It’s that time of year again! The 17th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos has come and gone, and the last thing on my agenda after each year is to type up a review of the week. Ninjas have come to expect it at this point, and though it takes me endless hours to complete, I NEVER regret doing it. Hell, I just reread last year’s review to get a little bit of motivation to type this one out!
That being said, it has officially been three weeks since this year’s Gathering has ended, and I have a TON to tell you about, just from what I experienced this year! My review last year was nearly 25,000 words (about 70 pages…FUCK!), so we’ll see how far this one takes me. Alright, enough foreplay…let’s get this thing started!
Almost every year, it seems like we take a different course of action to get ready for our week-long Whoopfest. This year, we kept it pretty straightforward. We really dug the company and people that we rented from last year (American Dream Vacations). They are in Fort Smith, AR, so dragging a trailer across the country isn’t exactly ideal. BUT their pricing was hard to beat, and they seemed to love us last year, so we went ahead and booked with them. We picked out a 35’ trailer this year with 2 slide-outs which weighed twice as much as our 19’ one from last year. We would also have six people in this one instead of just 3, and wanted to truly do the 17th up BALLER style. This was picked out a few months prior to the Gathering. This year, we would be bunking with my road dog PsykoScott, my wife Amanda (aka Manderz), my homies from down the road and long-time Juggalos Marty and Courtney (who you may have taken pictures with cutouts of last year), and our homie Brice who we got to know pretty well at the 2015 GOTJ.
My wife just started a job in March, so her paid time off was limited. With my frequent flier miles, we decided to go ahead and book a flight for her so it cut down on the two days of travel time that we had to look forward to. Marty and Courtney have a 9-month old, and missed the Gathering last year, so they wanted to cut down on as much time being away from him as possible. They booked some flights too, and then we all played the waiting game.
Fast forward to the weekend before the Gathering (July 16-17th). I got a call from Jumpsteady who needed some assistance. He said that he had some volunteer spots open to work the Gathering. The deal was that you had to work three 6 hour shifts (18 hours total for you slow ninjas) and it would grant you entry to the Gathering! I didn’t know anyone personally that would be able to go at the drop of a hat, so I hit up Marty to see if he might. Here’s the deal though…Jumpsteady made one point crystal clear. If these guys showed up and got in, but never showed up at their scheduled times, it would look bad on ME. I knew that was the case anyways, but this meant that I had to have some reputable ninjas show up and be ready to do work. Within an hour, Marty had all three spots filled! Our homies Wesley, Jeff, and Kris were all officially Gathering-bound with just a day or two to spare! How fresh is it that they get to experience the 17th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos instead of sitting their stale asses at home? Lol.
I have a new ½ ton truck that would have pulled last year’s trailer with ease, but with a loaded trailer weighing nearly 5 tons, I needed something a bit beefier. I decided to ask my pops to borrow his truck again. The one we took last year was getting up there in miles and years, so he actually purchased a newer ¾ ton Silverado the week before we left! He graciously let us borrow it, and that bitch still had the dealer tags on it! I swapped trucks on Saturday morning.
On Sunday, Marty and Courtney brought all of the gear that they would need for the upcoming week so that we could load it up. Since we would all be there anyways, it made sense for them to pack what they needed in our ride and fly out as light as possible. The truck was loaded, and we were set to roll…except for Brice.
Now I love Brice, but he is one of those ninjas that just doesn’t do any planning whatsoever. I spoke to him every single day in the week leading up to the Gathering. I’m like “Are you ready?” “Will you be ready on Sunday at about 2 PM?” “Are you meeting me at my house to make it easier?” (He lives in the sticks about 1-1/2 hours away from me.) Everything was a “YES,” but here we were on the day of departure and all of a sudden we had problems.
I Facebook messaged him, and he started giving me this sob story about not being able to go, not coming up with the money for the RV, etc. I eventually got him on the phone. I basically told him that I’m not gonna leave him here in Dallas. Let’s say that I did. We both knew that 2 days later, I’d bump into his ass at the Gathering like “What up?!” Seriously…Brice ALWAYS finds a way!
After talking for a bit, we made arrangements for me to pick him up, and then head off towards Fort Smith. I scooped him up, and then it quickly got close to time for us to make our way to Arkansas. We did our last minute check to make sure we didn’t miss anything. I said my goodbyes to my son Pierce who I wouldn’t see for over a week, the animals (yes, even the asshole cat), and my wife who would be joining us in Thornville a couple of days later.
Brice and I left my house at around 6:30 PM…just as it was starting to get dark. PsykoScott lives out in the fucking sticks, and even though it’s only about 25 minutes from Fort Smith, it takes us a completely different route once we’re halfway there. We took some windy mountain roads that scared the crap out of Brice. There was nobody on them, and houses every couple of miles. We even passed a chicken farm…Brice swears they were fighting roosters, but that’s purely speculation. Either way, there was no taking your eyes off of the road for even a second.
About 4 hours later, we were at Scott’s place. We just wanted to meet up with him, say what’s up, and then we would head into Fort Smith where we stayed with some long-time homies Kevin and Kelsey. There were some extra beds at their place, so it would make our last night’s sleep in civilization a lot more comfortable. Props to Kevin and Kelsey for having us over…even though we never even saw Kelsey since she woke up so early for her job…after hitting snooze on the alarm literally 15 times. Lol.
Jumping back a little bit, I had called the RV place a few times the previous week to see what time we would be able to pick up the trailer. They said they typically don’t allow them to be picked up until 2 PM, but since we were repeat customers, they’d try to have us out of there by 11:00. We wanted to be well on our way by then, so we decided to wake up early and try to get there as soon as possible. At about 9:00 AM on Monday, they called and told us that it wouldn’t be ready until 11:30 AM. Damn. We met up with Scott, grabbed some breakfast, and decided to just go to the RV spot anyways. Maybe sitting in their lobby would light a fire under their asses.
Scott was on the fence the week before about bringing his Corgi dog Girlie, but after she gave him the puppy dog eyes all week while he was packing, he decided to bring her along again. She wasn’t any trouble at all last year, and ninjas at the Gathering love her! So she was, of course, more than welcome to join us!
We arrived at the rental place at about 10:30, and I started to fill out the paperwork. Our RV was already cleaned out and ready to go, but their mechanic/inspector wasn’t supposed to show up until 11:30, hence the call earlier that morning. The rest of the employees there remembered us from last year though, and were extremely accommodating. They went ahead and hooked everything up for us, and by the time the mechanic showed up, we were pretty much set and ready to go!
As I said a little earlier…this trailer was a MONSTER compared to what we had last year. 35 feet long, 2 slide-outs, and room to sleep about 10. We like having the extra room though, so that’s why we only had 6 people that could access to the trailer at all times. When we started the drive, it was noticeably heavier than the trailer last year at first. We knew we had at LEAST 12 hours of driving ahead of us though, and Scott quickly got used to having it behind us. The gas mileage was a steady 8-9 MPG, but we weren’t expecting much better.
Also, with the newer truck upgrade from last year, we had an actual stereo with working CD player AND a USB port! That may sound like second nature to all of you, but the ’04 that we borrowed from my Pops last year had a CD jammed inside of the player, and no auxiliary port. So all we had was a shitty AM/FM radio and one of those transceivers that you can hook up to your phone or MP3 player that sounds clear as mud. Trust me…to us this was a big deal.
Brice, Girlie and I got settled into the passenger seats while Scott set out for the long trip ahead. This would be our third (and presumably final) time to make the drive to Thornville from Arkansas. It was about 11:30 AM when we pulled out of the rental spot. The drive was a long and boring one. We took the same route as the previous two years going North to Joplin, MO, and then heading northeast through St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, and then finally to Thornville.
While Scott drove, I would check in on my phone from time to time to see if there was anything going on in the parking lot at Legend Valley. Our homie Zig Zag was already there keeping me updated as to what all was happening. I asked him to send me a few pics and info so we could post it on the FLH Facebook to let Juggalos know what all was going down. I also texted with J-Webb and Natalie the Ring Girl to see if they had any info that I could relay. We were able to get some pics of the GOTJ17 charms and wristbands posted, along with info on the tents/trailers that you needed to hit up as soon as you got there. From my understanding, everything was going extremely smoothly with very few lines to wait in. Nothing could have made me happier than to hear that after last year’s lines were such a clusterfuck.
We rolled into the Columbus area by around 3:00 AM, and knew that we still had to hit the closest Walmart to Legend Valley to get our supplies for the week. The homie Zig Zag and another Dallas friend of mine named Mike (aka Beardo) asked if I could pick up some battery operated fans. I guess they were already sweltering out there, and this was Beardo’s first Gathering….so he had to get used to it all. We spent probably an hour inside getting supplies. I had a laundry list of stuff between Marty, Courtney, and Amanda to pick up, and this would be our last opportunity. So I double and triple checked it. I spent $250 on groceries that day. God…fucking…dammit. Lol.
What should have taken about 13 hours ended up taking roughly 17 with stops. We pulled into Legend Valley at about 5 am on Tuesday morning.
Tuesday, July 19th
Even though I didn’t drive, I was definitely sleepy from the trip. Scott was tired and cranky, which is understandable after doing 17 hours of driving and being up for nearly 24 hours. It was already hot in the parking lot, and we weren’t due to get in for another half day. Oh yeah, we were at the very back of the Baller’s line. I swear, all of the ninjas who had Baller passes must have been there for a day already, because just a few car loads of ninjas ever got behind us from that point until we were let in. On the drive into the lot, I saw some people that I knew, but I was beat and didn’t want to draw any attention to myself so I could at least get a few hours of sleep. It worked, and I caught nearly two hours of Zs before waking up again.
It must have been the adrenaline of being at the Gathering, because I felt completely rested and wide awake at that point. I got out and started to roam the parking lot. I ran into so many people that I hadn’t seen since last year! Ninjas would stop me to say what’s up, talk for a bit, take a pic or two, and then I’d just continue on. I eventually made my way to the ticket booth where Natalie had the Faygoluvers press passes for the year. She told me that I could take them all now and distribute them when everyone got there. I signed a press release form that we do every year, grabbed the tickets and press lanyards, and then headed over to the booth where we would get our charms/bracelets for the extended weekend.
Again, let me reiterate that there was absolutely ZERO line at the ticket trailer, and we waited 5 minutes at most to get our amulets and bracelets put on by the employees working the ticket tent. It was pretty seamless.
In the meantime, Amanda, Marty and Courtney were already on their flights to Columbus from Dallas. Marty and Courtney found a deal through a different airline that departs from a different airport, and Amanda used some of my frequent flyer points to fly out via Southwest Airlines. We weren’t sure how they were going to get from Columbus to Legend Valley, but worst case scenario, they’d Uber it.
When we finished roaming the lot for a bit, we got back to the trailer where Scott had woken up and put the awning out. The chairs were all setup and we had some people kickin’ it there in the shade. The weather wasn’t all that bad. Not long after that, I got a text from Amanda saying that she had landed and had already met up with Chad Carsten. They weren’t sure if they were going to wait for Marty and Courtney, or go ahead and head this way. They decided that since they still had a few hours until Marty and Courtney landed, that they would go ahead and Uber it over to Legend Valley. It was about a 30 minute trip, and cost them $40 total which I didn’t think was too bad.
We gave them shit saying that we hoped their airplane seats weren’t too cramped, and how hard it must have been to sit there for 2-3 whole hours. Lol.
Chad, Scott, Amanda, and I started to talk towards the ticket trailer again so we could get theirs taken care of. Chad actually won a ticket to the Gathering on Psychopathic Radio a week or two prior to the Gathering! I had been on him to keep checking the Juggalo Show out because they would be giving away tickets a few shows before the Gathering…so it actually worked out perfectly for him! On our way to the ticket booth, our homie Steven Eli and his family stopped us. They asked us to wait where we were for a second because they had something for us. We did, and they came back to one of the DOPEST fucking gifts I have ever received in my life!
They are Native ninjas, and his cousin Pearl Jack made that necklace for me, and earrings and a hair clip for my wife. I have NO idea how many countless hours they put into it, but these are so fucking legit, and I can’t thank them enough for them! I’m sitting here looking at it hanging on my wall as I type this. These were the same ninjas who made necklaces for J, Shaggy, ABK, Twiztid, and others. ABK still rocks his onstage!
After thanking our homies over and over again (THANK YOU FOR REAL!!), we parted ways and headed towards the ticket trailer. Chad talked to Natalie and told him that he was one of the ticket winners on Psychopathic Radio, and she gave him his packet of goodies. We then went to the ticket tent to grab their medallions and bracelets. Scott, Amanda, and Chad even commented at how smoothly everything went as compared to last year. After that, it was time to do some more walking around. We ran into a few Meetup Massacre folks from the Faygoluvers Forums, said hi to the Scrubs who were ALL OVER the parking lot, caught up with Shifty (PunkRockJuggalo) and his wife Linzie, saw Tracy from TrueJuggaloFamily.com, and watched Rachel Paul (aka Gypsy) whiz by on the back of Hazin’s golf cart.
We started to walk back towards the trailer when I saw a ninja under a canopy doing spray paint art. I had seen it before, but he was doing it to hustle up some Gathering money for the week, and only wanted $10.00 for an 8×10 painting! I asked if he thought he could do a Faygoman, but he only had the Hatchetman template. I said it was all good, and he schooled a black, green, and white painting for me which is hanging in my office now!
We got back to the trailer, and I asked Amanda to come inside with me while Chad was chilling in a chair in the shade. A few months before the Gathering, I had some more Faygoluvers jerseys made for those who have been with our website for a substantial amount of time, all while making regular contributions in one form or another. Chad definitely fell into this category. In the nearly four years that he has been contributing to Faygoluvers (far more frequently in the past two), he has been an EXTREMELY important asset to us, and is now our go-to interview guy. He is an encyclopedia of music knowledge, and his skills have actually gotten him noticed enough to start writing for Vandala magazine!
I got his jersey out of the box in the trailer and came outside with it behind my back. I made a little informal presentation thanking him for all of his contributions, and presented him with his fresh new Faygoluvers jersey!
He was surprised and extremely happy about it, and we will gladly have him on board for as long as he wants to be here! Much love Mr. Carsten!
Directly across from us, some ninjas had setup their RV and were selling some homemade Juggalo-related masks and other merch. We saw some of our homies from Dallas roll up and kick it with them. We said what’s up to Kenny D, SiccNoize, and Cody and then noticed that the Native World crew just happened to be there too! Flagrant, ABK, Mr. YUG, Worm, and others were all there just chilling and choppin’ it up. It was all love as soon as they saw me! Flagrant was happy to see me as we speak on the phone and via text every so often. Killa was there sans make-up telling childhood stories including how he actually got his lisp from a bicycle accident. I had no idea! Mr. YUG said what’s up to Chad who had interviewed him in the past year. I also asked Chad if he had said what’s up to Killa. As long as Chad has been in the scene, I guess he didn’t recognize him without his make-up. So I introduced them and they spoke briefly.
