhile, music bloggers from around the planet sent a tidal wave of emails to management companies around the music industry to try to confirm the collaboration rumors.
In today’s rare, Sunday announcement, Reed’s management company posted a message on the artist’s website, confirming the collaboration and issuing a statement from Lou himself.
“I’m excited about this new project, even more than I was with Metallica.” Reed confides in the statement. “Shaggy Dogg and Silent J are the true underground of today’s commercialized music industry that boasts profits over performance. I’m excited to be able to shake up the music scene once again by working with two artists that possess a rare gift: to create music without any concern for listenability.”
The former Velvet Underground frontman also expressed excitement at I.C.P.’s lack of musicianship. “With Metallica, I did need to accommodate their musical talents, and that made for a record where you could still identify it as Metallica.” He explained. “With Insane Clown Posse, they don’t play any instruments…They really don’t have a clue. The end result is that you get something that sounds less like Lou Reed or Insane Clown Posse and more like aural train wreck.”
With Reed’s confirming statement, he described his collaboration with I.C.P. as “fun” and “dangerous,” repeating a similar comment he made when addressing critics of his work with Metallica.
“As I stated with Lulu, I’m essentially in this for the fun of it. I thought that all of my fans had fled after Metal Machine Music, but after I learned that 13,000 people bought Lulu during the first week it was released, I knew that I had some more fans to scare off.”
Reed mined German playwright Frank Wedekind again for inspiration, just as he did for Lulu. For that record, he used Wedekind’s Erdgeist and Die Buchse der Pandora as his muse. For the I.C.P. collaboration, he focused on Wedekind’s Franziska as source material.
“Originally, I had an inclination to use Wedekind’s one-act play Der Kammersanger, but when I met with Shaggy and J. during our initial meetings, they kept confusing it with Falco’s Der Kommissar, so I got frustrated and left.”
The collaboration nearly ended, until Reed found a possible connection between Wedekind’s Franziska and I.C.P.’s concept of The Dark Carnival series.
“I felt bad at giving up so quickly, so I bought the entire Insane Clown Posse discography and became enamored with their Riddle Box album.” Reed explained.
“It was there that I suddenly noticed a connection between their Dark Carnival mythology and the Faustian themes of Franziska. It was a perfect fit.”
Violent J agreed with the assessment, adding “Whoop! Whoop!” as the duo scheduled another meeting with the underground music legend to consider another attempt at collaborating.
“We never really dug Lou Reed that much, a lot of his shit is just unlistenable!” admitted Shaggy 2 Dope “But then someone told us about his S&M band the Lovin’ Spoonful from the 50’s and said how they all acted weird ‘n shit and that Lou was kinda like Mick Foley’s wrestling character, Mankind.”
“We ended up buying that banana record. Fuck!” Shaggy continued. “It’s still unlistenable, but it’s awesome having this crazy-assed old dude workin’ with us.”
Violent J concurred: “He was the first motherfucker to have a motherfucking piece of fruit on his album cover. That’s fucked up!”
“In a way, he’s like the third member of the posse,” offers Shaggy, who went on to suggest that Reed’s whiteface appearance on Transformer and Rock and Roll Animal is “almost like the prequel to our Devil’s Card concept albums.”
Reed confirmed that the duo has asked him to don the whiteface again for the Gathering of the Juggalos performance later this summer, but he’s considering another option based on what he’s heard about I.C.P.’s rowdy fans.
“I’ll probably need Kevlar and a football helmet to stay protected from all the shit they throw on stage,” he joked, “but I can handle Faygo cans, feces, and even an occasional D battery.”
It wouldn’t be the first time he’s been subjected to such audience danger, he admitted. “I once had a guy cut off both of his ears and mail them to my ex-manager Sylvia when Mistrial was released. In the package was a note telling me that he was going to hunt me down for making an album so awful that he had to end his ability to hear.”
While Reed’s on-stage collaboration with Insane Clown Posse is scheduled for August 13, there is no release date as of yet for the studio record. Fans and the curious can follow a website developed solely for the project. In the upcoming weeks, the site will offer free streaming audio and behind the scenes footage of this unusual collaboration.
For more information on the Insane Clown Posse/Lou Reed collaboration, please check in for regular updates at the exclusive website here.