Without a timeline to guide me, it’s hard to remember exactly when some of the things I want to cover happened. But regardless of the exact time of day, it’s still something I want to tell you about. Our homie Scruffy from the Faygoluvers Forums spotted me when we drove in, but I gave him a quick wave and basically said that I wanted to catch some sleep for a couple of hours. Fast forward to now, and we met up again. He was there to get his FLH Forum t-shirts (more on those later), and asked if I wanted him to take the entire box to distribute and get it off of my hands. I told him that it was all good, I’d continue to hand them out, and that I was also diligently collecting his cash since he fronted it for the printing. He was grateful, but I wasn’t finished yet. Scruffy has been invaluable on the forums. He’s a mod there, and is always keeping shit cleaned up and as user-friendly as a Juggalo forum can get. I don’t know how many hours a week he spends on there, but I know whatever I had to give him wouldn’t even be close to what he’s worth to us. At any rate, I had his own Faygoluvers Webmaster Jersey printed up too. This ninja is like 6’5 and 160 lbs…lanky as fuck. But he wears 3X everything, so that’s what I got him. He’s not the type of ninja to show emotion, but I caught him off guard with that one. He loved the fuck out of it, and hasn’t stopped thanking me for it since. It’s cool homie…you deserve that shit! Rep it with pride!
Soon after that, Marty and Courtney let us know that they were on the way. It was just in time too, because it was already late afternoon and Ballers were scheduled to go in at 6 PM. We decided to walk from the back of the Baller’s line where we were, all the way to the front near the entrance. From what we could tell, the Ballers were stacked 3 rows across, and the outside line is where you wanted to be. So we tried to figure out an attack plan to get into the park as quickly as possible. After stopping at several spots, including to see Rocko, Donny, Krista, and more of the Scrubs, we headed back to the trailer. Marty and Courtney Ubered their way to Legend Valley with a random Juggalo they met at the airport, and arrived shortly afterwards. It was just about time to roll into the Gathering!
After kicking it for a bit, 6 PM rolled around, and just like that, the lines started moving. We started to maneuver around people who didn’t have Ballers passes, and quickly came to a bottleneck near our first turn. There were some massive RVs trying to get into line, but everybody was cordial and calm knowing that we’d all eventually make it into the park. We even bumped into a ninja who we had camped next to at Hog Rock for years! We see him every year, and this year he was rolling deep! That would be the only time I ever saw him over the extended weekend.
At our little bottleneck in the road, we saw Blake aka Notslim1 hauling his trailer and asked if we could squeeze in front of him. Being the polite Canadian gentleman that he is, he let our 50 foot truck/trailer combo ahead of him. Much love for that homie!
The line was a parking lot…stopping and starting several times as security searched vehicles for glass bottles, fireworks, and stowaways. Ballers were allowed to have 6 people inside with their camp, but I think we managed to get 7 or 8 in. Security did question us, but as long as you act like you know what you’re doing, you can usually talk them into it.
On a side note, as with every year, there were rumblings of the general admission ninjas getting in right after the Ballers sites were settled in. One benefit of spending the $400 on a Baller spot, besides having an electricity hookup, is that you got in a day (or half a day in this case) early to get your shit setup and situated. As with prior years, those rumors were just that…rumors. I only say this in case it happens again next year (and it will) so you don’t get your hopes up.
On the last of the turns, we saw a security guard in a caged off area under an umbrella chair. I don’t know if the heat just got to him, or he had been drinking, but we were all watching him as he got up and just threw up everywhere. I don’t know if he was on duty or not, but he didn’t look like he was having a good time. Lol. We all yelled his direction asking if he was OK, and he gave us the thumbs up.
Once we were inside our home away from home, the Ballers were directed to some taped off spots that actually were numbered and measured off. This was FAR more organized than the free-for-all there had been in the two previous years there. It figures that they get everything worked out on the last year there! Still, the organization was another welcome surprise!
I was hoping for a spot right next to the main road for easy access. I didn’t have any plans of selling merch out of the RV this year, so I didn’t necessarily care about Faygoluvers’ visibility for that reason. I did, however, want us to be visible because a lot of ninjas were supposed to meet up with us over the week. We were only two rows deep next to the pizza stand, and we STILL had people say that they looked EVERYWHERE and never found us. Ahh well…
I saw Billy Bill in the distance overseeing everything, and gave him a quick wave. Not a minute later, one of the event workers came to our spot and told me that Billy had sent him over to make sure that I was happy with the spot that I got! Yes, I was looking for a road spot, but we were level and already parked, so I wasn’t about to move. Everyone agreed that this would be a good home for the week, so we said that we were good. I gave Billy a thumbs up from a distance and he acknowledged it. I just can’t tell you how much I appreciate him checking in on us. Thanks homie!
While we were trying to get situated, Amanda took a stroll around the grounds. She messaged me saying that the merch tents were already open! I asked her to scoop me up a Gathering shirt, as well as the Into The Echoside game, Big Hoodoo’s Asylum, The Behind the Paint audio book, and I think that was it at the moment. She did, and got herself some goodies as well. One of the Gathering shirts that said “Do You Even Gather?” featured an older looking RV with the names of all of the Psychopathic Records artists on it. One of them didn’t look all too familiar, so we could only assume that it was the name of the newest signee to the hatchet. That name was Blahzay Roze! We posted a pic of the shirt on Facebook and asked ninjas what they thought it meant?
See it? No? How about now?
Back at the trailer…now that we were parked, we decided to get it completely leveled out. We used the jack stands and got everything straightened out as much as we could. By the time that was all said and done, it was probably 9 PM or so. Here’s where a little staleness came into play…
Like last year, getting our electricity hooked up was a bit of a pain in the ass. Now I’m not one to bitch about much. I mean it was only Tuesday, and we would be there until Sunday morning…but we didn’t have electricity hooked up for HOURS. Even though the spots were marked off, and the generators were there, the boxes and cables weren’t run to each location yet. There was this ninja named Steve who was in charge of it all who is also known simply as “Old Man”. Steve is cool as fuck, but he had a tall order to hook up HUNDREDS of Ballers spots with very little help. He was a trooper though, and was all over the place on the Gathering grounds.
We kept waiting patiently…remember Scott and I were on about 2 hours sleep in 2 days at the time. So a nice, long snooze in air conditioning definitely would have hit the spot. It looked like every site around us had been hooked up, and we still saw no sign of ours. I began a trek around the grounds to see if I could track somebody down. I eventually caught up with “Old Man” who came to check everything out, and said he’d have someone over there shortly.
While I was wandering, I ran into the Scrubs from the Philly crew. It’s their tradition to do “Taco Tuesday” every week at a designated spot in Philly. Well since it was Tuesday, they were bringing Taco Tuesday to the Gathering! When we were at Walmart earlier, I grabbed a bunch of shredded cheese and some bowls, which were both needed at the Scrubballas camp. So I ran back over to grab that stuff, and my wife, and we kicked it with them for an hour or so. They had a dozen or so people in their camp just kickin’ it, telling stories that they had already experienced that year, hustling to get into the gates, etc. It’s ALWAYS good seeing them, and I knew this would probably be the most that I would see them for the weekend since I’m always running around covering one event or another. Much love y’all, and Scoop Poop!
It was probably another hour before our electricity got hooked up, but it finally happened. Did I mention that it was 2 AM? Lol. Still, the AC started flowing and we were happy campers (pun intended). The moral of this story though: Get that man some help!
Our neighbors parked right in front of us weren’t so lucky. They had purchased a Ballers spot, but didn’t have an RV or trailer to hook up. They only wanted to get some electricity running to them to use fans, appliances, etc. When they asked about their hookups, they were basically told that they were shit outta luck. I don’t know who by, so I don’t want anyone getting in trouble over it. Maybe they ran out of the boxes needed? Either way, since they basically only had a power strip worth of stuff to plug in, I ran an extension cord from our box where they could plug in their fans and whatever else that was needed. Problem solved!
It was getting late, and I was beyond exhausted, so I decided to call it a night at around 3 AM…AC cranked all the way up.
Wednesday, July 20th
I must have been dead tired, because I slept until 10 AM on Wednesday morning! Not to rub it in the faces of anyone there, but I woke up with icicles on my toes. That shit got COLD in there! All kidding aside, I felt extremely refreshed and ready to conquer whatever the Gathering had to throw at me that day. There was no rush either, because events didn’t officially start until the Underground Propaganda Squad (UPS) rang in the 17th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos with a bang on the Carousel stage! That wasn’t until 2 PM.
Before I got up, Amanda woke up at around 8 AM to scope out the shower trailers. Apparently, they hadn’t been turend on yet, and Jumpsteady had the key. At about 8:45, they received the key, unlocked the trailers, and turned it on. Juggalos with general admission passes had been steadily rolling in since around 5 AM, so the shower line was already starting to build.
Since we had some time to kill, I woke up, made a bunch of eggs and sausage, and we did up some breakfast burritos to kick off our day appropriately. After that, Amanda and I took off to roam the grounds. I had a chance to scope out the HatchetGear merch tent where I picked up a few more t-shirts. I’m not sure who Psychopathic has designing their stuff now, but it was hard not to buy more! They had butterfly jerseys with 17s on the wings to commemorate the 17th annual, and some super fresh t-shirts! I have started to try to get away from black t-shirts (it’s literally 110 degrees outside in Texas as I’m typing this), and they had a fair selection of different colors too. I had also forgotten about the 3 bonus cards that you were supposed to receive with the Into The Echoside card game, so I asked about them, and they just handed me a pack. For those who haven’t had a chance to play or see this game, Jumpsteady and Dark Carnival Games really outdid themselves! Tom Wood’s artwork is FANTASTIC, and even if you never play the game, it’s worth owning for the sheer visual flavor. But seriously, if you buy it, fucking play it. It’s a LOT of fun!
I had also talked to Bluntman about selling some of the shirts and hat pins for Faygoluvers at his booth this year. He said he’d be happy to do it, and actually asked for nothing in return. I know he’s a bit of a troll online and rubs people the wrong way, but Bluntman is a pretty solid dude in my book. Don’t worry, I hooked him up with merch for the trouble, but it was basically forced on him. Lol.
Another thing that I had also spaced until now was to get a banner over to the info tent for our Faygoluvers Hoverboard raffle! If you aren’t sure what the hell I’m talking about, I was given a balance board from a company called Alien Wheels that I was to review. I shot footage of Juggalos riding it, and had our homie Doenut edit it together. It came out fresh, but then I didn’t really know what to do with the board. I wasn’t gonna be riding it around town or anything. Lol. So anyways, months passed, and we decided to donate it to a good cause. We would raffle it off at the Gathering, only it would be custom painted by none other than Rachel Paul! Check it out:
When The Rude Boy found out about this, he immediately jumped in and said that he would donate his wrestling boots from his retirement match that took place at the Gathering!! He’d also autograph them, making them a piece of JCW history! I can’t thank Rudy enough for that! Anyways, I brought the banner with the rules and everything over to the info tent where our homie Rachelette was, and we got it all setup properly to where ninjas could see it. Much love to Rachelette and the other ninjas working the info tent for taking that on as part of their duties!
I also don’t remember exactly when it happened on Wednesday, so I’ll just make mention of it here. Every year for the past few, Faygoluvers Forum members had schedules to meet up at different points of the Gathering. For the 3rd year in a row, we had custom t-shirts designed and pressed up for those members who wanted them. This year, the homie Neverthrive completely fuckin’ schooled it on the design tip! He incorporated butterflies, 17, and the Wizard of the Hood all into a completely fresh front/back design. We had my homie Michael of Skeleton Teez print them up, and I had them all with me to distribute and collect dough for Scruffy who fronted the cash for them. It all went pretty smoothly the day before, and I had already gotten rid of around half of the 70 or so that were printed.
My homie Psyral who is basically our forum and coding guru came by to say what’s up. He was setting up a Faygoluvers Village which was pretty close to the Carousel stage, and most of the forum members who were attending the Gathering were going to set up over there. So it only made sense for him to have the remainder of the shirts. While gathering the shirts from the different boxes, I had a surprise for him too. Psyral has been one of the core members of the site who rarely gets any shine. He’s ALWAYS quick to fix problems, or point me in the right direction if there’s some sort of technical issue. He works in the technology field too, so that helps. Either way, he’s a valuable ninja to have on the team, so I thought it was fitting to hook him up with a Faygoluvers Jersey too. I didn’t get to spend much time kickin’ it with Psyral this year, but hope he knows how much I appreciate his contributions! Thanks homie!
It was getting to be around that time, so I made sure all of my camera equipment was charged, everything had SD cards in them, and then we set out to check out our homies from Underground Propaganda Squad! Now to make sure there’s no confusion, UPS isn’t a label…it’s more of a conglomeration of some of the best artists in the underground. This set included performances from:
- Redneck Souljers
- Lo Key
- Sorry Not Sorry
Despite a couple of audio hiccups at the beginning, the whole UPS squad KILLED it for over 45 minutes! The whole roster had been going around the Gathering grounds for at least a full day handing out flyers, samplers, and telling ninjas about their set (which included FREE BEER, by the way). With it being so early on Wednesday, and because so many were still rolling into Legend Valley, the audience was a little light to start. But as the first signs of live music started reverberating across the grounds, more people showed up to check them out! By the end of their set, they had a crowd of a few hundred people! Shit was getting wild complete with mosh pits, beer cans being shotgunned and flung, and “UPS” and “Family!” chants! Check their performance here:
It was a fantastic way to start getting ninjas hype for all of the flavor that was to come the rest of the weekend! Much love to the UPS crew for getting it started!
We stuck around the Carousel stage for the next group: Scare Don’t Fear. I saw this rap/metal group on tour with (hed)p.e. in the last year, and was pretty impressed with them. I even picked up their album and a t-shirt when they came through Dallas. I put them on the suggestion list that I send to Psychopathic every year, and they luckily took it. Now when I tell you that there was no crowd for them, I mean there were literally less than 10 people that were there to see them. Don’t get it twisted though…they are relatively unknown in the Juggalo scene. Still, they put it down like they were playing in front of THOUSANDS! Their energy was contagious, and even performing in the hottest part of the day didn’t slow them down! Much props to them, and you can find out more about them at ScareDontFear.net!
I know that I had every intention to go and watch my homies from Black Flag Music next, but I had left before Scare Don’t Fear’s set ended and caught up with my homie Chad Carsten at the trailer, which I will be referring to as Faygoluvers HQ when I remember. While there, we decided that it would be cool to do an Unboxing video for the Into The Echoside deck-building game. That way ninjas would know exactly what they were spending their $40.00 on! We also including unwrapping the Violent J Audio Book at the end too, but that took all of 20 seconds. You can see it here if you haven’t already:
Between setting up that shoot, filming it, doing some quick edits, and uploading it, I had blown through over an hour! It was now almost time for Kung Fu Vampire’s set! So I set the footage to upload and ran out the door back towards the Carousel stage! BTW, much props to the company I work for letting me borrow the Sprint Wifi hotspot for the week! For whatever reason, Sprint was by FAR the best service at Legend Valley! Sorry for any overages that may have occurred. Lol.
The homie Kevin Gill came out to the Carousel stage to introduce Kung Fu Vampire! Paxton was on drums, and Jeremy was on bass, and they came out to him performing the track “Transactions”! He quickly jumped from the stage to get some audience interaction and was really commanding the crowd! That ninja is a ball of fuckin’ energy! He performed “Too Late To Pray”, “Grinder”, and more from his catalog. We were kicked out of the photo pit after a few songs, and I had to make my way over to the main stage. We DID live stream KFV’s set for about 10 minutes though if you want to check that out:
We were heading back towards the main stage after KFV, and that’s the first time I came across the Faygoluvers Village! I usually make it a point to at LEAST be a part of a couple of the Meetup Massacre events, as we like to call them. I just honestly didn’t keep a schedule as to when they were. I was apparently in luck though, because the entire Meetup Massacre crew was chillin’ at that very moment! Perfect timing! We went over there, I said what’s up to everyone, and we got our annual picture that turned out pretty dope!
There was definitely a bigger crew this year than last, and we hope that it continues to grow! Much love to all of the forum ninjas who keep things poppin’! And again, much love to Neverthrive for that dope ass t-shirt design!
The ninjas who purchased the All Star Experience were told that they needed to be at the gate by the main stage at 5:30 PM on Wednesday. I don’t know if having a press pass is supposed to allow you back there, but both this year and last, I didn’t have an issue getting access. Amanda and I saw Dustin and some of the Majik Ninja Entertainment crew backstage before anything had even started. We kicked it with them for a few minutes before they let the gate open to all of the All Stars.
I don’t remember what I said last year about the All Star experience, but if you have a chance to do it once, you definitely should. You get to chill backstage with ALL of the artists from Psychopathic, and other Juggalo celebs such as Rude Boy, Kevin Gill, the whole Mike Busey crew, the Native World Inc roster, and tons more! You also get fed, AND you are GUARANTEED a spot on stage on Saturday night for Faygo Armageddon during ICP’s set! Yes, it’s another $150 added on to your $180 ticket, but if you’re going to gather, GATHER HARD!
Anyways, one of the first people I saw was Rudy. He was being followed around by a film crew who is doing a documentary on him. A little later on, they asked me to say a few words for it with him next to me, and Rudy pretty much took over and told them how good it was to have me as a homie. That dude is 100% the real deal. Much love Rudy!
J and Shaggy came out of their respective trailers and before they got swarmed, J reached out, gave me a dap, and asked how everything was going so far. I told him that I was already loving it this year, and it had barely even started. We spoke a little longer and then it was off to do the rockstar thing. Haha. I got a chance to talk to KG for a little bit too, and as we were speaking, Tech N9ne came from the side stage where he was watching Ces Cru perform. KG and I were about to have a pic taken by my wife when Tech photobombed us! It was funny as fuck, but we unfortunately didn’t get it on camera…a little late on the draw. He had a girl on each arm, so I wasn’t about to stop him from where he was going. Get yours homie!
Unfortunately, while Amanda and I were backstage, we had to miss Ces Cru’s entire performance. PsykoScott was up there in the press pit getting his live stream on though! Check out what he caught here:
Back to the All Star experience…a few more people were backstage including Kegan, Big Hoodoo, ABK, Flagrant, Jumpsteady, Hazin of Juggalo News, Nik from MonkeysOnCrack, Big L.A., Menace of TJF, Cherry Bomb, Bonez Dubb, and a grip of others!
I actually did live stream for a little bit while back there, and you can see that below:
Towards the end of the All Star experience, me and the wifey decided to go ahead and get our pics taken with 2 Dope. When we jumped in line behind a few of the last ninjas waiting, we witnessed one Juggalo propose right in front of us as Shaggy looked on. That’s one way to do it! Huge bonus points to you on that ninja! Shortly after that, we got our pics
The final thing we did while we were backstage is watched the remainder of Boondox’s set from the side. PsykoScott was up front in the photo pit for a few minutes, and actually captured one of the highest viewed live streams of the weekend!
And here’s a little bit of footage I caught from the side stage:
It had been a minute since I went back to the trailer to dump footage, so we all made our way back over there. It was nice cooling off for a little bit, swapping out batteries, and grabbing something to eat. Hell, Suicide Silence came on and I was nowhere near ready to head back to the stage. So I unfortunately missed most of their set. The footage I saw showed a handful of Juggalos enjoying themselves and moshing like crazy. Most others seemed to be in a daze. I’m not all too familiar with their music, but they seemed to put on a pretty damn good show!
I had been looking forward to seeing how they handled the Live Juggalo Psypher on the main stage this year. It was the first time they had attempted to do anything like that, so who knew how it went down. We still had both Rittz and Tech N9ne on the lineup tonight, and you know how impatient ninjas at the Gathering can get!
If you weren’t there to witness it yourself, I’m happy to report that everything went off without a hitch! Kevin Gill came out to introduce the winners of last year’s Juggalo Psypher and had the entire audience chanting “Cannibal! Cannibal!” To say that gave me chills would be an understatement. The whole Psypher performance would be a tribute to our fallen brother, and hero: Cannibal!
The beat dropped, and all of the Psypher winners came out to school the thousands in attendance! Rachel Paul led the way donning a butterfly cape and spit her verse flawlessly! Frodo The Ghost was next and dropped bars with perfection too! The Wolfpac girls danced on either side of the stage the entire time. G-Mike came up and had his shit on lock. The next verse was Cannibal’s, which they let play as everyone started another chant of “Cannibal! Cannibal!” It was pretty magical to watch! Ill Phil was next up, and seemed to not remember most of his verse. He was helped along by the rest of the Psypher winners and fortunately made it through. I think he may have had a little bit of stage fright. Lowercase J was up next and really fuckin’ schooled it! He spit with enthusiasm and had a good stage presence. Sewerside, who is a long-time FLH-er, was more than prepared as he slaughtered his part of the psypher. He ran from one side to another never missing a beat! Skitzo closed out the Psypher and definitely didn’t disappoint! Overall, the entire lineup of this 10 minute set did fantastic, and it was a suiting tribute to Cannibal. RIP.
You can actually see the Psypher in its entirety via our Live stream here:
Since the set was so short, we were allowed to stay in the photo pit and wait for the next act of the night: Rittz! This killa is one of my favorite artists on ANY label! After KG introduced him, DJ Chris Crisis came out to his turn tables in the center stage and started to spin the title track for “Top Of The Line”! Rittz came out from backstage and just started rapping his ass off. After that track, he played favorites like “Turn Down”, “My Window”, “L.A.F.”, “For Real”, and “White Rapper”! He merked shit like usual, and I hope he becomes a staple at the Gathering like Tech or KMK!
Speaking of Tech, there was one more performance to come to the stage before he headlined the Big Top. This was the first night that we’d see a set from a “Mystery Artist”! I had my suspicions, but didn’t know for sure who it might be. For night one, we got a HUGE surprise with an extremely short set from Luniz! For you young ninjas, they are the originators of the “I Got 5 On It” track! You can see the quick snippet of their performance that we grabbed via Facebook live here:
Now it was time…the main event for the evening was set to grace us with his presence! I’m talking about none other than Tech N9ne! KG came out for his final appearance on the main stage on Wednesday night to introduce Tech N9zzle! So the set started off a bit odd because they played the entire song “Lacrimosa” over the sound system before Tech even came out on stage. That made for a slow start, but then Tech got on the mic from backstage and started riffing with the audience and asked them to give 3 “Aroos” and 2 “Whoops”! From that point, it was fuckin’ on! Tech came out complete with face paint to get it started with “Planet Rock 2K”! Krizz Kaliko joined him on stage to rip his verses on “Midwest Choppers” and completely schooled it as always! Tech continued for well over an hour with other heavy hitters such as “Hard”, “Welcome to the Midwest”, “Riot Maker”, “Einstein”, and a TON of others! He ended with “Dysfunctional” before he did his grand finale rapid-fire outro: “Stamina”. Tech and Krizz are true showmen, and even though I catch him in concert two or three times a year, I never get tired of seeing him!
It was a little after midnight, and we had a LOT of footage and pictures to dump off at the trailer. I hate that they schedule the late night festivities to continue right after main stage with little to no gap. But hey, it keeps ninjas busy! While I was at FLH HQ, Chad Carsten came by with the ninjas from A.X.E. They had talked about doing an interview with Faygoluvers in the weeks prior, and since Chad bumped into them, what better time than now? Unfortunately, Jim Breuer had canceled a week or two prior to the Gathering due to a conversation he had with Howard Stern…or that’s what I suspect anyways. So while I really wanted to see B-Skan’s set, we needed to knock this interview out.
We don’t have it ready to roll yet, but AXE’s interview was roughly 20 minutes long, and they really open up to Chad about their origins, why they make the music that they do, playing the Gathering, and lots more! We’ll bring that to you as soon as it’s finished being edited!
By the time I was ready to set back out on foot, it was already past 12:30. I headed straight for the Carousel stage to check out the Dayton Family for a few minutes.
The Dayton Family held it down for the little bit of time I was there. They had a pretty good crowd built up too, including Violent J standing side stage! I streamed their set for a few minutes, which included their infamous “Cocaine” track:
So even though I knew that AMB was due up right after the Dayton Family on the Carousel stage, I ALSO knew that Molly Gruesome would be performing her last set, possibly ever, over on the Pendulum stage. I had seen her at Juggalo events in the past, and she ALWAYS puts on a good show! So I headed that way at just under a jog so I could watch as much of it as I could. I guess they were running a little bit late on the Pendulum stage, because we actually got there at the very beginning of her set! They had a few problems and tried to play someone else’s set when she was already on stage. They quickly got that resolved though, and she got things poppin’! We watched her roll solo on stage during her set for the first two songs, and then she brought out a friend…a bottle of Malibu Rum! She passed out some shot glasses to everyone who wanted to imbibe, and poured up several! There weren’t enough glasses to go around, so she started pouring directly into ninjas’ mouths! Haha. You can see all of that in our nearly 15 minute stream of her set here:
I think it may have been the next day, but I ended up grabbing her final album, The End, while I was there. It is in a stack with the rest of my Gathering CDs right now, but I had to show Ms. Gruesome some love and support. I think she’ll be back…
Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for her whole set because I wanted to maximize night time coverage of the events. So I headed back over to the Carousel stage where the Axe Murder Boyz were next on the bill!
I actually made it over there while they were already killing it! When I got there, they were wrapping up “Keep It Movin’”, then slowed it down a little bit with “Smoke Kush”. They went a little further into their back catalog with “World Upside Down” too. Bonez and Otis (aka Young Wicked) had the audience eating out of their hands at 2 AM. Ninjas were chanting, rapping along, moshing, everything you’ve come to expect from ninjas at an AMB show! You can peep a little bit of their set from our live stream here:
We had to cut out a little early to catch a little bit of Project Born’s set too. We’ve been fuckin’ with PJB for YEARS…nearly 2 decades since the very first incarnation of FLH actually! So we had to go over there and rep our Flint town homies! I think they were still playing catch-up on this stage, because PJB was running late. Not that it was their fault or anything, but the schedules get a little lax close to the end of the day at 3-4 AM. At this point, Amanda went back to the trailer for a bit, so I was pulling double duty shooting the live stream, and taking pics with the DSLR cam. It’s not easy, so forgive me if the focus of the live stream veers off a little:
Much love to PJB for puttin’ it down at the Gathering, and look for their latest release Born Dead III dropping soon!
Since the Carousel stage was running pretty much on time, and the Pendulum stage was running late, I figured I didn’t have enough time to make it back over for Hoodoo. So unfortunately I missed out on his set. I DID, however, see him like 2 weeks after the Gathering here in the D/FW area!
One thing I didn’t cover earlier is that our Philly Scrub homie Eugene (aka UG) was heavily involved in helping out the band Green Jellö (pronounced Jello, naturally). If you’re not familiar with their show, they have one ninja, William Manspeaker, who is the only member in the band at every show. The rest of the musicians are usually local ninjas who are only a part of the band when William comes to town. It’s kinda crazy. Anyways, the musicians themselves wear masks made out of colorful duct tape. They also take volunteers from the audience to wear masks and follow the lead of Mr. Manspeaker and the other musicians. UG had made a TON of masks….many of them Juggalo themed. I wanted to be involved, so I hit him up well before the Gathering and asked him to make me a Faygo bottle head with a Faygo hatchetman on it somewhere. This is the result:
I had picked it up earlier that day, but needed to run back to the trailer to drop some of my cameras and pick up my puppet head. I headed back to the Pendulum stage hoping I wouldn’t miss anything.
I was early, but there was already a pretty massive crowd building. It was EASILY the biggest crowd that I saw in the Pendulum tent for the entire Gathering!
It was an undertaking getting setup, but once the “punk rock puppets” were introduced, Green Jellö’s set was nonstop MADNESS!
The ongoing gag at their shows is that Manspeaker keeps calling out for a banjo. Sorry to spoil the joke, but there’s never a banjo. Hahahaha!
Green Jellö had the entire audience mesmerized! Manspeaker ordered Juggalos to sit down, lay down, yell, mosh, and even bring two picnic tables into the middle of the pit area where they were stacked so he could climb up them and perform from about 8 feet above the rest of the audience. This was definitely one of the highlights of my Gathering experience this year. If anyone from Psychopathic is reading this, Green Jellö for carousel stage (or hell…main stage even) next year!
Luckily, PsykoScott was there to capture the entire performance via Facebook Live, and I know there’s a ton of other footage out there too! My wife Amanda came back to check out the insanity too and I’m sure grabbed some great pics! Here’s the footage PsykoScott took of pretty much the entire set. (You can fast-forward to the 16 minute mark and not miss much)
I don’t expect you to watch an hour of footage, but there are some great pits in there that will leave you saying “what the fuck is going on there?” Seriously…one of the best times of the Gathering for me! I know my homies UG, Chad Carsten, Notslim1, and a bunch of others had a phenomenal time closing out our Wednesday night this way. An hour of sweaty puppet anarchy? Sign me up any day!
I was a mess, and an hour of moshing about wore me the fuck out. I looked at the timeline, and it was nearing 4 AM. I knew Esham’s set was already underway, so I headed over there to check out a little bit of it. Security was lax and let me right up front with the press pass even though I think he was well past his first 3 songs. He had a projection screen setup behind him that was showing random clips for his whole set…or what part I saw of it. I stayed over there for about 15 minutes to give the Juggalos at home a little glimpse of what they were missing out on. It was 4:30ish or so, and I had had enough for the day. Lol. Little did I know that he went on to perform for just under 2 hours in what I was told was one of the most epic, historical sets at the Gathering! He also announced later on social media that GOTJ17 would be his last one. Sucks that he didn’t say it before the Gathering, but maybe he’ll change his mind.
Like I said, I was flat worn out, and I wanted to be at the Psychopathic Auctions the next day, so I decided to get some shut-eye.
Thursday, July 21st
Well, you’re over 9,000 words in so far, and we’re just now starting Thursday. Are you bored yet? I hope not! Today was looking like a bit of a light afternoon. I got a decent night’s sleep, but wasn’t in any big hurry to get back out into the heat. We did a some sausage, eggs, and bacon for breakfast, and then I went through my norm of making sure all of the cameras that I would be using for the day were charged and had empty cards in them. On a side note, what a HUGE departure from my first few Gatherings. I know the digital age has been here for over a decade now, but not having to carry around bags of disposable cameras, hoping that you get a shot instead of looking instantly afterwards, and then waiting a few days for your local Walgreens to develop them? We live in good times y’all! I know, I’m showing my age (I’ll be 36 in a few months), but fuck you, I find that dope!
Anyways, the wifey and I headed over to the Psychopathic Auctions to check out the bidding insanity, and mostly to see what was inside the Mystery Box. More on that later.
There were about 15 items to auction off that were all one-of-a-kind. Even I had my eye on the Tom Wood artwork that was used for the Wizard of the Hood graphics for the Gathering and Into the Echoside. I think that went for less than 500 bucks…pretty much a steal right there!
Kevin Gill and J-Webb took turns hosting the stage and asking for bids. During the Rude Boy auction, things got a little awkward when J-Webb started telling bidders how Rudy loved eating pussy, and if a ‘lette won, she should take that into consideration. Lol. A bit of a bidding war went down and Rudy ended up going for an even $1,000!
OK, fast-forward to the mystery box. This shit got out of hand, and REALLY quickly! I think the starting bid was $3,000. It went to $4,000, then $5000 and then $6,000! Then they went up to $6,500, and all the way up to $6,900! What in the fuck?! These two ninjas are the same ones that battle it out every year, and though I don’t recall either of their names, they don’t come to play. The ninja who won was on a mission, pacing aggressively back and forth until he won! It was within 3 minutes that it went from the opening bid to nearly 7 grand. Fuck!
After that, there was all of about 30 minutes of downtime. They tried to run all of this ninja’s cards, and of course the banks declined them because who would drop 7 grand on a credit card in one transaction while out of state? Several phone calls later, all was good, and it was time to unveil the contents of the Mystery Box!
The chains were unlocked, and the box was opened. He started immediately pulling out action figures. TONS of action figures. Every action figure and every variation of those action figures that were ever put out was in that box. All of these were from a Psychopathic employee’s personal collection. There was more in there, including a Hatchetman watch, a hat, some flats, etc. OK, so here’s the deal. Were the contents of the mystery box fresh? No doubt! Was it worth $6,900? Well, if it were me, I’d rather have a used Honda Civic, but that’s just me. See the Mystery box reveal below:
The auction definitely surpassed the hour that was allotted for it, so I missed out on watching any of the Faygo Launching contest, and any of the Pendulum stage acts. I ran back to the trailer because I had to grab the little camcorder, and came right back to the seminar tent.
Otis and Bonez of the Axe Murder Boyz were next on the bill in the seminar tent! It was the first seminar at this year’s Gathering, and Bonez came out to welcome everyone joining us. He said that Young Wicked was busy working on show tapes, but not ten seconds later, Otis came and joined him. So check this out…Otis’s first discussion point was the Faygoluvers Music Award that he recently won for Underground Hip Hop Album of the Year! He said that he carried it around EVERYWHERE with him, and thanked Juggalos profusely for voting for it. It meant a lot to him, which really means a lot to me and the entire crew at Faygoluvers. I love that, and it absolutely makes it worth doing every year!
They spoke on a ton of other topics including the new album Muerte, Young Wicked and Bonez solo records, a new edition of Cutt and Stitched, what’s going on with Canonize, and lots more! You can view it in its entirety here:
They spent just under 40 minutes on the stage, and the next thing on my list didn’t start for nearly an hour. I made my way back to the trailer where I met up with my homie Notslim1. He was going to the Killer Clown Academy in hopes of a win, which gave you the opportunity to be a stage clown during ICP’s set! He had asked if he could borrow a GoPro for that earlier, so I hooked him up with that, and he was off to hopefully school it!
Soon after that, it was time for the Gathering seminar. I don’t exactly remember why, but we were running a little late getting over there. I know…nobody keeps time at the Gathering. I was asked by a few different people why I was wearing a watch since this was “vacation”, but make no bones about it, I put in work!
I made it to the Gathering seminar after it had already started. Jumpsteady and J-Webb were on stage schoolin’ ninjas. They spoke about everything from early Gatherings, the inner workings of putting together a Gathering, how the Gathering employees REALLY school it every year, some of the business dealings they’ve had trying to book certain bands, and more! They even speak on Jim Breuer‘s situation, as well as how hard they tried to get Die Antwoord this year. This is one of my favorite seminars at the Gathering. It doesn’t happen every year, but to hear the hardships they go through for the love of Juggalos to make the Gatherings turn out as fresh as possible is pretty incredible! You can check out a majority of the seminar in these two clips:
Another thing that Jumpsteady talked about is his vision of the Gathering being a carnival that moves around. That being said, Legend Valley has been host to the Gathering over the past three years, and he felt it was time to move. He DID make mention of doing it in Colorado if they could find a venue to agree to it. It didn’t sound like it was anything set in stone. After Violent J made mention of it in the ICP Seminar 2 days later though, it sounded like a done deal. Who knows…we’ll see in the coming months!
Seminars were done for the day, and I think they had one or two less than last year (Twiztid and Boondox’s were missing, but I think the GOTJ one may have filled one of those spots). So I had some spare time to kick it a bit before the main stage festivities today. Even though it was one of my favorite sets last year, I unfortunately missed JPK holding it down in the Pendulum tent this year. I know the GOTJ seminar overlapped a bit, but it still sucks that I didn’t catch any of it. STALE.
Our Kentucky homie Bukshot was the first to hit the main stage this year. J-We…I mean “Willie Fudge” came out with “Connie Queefer” to start the night’s festivities. Bukshot’s DJ came out on his turn tables scratching to a Star Wars “Imperial March” remix for less than a minute, and Bukshot came out donning all red with a black bandana hanging out of his pocket. Buk has been making noise in the underground for YEARS, and getting a main stage spot at the Gathering is definitely a fresh opportunity for him! He and his hype man (sorry, didn’t catch your name homie) did a great set and kept the eager audience entertained for 30+ minutes! Check the beginning of his set here:
About halfway through Buk’s set, we carried on our routine of heading back to the camp site and listening to everything happening on main stage from there. Don’t think that I didn’t have love for those performing though! I actually was back in the trailer working on editing footage to upload to those stuck at home living vicariously through Faygoluvers!
Up next were the homies Kissing Candice. Our webmaster and interviewer extraordinaire Chad Carsten had been speaking with them prior to the Gathering. They had already planned for him to come up and introduce the band before they played, and it just so happened to be his birthday that day as well. So he got up complete with Lo Key mask and a hooded robe, and gave a quick 2nd intro to them (after Willie and Connie did their thing), and it was on!
You might remember seeing this band on Twiztid’s “The Darkness” tour. They must have made enough of a splash with Juggalos on that tour, because they were now playing the biggest stage at the biggest Juggalo event of the year! The Gathering was definitely rock-centric this year. There were lots of rock and metal bands, and I welcome that because it usually gets ninjas hype as fuck in the audience, starts mosh pits, and sets a good tone for the night. At the beginning of Kissing Candice’s set, there weren’t many heads in the audience. However, their hardcore, aggressive music had ninjas filing in one after another! Kissing Candice wear masks and costumes like some other bands, but don’t let that fool you. These dudes are fuckin’ talented! Check out the first part of their set here:
Kissing Candice really got everyone’s adrenaline pumping, and the Kottonmouth Kings were next up on the list! After a brief visit to Faygoluvers HQ, we were back up at the main stage waiting to get into the press pit.
Before I move on to the KMK set, let me just say a few quick words about how fucking AWESOME the security guys were again this year. Many of the same guys were back from the year before, but there were a few new ones. The ones who returned recognized most of us, and were all smiles and fist bumps each time we returned. There was an older security ninja named Matt that let us through the gate at the photo pit. He was particularly cool, and always bullshitted with us before letting us in. He mentioned that some of the regulars like FLH, TJF, Juggalo News, MonkeysOnCrack, etc were all cool because we were always there on time. He said some of the other people with press credentials would come up to the gate halfway through the set and want to photograph whoever was currently on stage. Sorry bro, that’s not how this shit works. Lol. The guys who guarded the rails were all cool as hell too. They’d give us a head’s up if crowd surfers were coming our way, would make room for us if that act was particularly crowded, weren’t dicks about us having to leave the pit quickly (since most of us know how to count to three and leave after that), and most importantly treated any ninjas watching from the rail, or who crowd surfed over the rail with respect. They weren’t pissed off at people for having a good time like some other venues I’ve seen Juggalo shows at…they were more concerned with everyone’s safety. Truly good people!
Alright, back to the shows. The Kottonmouth Kings were introduced by Willie Fudge and Connie Queefer again, and started with a chant from backstage. “When I say Kottonmouth Kings, you say Fire it Up!” “Kottonmouth Kings!” “Fire it up!” Then started out with “K-O-T-T-O-N-M-O-U-T-H K-I-N-G”. I’m not sure what their touring roster currently is. I know that back in the day, it seemed like there were a dozen members onstage for a KMK show. At the Gathering at least, it was D-Loc, Daddy X, and Dirtball. Still, even with just 3 guys, they banged out all of the stoner classics! “Day Dreaming Fazes”, “Put It Down”, “Bump”, “Rampage”, and more! Check out the first part of their set below:
We decided to skip the trip back to the trailer this time, and instead we got in line to ride some of the carny rides since we hadn’t partaken yet. They all looked janky as fuck, but what carny ride doesn’t? We hit the Ferris wheel first:
Then went on 0 Gravity where you are spun in circles so fast that you may lose your lunch if you have eaten within the past hour. Luckily, I hadn’t.
That shit was a LOT of fun! Last year we rode the rides during Hopsin’s set, but this year I wasn’t planning on missing any of that one.
Since we didn’t go back to the camp site, we gathered our cameras and stuff after the few rides that we went on and headed back to the security gate. Next up, it was time for the Native Warrior: Anybody Killa!
Killa always takes his Gathering set to the next level. He had a few ABK banners set up on either side of the stage, and 5 or 6 propane tanks shooting fire up from them before he came out. The first burst of flames caught us off guard…you could feel the heat in the photo pit, and everyone let out a collective “WOAH!” when it happened. ABK came out donning white pants and a white vest with a long-sleeved green undershirt and a top hat. He was also wearing the same type necklace that the native ninjas gave me the day before. They made Killa one a year or two ago that he seems to always have with him. So dope!
Killa started out with a couple of tracks off of the Shapeshifter Prelude! He performed the “Love Life”, and quickly went into “The Middle”. Then he went behind one of his banners while flames shot into the sky, keeping Juggalos mesmerized. Killa did a quick costume change and had a red shirt on with his braids exposed. He then performed another HYPE new track that I honestly don’t know the name of. It’s a tribal chant where he has ninjas clapping along with him, and I assume it’s off of the forthcoming Shapeshifter LP as well. Looking forward to hearing the studio version of that one! He then went into some old school tracks like “Kill Me”, “Lose Control”, “I Can’t Help It”, and “One Last Chance”. He had just over a 35 minute set which ended with his Eagles cover: “In The City”.
After ABK annihilated the crowd, it had gotten dark outside, and it was time to see who tonight’s Mystery Performer was going to be.
Who do you think showed up on stage? Warren Muthafuckin’ G!! It was instant nostalgia for me. He performed “Regulators”, which was basically my introduction into hip hop. My homie Jason showed it to me one day in Jr. High, I think, and I was hooked! I texted him a pic of Warren G performing while he was chillin’ back home in Texas. The ONLY track Warren did was “Regulators”, but hell, that was enough for me even though I bumped “G Funk Era” from front to back for months straight back in the day! I was officially 0 for 2 on my mystery guesses at that point.
Since Mr. G only did one song, it would have been pointless for them to shuffle us out of the photo pit, and back in before the next act went on. Speaking of the next act though, it was time for GWAAARRRRR!!!
I didn’t actually get to see GWAR when they played the Gathering 7 years prior at the 10th annual. I know they played the Freakshow Tent which was the equivalent of the Pendulum stage, and were pretty outspoken about wanting to play a bigger stage the next time they came. Well here it was….GOTJ 17, seven years later…MAIN STAGE! I don’t know if you’ve ever seen footage of, or been to a GWAR show before, but they are about as messy as it gets. They spray “blood”, “cum”, green slime, and all kinds of weird shit onto the eagerly awaiting audience. Shit was about to get ridiculous.
The opening of GWAR’s set was a long-winded intro featuring “Hillary Clinton” and “Barack Obama” touting their accomplishments. As “Obama” was talking, GWAR came out complete in their costumes and Obama was decapitated. Blood sprayed from his neck all over Juggalos and Juggalettes watching the main stage for a few minutes straight! EVERYONE was gonna be red by the end of the set! We kept right on filming and snapping pics though.
I couldn’t tell you the name of a single GWAR song, but I do know that they put on a hell of a great show! Their set was maaaad entertaining! About ten minutes into their set, they setup a makeshift wrestling ring right there on the main stage and had a one-on-one gladiator matchup between two monsters as the band provided the backing track. Eventually, one of the monsters had its head ripped off by the other’s bare hands, and more blood came gushing out of the monster’s neck! This time, it was on our side of the photo pit so we had to keep ducking to protect our cameras and shit. It was such a great show though! Mad love to GWAR…hope it’s not so long before they make it back to another Gathering! Check out about 15 minutes of footage here:
After GWAR’s set, we HAD to go and get cleaned up a little bit. I had streaks of fake blood all down my arms, and wanted to make sure the cameras didn’t suffer any damage. Besides, it was time for the headlining set of NOT ONLY the night, but pretty much the entire fucking Gathering! I’m talking about WIZARD OF THE HOOD! Holy shit! It was finally about to happen!
We had talked before this set, and our Dallas homie, and phenomenal photographer Jet Yonkin was actually able to make it to the Gathering at the last minute! He was there, and REALLY wanted the opportunity to shoot during Wizard of the Hood. Amanda gave up her photo pass for that set at least, and let him do his thing. I can’t wait to see what he captured!
As we headed from Faygoluvers HQ back to the main stage, I couldn’t help but thinking how much had been put into this production. It had been hyped up for MONTHS! So much so that it was originally planned for the Carousel stage, but was now the focus of the entire Gathering! It was headlining Thursday night, and nobody had any idea what was in store! Would it live up to the hype?
The short answer is: HELL FUCKING YES! I don’t think they could have done a better job with it. I didn’t hear a single Juggalo or Juggalette complaining about how it was carried out. I’m getting ahead of myself though. Let’s take a step back.
The stage was set. Three MASSIVE screens provided the backdrop for the stage and started off with a black and white dilapidated home with a rusted out bucket parked in front. A short intro track started and….wait…what the fuck? Is that a fucking Pontiac Bonneville driving across the main stage? It sure as shit was! The Rude Boy drove the Duke of the Wicked, Violent J to the middle of the stage where they both got out, gave each other a hug and a dap, and then Rudy drove off. Chants of “Holy shit! Holy Shit” echoed through the audience as the car made its way across the stage. What a way to start!
Violent J was sporting Wraith-era style face paint with blue spiked hair and a blue hoodie, just like the cartoon on the front of the album cover depicted. The familiar “Wizard of the Hood” beat began playing and the set everyone was waiting for had begun.
Half of the onlookers stood there dazed by the flavor they were seeing while the other half recited every lyric along with J. The team that put together the video footage that provided the background did a fantastic fuckin’ job! The video matched the lyrics at every point. The detail put into this was incredible! Soon we were into “Yellow Brick Alleyway”, and the “Oompa Loompas” joined J on stage and danced with him! Fireworks were going off on the video screen in the background! I don’t think the Juggalos watching were EVER louder the entire weekend than when they were while watching The Wizard. You could hear thousands echoing J’s lyrics, and all on point! Fuck…my mind blown at the whole production! Soon after that, we were into “Homies To Smoke With”. Monoxide was rolled out in a fresh ass scarecrow costume hanging from a stand. He was completely into it, and didn’t break character at all, rapping with his arm tangled up in the stick he was hanging off of.
We got to stay in the photo pit for the first part of “Thug Whilin’”, but were escorted away almost as soon as Jamie Madrox came out in his Tinman costume. Shitty for us, but there’s NO way we were gonna miss a second of this historical performance. To see the first 14 minutes or so in HD quality, check it out here:
SO…FUCKING…FRESH! I was on a natural high from this. I had been waiting since 2003 along with tons of other ninjas for this to happen. After being told time and time again by ALL of the artists on Psychopathic / MNE that it wouldn’t happen, here we were.
We caught the rest of the performance from the middle of the crowd. It was pretty easy to maneuver and get close because like I said before, everyone was just staring whimsically at the flavor goin’ down before their eyes. PsykoScott, Amanda and I stayed pretty close to each other to watch the remaining 30 or so minutes of the set. I cannot speak highly enough for all of the work that was put in, and the performances of everyone…J, Shaggy, Twiztid, Blaze, and even ABK made his quick appearance. Legz Diamond and Young Wicked were on the left side of the stage providing backing vocals…shit was perfect!
After the Wizard of the Hood portion of the set was over, they played some OLD SCHOOL jams to everyone’s surprise! We got to see one-time performances of “85 Bucks An Hour”, “Spin The Bottle”, “Hound Dogs”, and of course “Homies”! Wizard of the Hood was enough to make the ninjas in attendance happy, but these four rarities being performed live put it WAY over the top.
I know that there were professional cameramen including drones shooting the entire time, so we are pretty much guaranteed to have a DVD drop of this soon. Seriously, please take my money!
After the high of that performance, I could have left the Gathering happy. It was THAT GOOD! But we weren’t even halfway through the Gathering, so why not enjoy the festivities?
First thing’s first…I had to wash my balls, ass, and face…not in that order (I don’t think). I went and grabbed the shower supplies from FLH HQ and headed to the shower trailers with PsykoScott. The lines actually weren’t all that bad, and they had 3 of the 4 doors dedicated to dudes, with only one of them for the girls. That may sound unfair, but the ratio is probably pretty accurate. The showers were hot, the pressure was decent, and things were relatively clean inside. That still didn’t mean I was going in there barefoot…shower sandals for the win!
We got back to the campsite and ended up meeting with Hanka and Hashly. This was perfect timing, because I had some gifts for the both of them. Hashly had been shooting for Faygoluvers for well over a year now, and Hanka was right there by her side shooting pics, taking video footage, and writing reviews for us. They had put in a ton of work, and it was time that I presented them with their Faygoluvers Webmaster Jerseys. Hanka was definitely more surprised than Hashly…I let the cat out of the bag for her a month or so prior. BUT they were both super appreciative, and are for sure going to be working with us in the foreseeable future. Much love to you both!
With everything else going on, I unfortunately missed out on my homies SSB and SHSM from Austin, TX. They were scheduled to perform at midnight…right after the Wizard of the Hood set. Shitty, I know, but those are the breaks. I hope it went over well for them though.
I also missed out on Whitney Peyton’s set, and Joey Gay’s comedy set. Those were two that I had planned on seeing as well, but with the number of things happening at any point at the Gathering, it’s hard to schedule anything.
Because I always neglect the JCW Wrestling stage, my wife and I decided to venture over there to see what was happening with Stranglemania Live! Amanda and I went around snapping pics of the wrestling action, the fans watching, and overall just to take it all in. We kicked it over there for 15 or 20 minutes. Just to reiterate (or tell you for the first time if you have ventured this far into my review), I’m not a huge wrestling fan. I KNOW that it takes talent and balls of steel to sacrifice your bodies like that, and I have huge respect for those who do it! When I do get to sit and watch it live, I do get a kick out of it, but it’s not something that usually keeps my attention for very long.
That being said, it was time for me to head out to see a set from one of the groups who performed with UPS: Alla Xul Elu! We had already conducted an interview with these mysterious bastards, so now it was time to see a full set from them…or at least until I had to go and catch the next group! I got there and noticed that they had a pretty decent crowd under the Pendulum tent. I live streamed some of their performance for a few minutes and took some pics afterwards too. It was super fuckin’ dark in there, and I don’t know if that was their intention, or just whoever was running the stage lights. They held it down for the 15 minutes or so that I was there, and had their fans getting hype! You can see a few minutes of their set here:
It was time to head back to the Carousel Stage to check out the Strange Music homies: ¡Mayday! I’d definitely consider myself a fan of theirs, but damn, nobody online seemed to care about watching them. The numbers have climbed since being shot live, but when I was out there live streaming over Facebook, there were like 6 people watching. I know that not everyone was in bed yet because acts that went on later blew up on the live streaming. Not taking anything away from ¡Mayday! at all though…they put on one hell of a show, and had a good turnout at 2 AM. Bernz and Wrek were all over the stage, weren’t rapping over backing tracks, and just wrecked every track on their set list! You can see a little bit of it in the following streams:
I wasn’t sure how long we were going to have to wait after ¡Mayday! before Young Wicked took the stage, but figured with instrument breakdown and the few things YW needed to setup, I at least had a few minutes. Still though, I just hung out there to wait. Fast forward a few minutes and a YW303 Colorado banner was put up as the backdrop, and soon afterwards, Mr. Wicked came out and started with the track “Break Me” off of his solo album Slaughter! He followed up with “Kill Em All”, and “Dope”! Young Wicked was impressive as fuck too. Not only was he all over the Gathering (probably as much if not more than I was), but he performed like half a dozen times and he was ALWAYS on point! For his solo set, he was only rapping with a backing instrumental track…no vocals. So his shit had to be tight, and it fuckin was! Check out about 15 minutes of his set here:
It was nearing 4 AM, and we still had the Carousel stage headliners ready to close out the night. Who was it tonight? Well Dark Muthafuckin LOTUS of course! Each member was introduced, and “Ali Baba” rumbled through the sound system and reverberated through the packed crowd of thousands in attendance. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but it’s so fuckin’ awesome to see Violent J moving around as much as he was, dancing, not missing verses due to being winded, and all in all just fully reinvigorated. Whatever you’re doing, keep it up homie! Unless it’s meth…
“Heinous” was next on the list, and then “My First Time”! Every one of the five petals was pretty much on point. I think they only had backing vocals on tracks that they performed from Tales From The Lotus Pod. Anything newer than that was just instrumentals, so they had to have their shit together. We got “Bitch I’m Sexy”, “Hell House”, “Headache”, “Gimme Dat Blood”, “Kaboom”, “Corrosion”, “The Walls”¸ “Hot Poison”, and finally “Juggalo Family”! They ended with a bunch of Lotus chants, and then got around in a huddle and jumped around in a circle together. To me, it showed that no matter what label they are on, they are and will forever be a family! For ICP, Twiztid, and Blaze to only do this once a year and still manage to pull it off with hardly a hitch is pretty impressive!
It was now WELL past 4 AM…I’m not sure exactly what time Lotus ended, but I was just about spent for the night.
*STORY TIME ALERT!!!*
OK, now I’m not sure if this would get anyone into trouble or not, so I’m just going to tell you what “a friend of mine” experienced late that night. Now this friend has never ingested weed in any capacity in his entire life. He’s always been curious about it, but just due to the possibility of a random piss test costing him a job, he decided that it just wasn’t worth it. PsykoScott had picked up a handful of edibles in sucker form from someone at the Gathering, and set one aside for my curious friend…just in case. Well, late that night, he decided he was gonna take the plunge and just eat it. The plan was for him to get everything ready for a shower, walk over towards the shower trailers while eating the Dum-Dum shaped sucker, take the shower, and head back to his campsite. That way it would have given it plenty of time for everything to kick in. Well, my friend told me that 30 minutes passed, then an hour, and finally it was like 6:30 in the morning and he wasn’t feeling a fucking thing. Maybe this ninja was immune to the effects of weed? Lol. He said that he ended up just falling asleep thinking it was all a waste of time.
So fast forward to a few days after the Gathering. PsykoScott saw a picture of the same exact suckers on the Gathering Facebook group. Here’s the funny part. Those were CBD suckers, and were 100% THC-free! Are you fucking kidding me? This ninja took a chance just to experience it, and it wasn’t even the right shit. That’s some horse shit…
Friday, July 22nd
Lucky for me, I didn’t have anything planned until early afternoon. I got a decent amount of sleep, made breakfast for everyone, got my shit all sorted out, and just had a chance to take it easy for a few. We actually had a little bit of a storm that morning, but just enough to make it humid as fuck the rest of the day.
The first thing I had planned on going to today was my homegirl Rachel Paul’s set. Her stage name is Gypsy, and she had a full set scheduled for 1 PM at the Pendulum Stage. On the first official day of the Gathering, she was of course setup slangin’ her paintings, tarot decks, and her all new EP: The High Priestess! (Get all of her stuffs here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DarkCarnivalTarot)
Anyways, back to the present. Gypsy came out in a full headdress and sash to get the party started with her track “Fortune Teller”! She had a hype man on stage with her who went by the name Ill Phil. I didn’t know this until after the fact, but Ill Phil is actually Cannibal’s brother! That adds a whole new element of flavor to her set if you watch it now. Speaking of which, you can check out over 20 minutes of it here:
The sound gets better after the first song…I’ve gotta remember to not use that camcorder to record shows though. My bad! I’m not sure if Rachel had performed any sets prior to the Gathering, but she looked like a seasoned pro up there. She had great stage presence, interacted with the ninjas in attendance, and even brought out the Rhythmic Illusion Fire Tribe (R.I.F.T.) to hoop and spit fire on either side of the stage. Gypsy’s music is NOT wicked shit. So if you listen to it thinking you’re gonna get blood and guts, then you may be disappointed. A lot of it is on the positive tip though which is refreshing in this scene. Check it out if you get a chance! You might even hear a reference and appearance by yours truly on there! (Don’t worry…I’m not rapping. I know my place.)
I know it had been a few Gatherings since I saw any of The Neden Game, so I decided to head over to the Carousel stage to see if it was still happening. Luckily, I caught the last 5 minutes or so of it where the audience helped to choose the winner. The way this works is just like the match game. There’s a divider between the contestants, and the person they are vying for. “Jeff” would go out on a date with one of the contestants. Well, “Jeff” was actually Young Wicked!
The little bit that I saw of it was pretty entertaining, and Rude Boy did a hell of a job hosting it. At the end, he gave shout-outs to a few different things happening at the Gathering, and to the Juggalo Show on Psychopathic Radio. Check that last bit out here:
Next up was our homie Frodo The Ghost! Now if you’re a Gathering vet, then you might recognize Frodo from previously working with Wolfpac. He has now split off to do his own thing, and he’s definitely got the skills to make it on his own! He also recently toured with ABK and Liquid Assassin on the April Fool’s Foolin´ tour. Oh yeah, and in case you had already forgotten, he was one of the Psypher winners from last year and had already performed on the main stage! Anyways, enough build-up. Just check out some of this performance footage for yourself, and then go and Like him on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FrodoTheGhost)
I unfortunately wasn’t able to make it to the Juggalo Gong Show this year, but my trusty webmaster sidekick PunkRockJuggalo was there and filmed/edited the entire show! It’s about 50 minutes long, but worth a watch! In fact, if I’m not there to see this in person next year, I’m kicking my own ass! Here’s that footage:
It was nearing 3 PM already, but for the first time I didn’t really have anywhere to be. The next event I definitely wanted to check out was the Big Hoodoo Seminar. I don’t remember exactly what I did with this hour of the day, but DO know that I went to check out merch another time or two. Oh yeah! At some point today (I think), I saw from Wolfpac hanging out at The Fun House where they regularly hosted Psychopathic Radio. I asked Buddha if he had made any of that hot sauce from the year before…the infamous sauce that always gets chugged during the Psychopathic Radio contests…yeah that stuff. It sold out the year before, and I was gonna bring a bottle home with me this year no matter what! So Buddha did me one better. He took me over to their trailer and pulled out like a 64 oz jar of the shit. I put a little bit on my pinky and took a taste. I can handle hot, but trust me, this one is fucking HOT! I know that if you were a contestant in one of their contests, you can vouch for that. Still, it has a damn good flavor, and I went to their merch booth and bought some anyways. I’ve been waiting for a good day to bust it out, and we’re having a party with a bunch of Juggalos this weekend…so we’ll see how that goes over!
Next up was the Big Hoodoo seminar! Big Hoodoo’s new album Asylum had just been released, and everyone was already saying that it was an instant Juggalo classic! At that point, I hadn’t heard it yet, but I’ve spun it a few times since then, and those ninjas weren’t lying! If you’re sleeping on this one, STOP! Go buy that shit and support your homie!
Hoodoo’s seminar was pretty laid back as it normally is. He hyped up his new album, said he was having the time of his life at the Gathering this year, talked about having new merch at his new store: ShopBigHoodoo.com, the status of Tha Hav Knots, and lots more! He took questions from the audience too. His seminar was only about 30 minutes long, and you can see the whole thing here:
After hitting the trailer really quick, Amanda and I decided to do something that we had our eye on for the whole weekend up to that point: The Zip Lines! We knew they were about to start tearing them down due to the main stage needing to be prepared, so we ran over to try to see if we could get into line. We got a spot in line, and the guy two spots back was turned away due to time constraints. Just in time! The ninjas running the zip lines were all cool as hell. They clearly weren’t Juggalos because they were asking a lot of questions about the scene and the Gathering, but it was more out of curiosity than anything. We got strapped up and made a quick stroll behind the gate at the main stage where you had to climb a few flights of stairs to get to the top. There were two lines, so Amanda and I could go at the same time. I had my GoPro on so we could get the footage from that far up. We counted down….3-2-1 JUMP! I am heavier than Amanda so my ride was over a little bit quicker than hers. It was about a 10 second ride from the top to the bottom where you jolted to a stop. Good times, and I’m glad we had a chance to do it!
When you wake up close to the afternoon already, it doesn’t take long for 6 PM to get here for the main stage festivities to start. So here we were with one of the most controversial acts of the whole weekend: One-Eyed Doll. Their music is eclectic. It’s weird, and they are relatively unknown overall, and definitely not known in the Juggalo world. My homie Chad Carsten turned me onto them, and Menace of TJF echoed Chad’s sentiments that they were fresh. I LOVED their music videos, and decided to include them on the list that I turn in to Jumpsteady every year. I think Jumpsteady loved them more than I do! He spoke of them regularly on the Juggalo show, plays their music videos, and spoke very highly of them when hyping the Gathering. The group is just two people…Kimberly Freeman on lead vocals and guitar, and Junior on drums and backup vocals. While their music seems pretty upbeat and fun, Kimberly’s sweet voice belts out extremely dark but sometimes comedic lyrics about witches, serial killers, suicide, and other unordinary subjects. Not only is she hot, but she fucking SHREDS on guitar too! Their show was extremely interactive as Kimberly talked to the curious ninjas watching. They had a good response from the crowd! Kim was a monster on guitar, and when she wasn’t singing, she’d jump around on stage, kick her legs in the air and scream off mic. Even if you didn’t like the music, it was entertaining as hell to watch!
For one of the songs, Chad Carsten came on stage to throw candy out to the audience. Yup, we had our own little trick-or-treat party at the Gathering. If you missed it, sucks to be you! After 30 minutes or so, they were down to playing their final track. She asked if the crowd would follow her, jumped into the crowd, and started to run through it! She ran all the way back to her merch booth which is a pretty good trek, and did a little meet and greet for those who followed. This was seriously the shit! See the first few minutes of their set here:
After being over in the merch area for a few minutes, it was nearly time to go back to the main stage to see Lil Wyte. Now I was a bit skeptical about his performance. The last time I saw him was at a show in Fort Worth where he was COMPLETELY obliterated. He was literally sitting on a stage too wasted to stand, and his two hype men did pretty much all of the work. Maybe since he was getting a huge opportunity on the main stage at the Gathering in front of THOUSANDS, he would have his shit together…you’d think…right?
Nope. I haven’t talked shit about anyone’s performances in years, if ever, but this was complete garbage. Maybe I still have a chip on my shoulder for him wasting my time at the local show a few months back, but I couldn’t wait to get out of that photo pit for this one. He came out to his own music playing, and immediately told the DJ to cut it. He started “Whoop Whoop”ing at the crowd of Juggalos, which is nothing to be upset by. But then he just kept responding to random shouts from the audience. The track started up again, and he started walking back and forth on stage, said about 3 words in a minute, and then told the DJ to cut the music and skip to the next track again. The next track started playing, and he did half the chorus, took a swig of Crown Royal, wiped the sweat off of his forehead, and FINALLY started rapping. He did a few bars from that track, stopped, walked towards the DJ, and yelled “Cut!” again. Look, I don’t know if this is how all of his shows are now, but for me, I’m pretty much done with seeing him live. Yes, you should come to the Gathering and have a great time, but I honestly find it as a slap in the face to the audience not to have your shit together for one 45-minute set. Maybe he’ll redeem himself one of these days, and hell, maybe the last part of his set was better. But I wasn’t gonna stick around to find out. You can see the catastrophe for yourself here:
Since we left his set early, we got a chance to chill in the AC in the trailer for a while. We did our usual routine once again of offloading pics from the cameras and whatnot, and I probably snuck in a quick bite to eat too.
Next up was a man that definitely knew how to get my mind back in the right place. He’s a consummate professional and always brings it to the fullest. Plus, it’s not like he had a tough act to follow. I’m talking about the dead man himself: Blaze Ya Dead Homie!
DJ Kuma was up in the high-rise DJ booth spinning when Rudy came out to get the crowd hype! He gave Blaze a fitting intro, and then some intro music started blasting asking the crowd to chant for the Dead Homie! He came out in full Casket Factory suit, top hat, and cane with his mysterious hype man following close behind him. We got the quickest song in his catalog, and the first song anyone ever heard from the dead man: “Real G Shit” to start the set off! Right after that 50 second track, Blaze dropped the cane and top hat, and went right into “Juggalo Anthem” to get the crowd hype! We then got another Blaze classic with “Nasty”, and then got another surprise when Anybody Killa joined him on stage for “Ratchet” from his Casket Factory album! Blaze held it down like always, and you can see his set at least partially here:
Next up was a rap/metal band by the name of Attila! The Rude Boy came out and introduced them saying that they were down with the Dark Carnival and ecstatic to be playing the 17th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos! Lead singer Fronz broke away from screaming in the middle of a song to tell us how hype he was to be there too! They definitely had some great energy! Their guitarists were running back and forth to either side of the stage while Fronz screamed his heart out for the entire set…or at least what we stayed for! You can check about 10 minutes of their performance here:
We had a long night ahead of us, but luckily at this point, things were pretty much going on time. We did a little chillaxin’ at FLH HQ while listening to Attila belt out their final tracks, and then went up for what we thought was supposed to be the Mystery Act for the night. That’s what it said on the timeline anyways. The thing is, Asking Alexandria’s instruments were all uncovered, and it looked like they were about to be the ones taking the stage. Was this mystery artist the first official no-show of the Gathering? It was kind of looking that way.
Either way, we still had a show to cover! If you aren’t familiar with them, Asking Alexandria is a MASSIVELY popular metal band out of England. They’ve got over 5 million fans on Facebook, so take that however you’d like. I’m sure they weren’t cheap to get to play at the Gathering either. Most of the ninjas in attendance were showing love, dancing, moshing, and just enjoying the show. This is the first set though that I thought people throwing shit was becoming a problem. They were getting more shit thrown at them than any act before them, and there was no provoking it or anything. A few assholes in the crowd just decided that they had enough and tried to ruin it for everyone else. In fact, about 2 minutes into their performance, Denis, the lead vocalist, got nailed in the chest with an open beer can. Fuck whoever threw that. Find something else to do ya fucks.
Kudos to Denis and the rest of the band for carrying on though. They could have easily walked off after that and said fuck it, but they stayed up there and did their entire set in spite of a few haters. In fact, between songs, Denis grabbed a full opened water bottle and launched it back into the crowd before belting out the first few lines of his next song. If there’s anything to take away from Asking Alexandria’s performance this year, or Waka Flocka’s last year, it’s to show NO FEAR! Juggalos, especially the ones not throwing shit, respect the fuck out of you if you can weather the storm!
Check out about 10 minutes from AA’s performance below:
Now that the schedule was all fucked up due to the mystery artist not showing, we didn’t exactly know when things were gonna be happening. So we just listened for Asking Alexandria to be finished and then headed back to the main stage.
Leading up to the Gathering, we had been told that a mystery artist would be revealed on Friday Night on the main stage, but I think it had kind of slipped everyone’s minds…especially since there was no mention of it on the timeline. We were ready to go into the photo pit, presumably for Twiztid, but then all of the Psychopathic employees in their red GOTJ crew shirts came out to grace the main stage! We weren’t allowed into the photo pit for this for one reason or another, so we got footage of it from a little ways back. Violent J spoke to all of the Juggalos and Juggalettes in attendance for a few minutes thanking us for our support for their entire careers, and promised not to be going ANYWHERE! He said that they would be the soundtrack for Juggalos for the rest of their lives!
He then introduced the newest artist to Psychopathic Records by the name of Blahzay Roze! She didn’t come out on stage, but they debuted her music video for the track “Broken” on the big screens on either side of the main stage. Her EP would be available the next day at the HatchetGear merch tent. The reactions to the video were pretty positive, at least by the ninjas surrounding me. The reaction online, however, has been pretty mixed. You should decide for yourself though if you haven’t seen it already. Here’s the footage we took of the announcement:
And if you want to see the HD version of “Broken”, check the link below:
Now it HAD to be time to see Monoxide and Madrox take the stage, right? Well, wrong again! Guess who showed up? The Mystery Artist! I’m sure that you all know who all four mystery artists were by now, but did you have any idea that tonight’s would be ONYX?! I didn’t, and I was officially 0-3 at this point on my guesses. Whoever had these ideas totally schooled me! Onyx performed for about 10 minutes, and were shown nothing but love from all of the Juggalos in attendance! You would have thought that since we were now running over an hour behind, ninjas would be impatient through something like this. But since it was only 10 minutes, it wasn’t like it made that much of a difference Plus, it was motherfuckin’ ONYX!! You can see their full set here:
Alright, now there was absolutely no doubt who was coming on stage next. There was barely a break between Onyx leaving the stage and Twiztid coming on…like I said, things were so far behind at this point as it was. They had a Twiztid and a Majik Ninja Entertainment banner as their backdrop, and a makeshift room that they entered the stage from. Madrox came out with some skeleton-esque face paint while Monoxide had a scheme that was all his own.
They had a surprising first track to start off their set with “HA HA HA HA HA”, but rocked the fuck out of it. It was a slow build for their set. Then they turned up the energy and went straight into “We Don’t Die”!! Talk about getting ninjas moving! Crowd surfers started coming into the photo pit! Next was “Different” from Mirror Mirror! They were grabbing tracks from all over their catalog! We had to leave the photo pit soon after that, but I got into the middle of the audience and watched a majority of the rest of the show. By the time I made it into the crowd, they had already kicked several giant beach balls out so they were bouncing around everywhere. The stage lights were set to green for a few weed tracks like “Hydro”, “So High” and “Bagz”, so that was appropriately fitting. We were also treated with “Unstoppable”, “Bad Side”, “The Joker”, “Lift Me Up”, and “LDLHA-IBCSYBA”. The lighters and cell phone lights were abundant for the last track. What else is there to say? Twiztid closed out the main stage triumphantly as always, and showed mad love to everyone in attendance. Much love to them, and the entire MNE crew for always schoolin’ shit!
Check out the first few minutes in HD via our Youtube channel:
It was now time for the late night festivities, and we still had a TON on our agendas in the next 4 hours! My first stop though: FLH HQ! I had to stop off to get fresh batteries and cards, take a leak, eat a quick meal bar, and then get my ass over to the Pendulum stage!
I had been in contact with this underground artist named ILL for the past year or so, and he had been grinding HARD, putting EVERYTHING into his music, videos, and anything else he could to gain exposure. I noticed it, and his skills are undeniable! I put him on the list of suggestions that I give to Jumpsteady every year, and he must have liked what he saw because ILL was booked for the midnight time slot on Friday night! So I went over there to check him out for a few songs. I couldn’t leave my boy hangin’! I didn’t have a chance to live stream any of his stuff, but I think we may have snapped some pics. Either way, don’t sleep on this ninja. His social media game may not be up to par yet, but trust me…he’s fuckin’ dope, and labels should be looking at this killa! (Do yourself a favor: https://www.facebook.com/ILL-1025463214166556)
PsykoScott was keeping me updated via text from the comedy tent. I am a big fan of Jim Norton’s over the top, inappropriate comedy, so I didn’t want to miss him! He was already a Gathering vet, but I still think he was a little nervous to be there. I was able to make it over for the last 15-20 minutes of Jim’s set. When I got there, Upchuck noticed me walk in. We had seen and talked to each other throughout the weekend, but he wasn’t painting up for anything except the comedy shows. So I knew I HAD to get my picture with him, a Gathering tradition, while I was there. This was the last night of comedy, so we didn’t want to miss that chance!
Jim Norton was fucking hysterical! He had the crowd in stitches, and most of it was just riffing with ninjas, asking questions, and building off of that. The highlight of his set went a little like this. He was in the middle of a story when all of a sudden, something that sounded like a fucking mortar shell went off. It was an explosion somewhere off in the woods. The Juggalos and Juggalettes in attendance kept watching Jim do his show. He stopped in the middle of his joke, visually startled, and said “You know you’re at the Gathering when a fucking bomb goes off right outside the tent and nobody bats an eye”. OK, that’s not exactly what he said, but it was something to that effect. The pop he got after that one was HUGE! He was the shit, and I’m glad he decided to take Psychopathic up on their offer to have him back!
Again, since the main stage ended late, the schedule was all kinds of fucked up. I just had to assume that I had already missed Lex The Hex Master. That’s unfortunate, because I would have liked to see his first Gathering performance. Hopefully next year works out a little better schedule wise and I’m able to see him in Colorado. I know there are at least two or three more opportunities for me to see him between now and then!
At some point between the main stage and Jim Norton, our electricity went out at our camp site. We didn’t notice until we got back from Norton. Fuck. Here we were on the next to last day of the Gathering…let’s hope this wasn’t the last we saw of our AC unit. I went over to the info tent and told Nathan of DCG about it. I gave him my number and he said he’d have Steve (the electrician from about 15,000 words ago) call me. While I was out running around trying to catch all of the performances that I could, PsykoScott texted me saying that the power was back on! Eureka! This was at about 2:30 AM. 30 minutes later, I got another text saying that it was out again. What the fuck was going on? We’ll get back to that in a minute.
While I was trying to get our living quarters back to 100%, I also caught a few more shows! Lo Key is not really a touring artist…YET! There are plans in the works for him to do that, and he should actually be touring this fall. My point is though, if you don’t live somewhere near him, or catch a spot show wherever he decides to play, you’re left assed out. I wasn’t about to lose the chance to see him live! I was able to make it over to the Pendulum Stage to see him put it down for about 20 minutes! It was dark as fuck over there again, but he was strung up with Xmas lights, and had our old homie Whipstick on stage as his hype man! Loke had a strong crowd there, and is a true performer! A few tracks into his set, he brought out a cute blonde girl with skin tight everything, a midriff shirt, and a mask and was dragging her around behind him on a chain. I’m not sure what happened with her after that…I’m assuming a sacrifice in the middle of the stage, but I had to get moving again. Lol. Catch 15 minutes of his set here:
Alright, so I don’t know how often Slick Rick gets out to do shows, but this old school ninja was out doing his set at nearly 4 in the fucking morning at the Gathering of the Juggalos. You’re damn right I’m gonna go over and see what he brings with his performance! I went over to watch him, and let’s just say that his stage show was a bit underwhelming. He had a DJ behind him, and he was sporting what looked like 40 pounds of chains around his neck. But this motherfucker didn’t move…like at all! After he finished the song he was into, he introduced his wife who came out and put about 40 more pounds of shit around his neck, and he told us all to try to get into committed relationships and all that wholesome shit. Good message, probably bad timing. Lol. Anyways, he put on his eye patch, and stood there not moving while he rapped his final track of the night. *yawn* Look, I’ve got respect for the OGs, but I just Google’d this ninja, and he’s only 51! He’s not handicapped, other than that covered up eye. I’m not gonna bust on him too hard though, you take a look at it and tell me that you’re not bored:
At around 4 AM, Steve the electrician called me. I ran back over to the trailer as fast as I could so I didn’t miss any of tonight’s late night headliners: The KillJoy Club! I met up with Steve, and he told me that he had been having recurring issues with some assholes running around unplugging electric cables. The way these generators are setup is that they all terminate back to the main station, and then there are these thick black cables running to each of the Baller sites. About every 10 feet or so, they connect together with a twist-lock plug. Someone has been going around unlocking them, but keeping them connected so that they were hard to trace. That’s when the search started. We went from our RV to about ½ way to the main generator testing every twist lock connection we came across. Finally, we found the culprit. It was sitting there disconnected. There was NO way someone could have just tripped over it or something…we were just the lucky ones that were getting fucked with. Sure enough, as soon as we reconnected it there, the power was back on! I thanked Steve once again, and luckily, we didn’t have any electrical issues for the rest of the weekend!
Here’s a little back story before I go into the next part of the night. We of course did our voting for our 2nd Annual Faygoluvers Music Awards, had the awards pressed up, and got them over to ALMOST all of the winners. *SPOILER ALERT* One of them that was reached was DJ Paul of the Three 6 Mafia / Killjoy Club. He won this year for Mixtape of the Year with Da Light Up / Da Poe Up. I was able to get in touch with him via Twitter or Instagram to get him a copy of the award, but never had any luck with a follow up to get an acceptance speech. So that was one of my missions at this year’s Gathering. Our homie Brice that we rolled with this year seems to know EVERYBODY! This ninja has connections everywhere. So I don’t know if he’s just a smooth talker, or what his angle is, but it fucking works! He had texted DJ Paul a few days earlier, and Paul had agreed to meet up with us to do the speech! Simple as that, right? Well after getting the electricity situated, I knew that if all of the members of the Killjoy Club weren’t already back stage at the Carousel stage, then they soon would be. I met up with Brice and Chad over there, and we spoke to the security standing guard for the “backstage” area of the Carousel stage. This older security ninja was cool as hell, and he and Brice seemed like they already knew each other. Whether that was the case or not, I don’t know. Either way, we waited around until ICP, Young Wicked, and Da Mafia 6ix rolled through those gates. Brice is like “We’re supposed to interview Paul”, and the security guard just let us right in. I’m telling you, that shit wouldn’t have happened to me. Not that we were doing anything wrong at all, but if I have even the slightest notion that we could get into some sort of trouble, I get nervous. If I’m lying to you, you’ll know it for sure. Chad and I just followed Brice’s lead, and went right back stage and up to the trailer where DJ Paul was kickin’ it. We all introduced ourselves, and DJ Paul was just one of the coolest, humblest dudes you’ll ever meet. He was extremely thankful for the music award, and said that his homies who were on the mixtape with him really want an award for themselves. So I’m definitely gonna be taking care of that for them! Anyways, Chad also conducted a short interview with Paul, and that’s going to be released sometime in the VERY near future! Be looking for that one!
After the interview, we said our thank yous and goodbyes, and went around front to wait for the entire Killjoy Club crew to grace the stage. All five members of the Killjoy Club were soon introduced individually, and soon started off with the song “Don’t Fuck With Me” and followed up with “Panic Mode”. Of all five members, DJ Paul seemed to be the only one who consistently had problems remembering his lines. The last time they had performed these tracks together was at Juggalo Day weekend 5 months prior, so maybe he was just a little out of practice. He was still super energetic on stage, as were the rest of them! The next track on the playlist is one of the hypest tracks on the Reindeer Games album: “Jump”! That’s exactly what everyone did…jumped around like madmen! Next up on the menu was “Surprize”! After streaming a bit of that track for the ninjas at home watching via Facebook, my phone died, and I was about out of it too. I stayed there for a few more tracks, and then decided to head to the trailer. It had been a good fuckin’ day, but we were heading into the final day of the 17th annual Gathering of the Juggalos, and I wanted to be well-rested so I was able to enjoy it all.
Saturday, July 23rd
Well Juggalos and Juggalettes, here we are. Nearly 22,000 words into my review and one final day to go. Are you still here with me? If so, just give me a “Whoop Whoop!” even if I can’t hear or see you.
Before I get started with Saturday, we need a little bit of a back story. It’s time to go BAAAAACK IN TIIIIME with your homie Scottie D! In the weeks leading up to the Gathering, Jumpsteady and I spoke a number of times about bookings, events, and sometimes just to shoot the shit. One event that he called me about was to take place first thing Saturday afternoon: Girl Fight. In conjunction with two hours of female wrestling flavor, the Scrub Care Unit would be in full effect grilling hot dogs and handing out bottled waters to those in attendance. I don’t think it had an official title or anything. The way it was described to me by Jumpsteady was that there would be several grills around the JCW ring, and some ninjas who are known in the scene would be there grilling and passing out food. He had plans of there being several people there including artists from the label, Psychopathic employees, and other recognizable Juggalo faces. Sounds pretty fresh, right?
Fast forward to about 11:45 AM on Saturday morning. I had already rolled out of bed and didn’t have much planned other than ICP and ABK’s seminars later that afternoon, and of course the Miss Juggalette pageant. So there was definitely time to go over there and kick it with all of the ladies of JCW.
Amanda and I made our way to the JCW stage. When we got there, the ninjas from the SCU was there (along with one of their daughters), and so was former Miss Juggalette winners: Serenity and Alice. The grill was set up in the backstage area where all of the ladies of wrestling were getting prepared for their pending matches. There were roughly 200-300 hot dogs to grill, and what looked to be plenty of buns. But if not, we had backup packs of sandwich bread too. There were also those little paper hot dog boats. So here we are…5-6 people backstage on a single grill with a bunch of hungry ninjas to feed. Not exactly what was described to us. Lol.
Here’s the good part though….even though it was hot and we were all sweating our asses off, we all had a great time hanging out and working through our assembly line. One of the SCU ninjas was cooking all of the hot dogs, someone else was preparing the buns inside of the hot dog boats, then we’d put them all on the back of a golf cart where ketchup and mustard packets were dispersed. In true scrub fashion, we had a trash can lid that we put a bunch of them on so that they could be brought out to Juggalos and Juggalettes at ringside. We had quite the assembly line going, and with an hour or so, had cooked and handed out every single hot dog that we had!
We eventually did run out of hot dog buns, and hot dog boats, and ketchup, and mustard. Lol. On the bun tip though, we definitely scrubbed out and started peeling apart pieces of white sandwich bread that had been smooshed at one point or another. What Juggalo hasn’t eaten a sandwich bread hot dog bun in their lives? Needless to say, we had no complaints. It was free food from a handful of good people. Even though things didn’t play out like I had envisioned, I’m still happy to have had a chance to participate in this and get ‘los and ‘lettes through their last Gathering day with a little bit of food in their bellies. Also, much love to the Rude Boy for making sure that ninjas had water to drink out there too. It was miserably hot that afternoon, so the bottled waters were extremely appreciated by all!
After all of the hot dogs ran out, Amanda and I got to enjoy a little bit of the Ladies wrestling! We only had a little bit of time to kill before we had to make our way to the ICP Seminar though. We gathered all of our things and headed back towards FLH HQ to make sure we had enough batteries, cards, a backup camera, and everything else we might need for what looked to be a historical seminar!
For months, Violent J was hyping this year’s seminar to be THE place to be. They would be making the BIGGEST announcement of their careers! Did it live up to the hype? Here are the main points they covered:
- March on Washington, DC on September 17th, 2017
- Blahzay Roze as the newest artist on Psychopathic (and they gave a seminar exclusive EP from her out afterwards!)
- Gathering 18 to take place in Colorado
- Juggalo Day to take place in Florida with a performance of Tales From The Lotus Pod front to back!
- Documentaries on Young Wicked and John Kickjazz in 2017
- Shaggy 2 Dope Autobiography in the works
- Shaggy 2 Dope’s FTFOMF due out in 2017
- Big Money Thru$ta$ in early planning stages
There was lots more covered, but obviously the biggest news is the march on Washington happening next year. If you’re out of the loop on that, then the short of it is that Juggalos will be standing up against the FBI’s gang label and hopefully putting some pressure on them to get it removed from police gang databases throughout the country. Hell, J even surprised me by singling me out and saying that I would be giving a speech there. HOLY SHIT!
I have had SO many Juggalos come up to me and ask if that was planned or even talked about prior to the seminar. The short answer is: Hell no! I was just as shocked as anyone else would have been! If they are serious, I am of course down for the cause, and will do everything I can to continue to shine a positive light on Juggalos.
I know you want to watch the full seminar, so feel free to do that here:
Usually, J and Shaggy don’t get to seminars on time, they end up running late, and it throws a wrench into the schedule early on in the day. THIS year though, they were pretty much on time, and that tent was fucking PACKED! Luckily the press pass got us right up front where we needed to be with homies like DesertJuggalos, TJF, Juggalo News, and all of the other Pressalos.
One other side story before I move past this event…our homie and webmaster Jules and some of her friends had come up with a hilarious idea for the seminar. EVERY year, they have announcements there that will “flip your wig”, “peel your wig back”, “blow your wig off”, or some other variation. So prior to the Gathering, they went out and purchased ALL of the cheap wigs that they could find. During every “wig-flipping” announcement, a bunch of us would throw wigs on the stage! When it first started happening, it took them a minute, but then Shaggy caught on to what we were doing and everyone got a good laugh out of it. Kudos to Jules and her crew for coming up with that!
After the seminar, we got into line to grab our seminar-exclusive Blahzay Roze EP. The lines weren’t nuts, and everyone who got tickets got a copy of it. But I don’t think they were gonna let anyone leave there without one. They’re definitely trying to push her and make sure she’s heard, and you’ve gotta respect that whether you like her music or not.
So the ICP seminar was like an hour and 20 minutes meaning we didn’t have much time between that and the ABK Seminar. I know I make the same statement every year when typing about this, but if you have never seen or been to an ABK seminar, it turns into a party pretty quickly. I typically go there for the first ½ or so of it when news is being delivered, and then once it turns into an all out smoking and drinking session, I dip.
This year the entire Native World Inc crew was there for this seminar, and they had probably a dozen boxes of pizza ready to share with those in attendance, and also brought out some kegs to tap! Unfortunately, someone dropped the ball and forgot the keg tap! Lol. They were trying to pry that bitch open, but eventually had to bust out a bunch of Natty Lights to pass out. There were a few pieces of news that dropped:
- Shapeshifter is complete, but he’s not sure where it’s gonna be released. He said if it doesn’t drop on Psychopathic by the end of the year, then he would drop it on his own on Native World Inc.
- He hadn’t heard about the Tales from the Lotus Pod performance for Juggalo Day, but he’s definitely down to be a part of it
- Describes “The Wake 2” tour with Razakel, Bake Lo, more
You can check out the seminar here:
After the little bit of news that was released, it turned into a beer shotgunning contest, and after watching that for about 15 minutes, I decided to duck out.
After we left ABK’s seminar, we were on our way back to the trailer when we ran across Notslim1 being interviewed by an Irish media outlet. They told me who they were working for, but I don’t recall and can’t find anything on them on a Google search. Either way though, I was just standing by watching, and then Notslim1 pulled me in camera view and basically said “If anyone, you should be talking to this guy!” lol. So I talked to them for a few minutes. What they asked, I don’t really recall. I just hope that the footage surfaces somewhere. They asked me if I could get an interview with Violent J for them and I told them that I’d try…but with everything else going on I would have no idea how to get a hold of them. Either way, they were nice enough guys, and I hope whatever documentary or news cast they were shooting for goes over well for them!
At around this time, I was supposed to be by the info tent to pick the winners for the Hoverboard raffle. Well, I was obviously running a little behind, but luckily it was Rachel Paul to the rescue! She texted me on her bitch ass flip phone saying that they had already drawn, and the winner was contacted! She was worried about having to haul it back home and then ship it, but luckily the winner responded and let us know that he could grab it before he left. Congrats to Travis King on the dope ass prize! And thank you to EVERYONE who pitched in to help Joe get his legs back! (Donate to Joe’s cause here: https://www.gofundme.com/jx396efg)
Because I don’t remember exactly what time it happened, I’m just going to tell you about it right here. Our homie and Faygoluvers Forum moderator GanjaGoblin swung by the campsite and said that Scruffy had told him that I was looking for him. I said “yup, stay right here for a sec”. I went in, grabbed the truck keys, and went to grab something for him. I of course was in a big hurry to get to the next event, but I wanted to make sure he got what I had for him. GanjaGoblin has been in the forums running shit for the past few years. He has spent countless hours making them look better, and just overseeing everything. I told him how much I appreciated his contributions to the site, and I gave him a Faygoluvers jersey. I’m not trying to put this ninja on blast, but I’m pretty sure that I saw him well up just a little bit. That or maybe someone was cutting onions. Either way, he was mad appreciative, and left the Gathering with a fresh customized souvenir!
It was now time for the infamous 2016 Miss Juggalette Pageant! For the past 4 years now, things have been different, and I’d say for the better, due to the formation of the Lette’s Respect project. I won’t be a broken record here, you probably already know what this movement is all about. But for those who don’t, the short of it is that it’s trying to bring a little bit of pride and respect back to the pageant. That way the contestants don’t feel like they have meats, vegetables, and Faygo into different orifices to win. Don’t get me wrong, they can still let their freak flag fly, but it’s not something that’s a requirement.
As with every year, there is always a point of controversy surrounding Miss Juggalette. This year, a transgender contestant was looking to enter, and when we did an article about it, it stirred up ALL KINDS of shit. Seriously, some of you folks are angry, venomous people. (See the article and comments here: https://www.faygoluvers.net/v5/2016/06/lettes-respect-issues-statement-of-support-for-potential-transgender-miss-juggalette-pageant-contestant/) But, as with every year prior, the contest went off without a hitch! There were somewhere around 13 contestants, and with there being three different rounds (personality, swim suit, talent), the whole thing went extremely smoothly and clocked in at just about an hour and 15 minutes. Mad props to KG for being a great host once again, and for keeping things moving!
Were there hecklers? Oh yes, there were a few. I didn’t hear anything being shouted from the audience that was mean-spirited though. For instance:
KG: But we’re not here to talk about that, what we’re here to talk about this.
Audience member: ANAL!
As for talent, we had rappers, artists, fire dancers, a martial artist, singers, and more! You can see the pageant from start to finish here:
While we were in the middle of covering the Miss Juggalette pageant, my homie Deadbody Dan came by on a cart and shouted for me. He had brought some Cheese steaks that he cooked earlier for me and the wifey! Oh shit! We were about to enjoy the fuck outta some dinner! Much love to DBD and the entire Scrubs crew!
Before I start telling you about the main stage highlights for the night, I’ve got to give you one more back story. As I mentioned before with DJ Paul, we also had a Faygoluvers Music Award from Hopsin that had also gone unclaimed. Ever since he and Funk Volume parted ways, it has been nearly impossible for us to get a hold of him. I tried every fucking form of social media that I could and had zero luck. I brought his award to the Gathering as a last ditch effort. If we couldn’t get it to him in person, then we’d just have to go without having an acceptance speech from him. Stale.
I didn’t see Hop riding around on a golf cart like I normally did, so I took a chance and reached out to Will Sigler, who once again saved the day! I texted, and I quote:
SD: I know you’re super busy but I’m trying to get an award to Hopsin. Do you think You will run into any of his people?
Will: He’s right beside me. Lol. Want me to grab it?
Holy shit, talk about some luck! We met over at the info tent, he snatched the award from me, and I just requested that if it was possible, please get a picture of him holding it. I had a note taped to it too with my contact info. All that I could do now is hope that he got his hands on it. More on that later!
Since Miss Juggalette ran over its 6 PM deadline, I wasn’t able to make it over to catch any of (hed)p.e.’s set. I have seen some footage of it since then, but unfortunately didn’t catch it live. Our trusty homie PsykoScott was there though and caught a little bit of Mike Busey’s intro, and about 10 minutes of (hed)p.e.’s set! You can see that here:
Damn, Jahred didn’t look into this performance at all. I don’t know if he got a little more lively later in the set but that didn’t look like he was enjoying himself too much.
I don’t know why I wasn’t back around at the main stage by the time Emmure came on, but I missed their entire set too. I have no excuses, but Scott was there once again! Here’s the coverage we got on their set:
Alright, now is about the time that I came back into the picture. As we all listened for a break signaling the end of Emmure’s set, we got our stuff ready to head to the main stage for one last night. The next act on the bill? Jelly Roll!
My homie Courtney is a HUGE fan of Jelly Roll. For real…it’s ridiculous. So I wanted to make sure his set at the Gathering was special for her. Instead of me going up to snap pics of Jelly Roll, which Amanda was already doing, I decided to let Courtney take my press pass up in front of the barricade…just for one set. So for you photo pit ninjas, I apologize for the puddles that were probably left there afterwards. Lol. Jelly Roll put on a hell of a show! He had a full band, hype man, DJ, and some dude in a full cat mascot suit who was walking around the stage the whole time. He threw out beads, and was mostly there to get the crowd more hype! You can see a few songs from his set courtesy of PsykoScott below:
I think this was the first time that PsykoScott has seen Jelly Roll perform. He came back in the trailer and told us how impressed he was that Jelly Roll was as big as he is and still was moving around stage and very energetic the whole time! Jelly is a true showman, and if you’ve never seen him live, make it a point to!
Well, the homie Hopsin was next on the main stage! I hadn’t heard from him or anyone from his camp at this point, but I couldn’t expect for him to worry about that when he had an hour-long set to perform. His DJ, whose name I didn’t catch, came out to spin and get the crowd hyped up for a few minutes. He called for a chant of “Hop-sin! Hop-sin!”, and Hop came out from back stage shortly after that. He was sporting a red Gilligan hat…why? Because he gives no fucks!
Hop’s set was fucking great. I know that among Juggalos, there are mixed opinions on Hop….mostly because of things that he says via social media. But there’s no denying that this dude puts on a hell of a show! It’s always high energy, lots of crowd interaction, and he even jumps into the audience/crowd surfs too. Besides, for all of you who don’t dig this guy, stay at your camp sites until the next set. Easy!
After we had to get out of the photo pit for Hop’s set, I stayed and watched about half of it. Then I headed back to get everything ready for the next set…tonight’s Mystery Artist.
The Ballers spots were so close to the main stage that you could pretty much hear everything going on from the stage. We overheard Hop saying something about Faygoluvers and shouting a bunch of Thank Yous! HOLY FUCKING SHIT…we missed it!!! So what ended up happening is that one of his crew came out and presented the FLH Music award trophy to Hop for Hip Hop album of the year. He played it off like “Don’t do this now…not in front of all these people”. He accepted it, gave a shout out to Faygoluvers, and thanked the fans too. We had NO idea that this was going down, so while it was super fresh for him to do that in front of the thousands at the Gathering, it sucked that we missed it! Our fault completely for not being there for the whole set.
We DID, however, find some good footage of it. We’ll be releasing that soon enough, but for now, you can catch the first few songs from his Gathering performance here:
Three more acts until the entire Gathering was over. We still had some greatness to witness, but it was starting to set in that in a few short hours, the Gathering would be officially over.
The whole FLH crew got ready to go into the photo pit area where the mystery artist would soon be revealed. DJ Clay was up high on the elevated turntables and started spinning a very familiar track. He played it for about 10 seconds and then stopped it. He said it’d be a better idea if the artist just came out and performed it himself. He was talking about the 2004 song “Fuck It” by one-hit wonder Eamon!
Sure enough, the familiar chords played through the main stage speakers, and Eamon came out to perform the whole track! He literally spent 2-1/2 minutes on stage, said thank you, and bounced. I assume they had the check waiting for him as he stepped off the stage and peeled out of Thornville. Lol. Here’s footage of his entire performance:
I was officially 0-4 on my mystery artist picks. For the record, I thought that someone from Strange’s camp would be there on Wednesday since that’s when Tech was there. I also thought that the Rydas would be another mystery performance on Thursday or Friday since the MNE camp was there on both days. I figured Tha Hav Knots would have done a set, and I wasn’t sure about the 4th one. Again, 0% accurate. Way to go Psychopathic for keeping it all on the low low!
We didn’t exactly have any time to go anywhere, so we all just chilled there and waited for Bone Thugs-N-Harmony to hit the main stage. Yup, you read that right…ALL FIVE MEMBERS of BTNH were gonna be there! It says right in the program! Bizzy, Krayzie, Wish, Flesh-N-Bone, and Lay…wait, where the fuck was Layzie? Well, 4 out of 5 ain’t bad, right? They had a DJ on stage, along with some bodyguards and a couple of guys walking around taking footage with their iphones. Bizzy, Krayzie, Wish, and Flesh-N-Bone all schooled the set though. All of the Juggalos in attendance were eating that shit up! Especially the old schoolers! You can check the footage we recorded here:
Alright, so here we are with the headliners for the ENTIRE Gathering. The Insane Clown Posse was about to take the stage, and Legend Valley was going to smell like Root Beer Faygo for months after we left! PsykoScott, Shifty, Amanda, and I lined up for the photo pit. This time, all of the photo pit ninjas were there early, eagerly waiting to get into the pit. I had my GoPro strapped to my chest, and already recording. It was about to be on!
While we were waiting, I saw Tom Wood come out from behind the stage. I introduced myself and gave him props for all of the work he did on Into The Echoside. He thanked me and we chatted for a bit. I asked him if he was going to join everyone on stage for Faygo Armageddon. He said he thought about it, but would feel like he was being a fake being up there. I said “WHAAAAAAAAAT?!” His name is officially engrained in the Juggalo scene! He would be the ONLY person who felt that he was out of place up there. I told him that he should do it, and that those few minutes would change his life! He asked me why, and I said that it makes no sense why shaking Faygo, spraying your homies, and launching it into a sea of Juggalos is fun…but it is. It just is! He said he would think about it, and then I had to quickly give him a final dap and head into the photo pit.
*NOTE: I spoke to Tom a few days after the Gathering and asked him if he decided to come up. He said he did indeed go up after my “sound council”, and had a blast!! That’s so dope!!
The Carnival of Carnage intro began to play, and the photo pit ninjas made our way in to try to secure a good spot. As the COC medley continued, the curtains opened revealing a gigantic number 17 with Hatchetmen on either side of it! It looked fresh as fuck, and the ninja working the stage lights had them synchronized to flash along with music. I decided to let Shifty and Amanda take all of the pictures while I live streamed the first few songs. The last few Gatherings, the clowns have spared the photo pit ninjas for at least the first two songs. Then at the chorus break of “The Show Most Go On”, the Faygo would start flying. Since they have been on the Riddlebox tour for months, I just kind of assumed that they would take the same approach for this set as they had in years prior. Carnival music began to play as J and Shaggy made their way to the stage, and guess what song they began their set with? “The Show Must Go On”, of course! So since I didn’t have my waterproof case on, my ass was ducking and weaving around the Faygo that was flying everywhere. I still had a fucking BLAST down there in the best seat in the house though! They then went into “Chicken Huntin’”, so the feathers and Faygo were flying everywhere! Next up was “BLAAAM!”, which is when we had to leave the photo pit. I got out of there, and started to head towards the info tent.
Check out the 2:45 mark when J gave me a dap in the middle of him rapping. Lol
You can see PsykoScott’s HD footage of the first few songs here:
So here’s a little more info. The All Stars were instructed to be by the info tent at 11:30 PM. I don’t even think the clowns got on stage until like 11:45. So there were Juggalos and ‘lettes that spent the entire set over there where the stage was barely visible. Typically, if you’re due to get up on stage for Faygo Armageddon, they tell you a song to listen for, not a time. Either way though, there were definitely over a hundred ninjas waiting to be escorted backstage.
In the last few years, security hasn’t looked twice at flashing your press passes. I asked Jumpsteady if it’d be cool to get up during Faygo Armageddon, and if my press pass would work to get back there. He said he’d make sure to make it happen. I also spoke to Will about the possibility of getting Marty and Courtney up there since they had helped so much with the volunteer crew. If you don’t remember that part of my review, I don’t know what to tell you because I damn sure won’t make you go back and read it again. Haha. Anyways, he said that shouldn’t be a problem either. The issue was that I had no idea where they were.
At just about that time I noticed something missing. Holy shit…my GoPro was gone. This wasn’t a generic one either…it’s a couple of years old, but I paid over $300 for it at the time and losing it definitely wasn’t on my agenda this year. I knew that the security guys were cool as hell, but I didn’t think I stood a chance of being let back into the photo pit to see if I could find it. Besides, someone down there probably saw it flashing and snatched it up themselves. I had to at least try though. Matt, the older security ninja who was in charge of letting us into the gate, is the shit! I told him what happened and that I lost one of my cameras, and he said to go ahead and go up to see if I could find it. You have to remember, there were Faygo bottles, and more importantly piles of chicken feathers EVERYWHERE! I stood on the left side of the photo pit for most of the time, so I went all the way over there to see if I had any luck. I walked back and forth completely ignoring what was happening on stage, just hoping I could see it sticking out. I kicked feathers, mud, and bottles out of the way, all while trying not to get in the way of security. They didn’t ever question me being in there though, so that was cool. I was just about to give up all hope and write that shit off, when I saw a glowing blue light flashing under a pile of feathers. Whatever happened, the wifi part of the GoPro must have been turned on by accident! HOLY SHIT, there it was! I snagged it, and got the fuck outta the pit! How lucky is that??
I ran back over to where everyone was lined up at the info tent and showed them that I found it. I couldn’t get over how fuckin’ lucky I was! Anyways, back to the show. Our homies Toots and Greazey from the Scrubs crew had made their way into the All Stars crowd, of course not having a medallion or lanyard. She begged me to help her get her back there and up on stage. I just said I would see what I could do. We watched probably 2/3 of the show from by the info tent where we couldn’t see a thing. Finally, Jumpsteady, Dean, and Will started checking lanyards and letting people backstage. It was a mad rush for the front of the line, and to say that they were lax in checking out everyone’s passes was an understatement. Toots and Greazey got in with no problem, so now we just had to wait it out.
In the meantime, the Insane Clown Posse had put together a crazy dope set! Juggalos got treated to “CPKs”, “Explosions”, “Halls of Illusions”, “Birthday Bitches”, “The Neden Game”, “Dead Body Man”, “Little Yellow Bus”, “Let’s Go All The Way”, and a number of others!
We didn’t know what song they were going to end their set with. Would it be “I’m Coming Home” since they had been touring it for the Riddlebox? Maybe “If I Was A Serial Killer”? “Pass Me By”?
It was actually none of those. After “Down With The Clown”, Violent J thanked the entire audience and said that they had no plans of stopping! Then, some familiar notes started to play over the speakers. Something they haven’t done live in for-fucking-ever. It was “Thy Unveiling” from The Wraith: Shangri-La! As soon as J said the line “The Carnival is God and may All Juggalos Find Him” the floodgates were open! What seemed like hundreds of Juggalos poured onto the main stage for an insanely packed FAYGO ARMAGEDDON! Confetti bombs were going off EVERYWHERE! There was no escaping it! In the middle of popping open Faygos, I saw ninjas crying onstage, just living in the moment. I’m not a religious ninja at all, but I saw how much this song closing out the 17th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos spoke to people.
While I was up there, I soaked PunkRockJuggalo, Marty, Courtney, saw Chad Carsten , got love from Chris “bikiniman” Fabritz, and just saw a ton of ninjas that for SURE didn’t have all-star passes. Lol. That’s the OG way though…get onstage no matter what!
I’m not sure how many of you reading this have had a chance to experience a Faygo Armageddon at the Gathering, but it’s a high like no other. You leave the stage feeling like you’re on cloud 9. Or at least I do. As we were making our way to the exit, I gave the security guard manning the gate one final dap, and started to make my way back to the trailer. We came across a bunch of FLHers though, and decided to snag a pic of all of us:
Once we made it back to camp, we were all due for a shower. We had been saving our one shower in the RV to hose off right after Faygo Armageddon, so Amanda and I jumped in and did just that. Those RV showers definitely aren’t made for two people, so don’t think there was anything freaky going down in there.
One final funny story that happened is that when Marty and Courtney finally made it back, she got into the shower first. If you don’t know about RV showers, you basically rinse off, turn off the water, wash up, turn the water back on, rinse off the soap, etc. It’s a shower in stages. Well Courtney must have never used one, because she left that bitch on the entire time and ran out of water mid scrub. She wasn’t happy about it, but she finished rinsing off with some extra bottles of water that we had. Marty had to take a full shower with water bottles. Shitty, but it worked!
I can’t remember doing much else after that worth mentioning. I know that we had to get up relatively early to roll out, but us leaving was reliant upon other people being up and moving out of the way. We had 50+ feet of truck and trailer to get out of there. We’d worry about that in the morning though.
Sunday, July 24th
We woke up pretty early on Sunday, and I went around the Gathering grounds to say my goodbyes to everyone who was up. The cleanup effort was already underway, and lots of ninjas had already rolled out. Unfortunately, none of the ones that we needed to move were even awake yet. After our whole crew was up, we started helping our neighbors get their shit packed up so we could roll out. We had at LEAST a 12 hour drive ahead of us.
The ninjas beside us had actually flown in from California, bought a bunch of fans, tents, chairs, and other various camping supplies, and rented a Uhaul to live out of for the week. They had no intentions of bringing any of that back with them, so they were giving away all kinds of camping gear. You’ll find this a lot at the Gathering. Anyone who stays around for long enough could get enough gear for every Gathering you ever plan on attending. They were some cool ass ninjas though, and I hope they made it home safely.
Marty, Courtney, and Amanda all had a flight later that afternoon, so they were gonna grab a cab or an Uber to the airport. PsykoScott manned the driver’s seat as always, with me at shotgun. Brice and Scott’s dog Girlie were in the back, and we brought home an extra passenger who was left stranded, but was heading back to Dallas anyways. We were finally able to find a hole in the campsites to maneuver our way to the main road. As we were making our way out of Legend Valley, I saw Jumpsteady and Will cleaning up the info tent. I went over and thanked them for everything this year, and asked about a Wizard of the Hood DVD. Will told me that it was 100% happening. So there’s a tidbit of info for you in case you were wondering.
The drive back was uneventful, but at least we had a brand new Behind The Paint audiobook to listen to! I have read it a few times since I picked it up at the Gathering in 2003, but it had been a while. That book absolutely helped to pass the time! I’m not sure what chapter we made it through, but it was well over halfway finished by the time I got back home. Kudos to J and Young Wicked for that awesome piece of flavor! I know it had to have taken for-fucking-ever to finish!
We made it to some little town in Missouri where we decided to pull into a campground for the night. We couldn’t drop the trailer off until Monday at 8 AM anyways, so we might as well get some sleep a few hours away from Arkansas where we had to turn the trailer in. We pulled off of the freeway, and made our way like 10 miles down a 2 lane road until we finally got to it. It was past midnight, and there was nobody there to check us in. The whole place was under construction, and they only had a night drop to pay for the spot. There were no prices posted either. Way to run a business, guys! We plugged the camper in, and within minutes we were all passed out. When we woke up at about 5 AM, we debated on whether or not to leave payment details, or at least a note to call us. In the end, we had no license on the trailer, and my dad’s truck still had dealer tags, so we said “fuck it”, and just bolted out of there.
After dropping the camper off that morning, we said our goodbyes, and I made it back to Dallas in one piece with Brice and our extra passenger. It’s officially over three weeks since the Gathering has ended, and this is the final thing on my list before I can finally call the coverage complete.
As J said at the end of the Wizard of the Hood, “Hope you liked it!”
Before I officially wrap this up, there are some thank yous I need to make to those that made our Gathering all that much better!
- Jumpsteady – you schooled it once again…this time harder than ever! I know the sleepless nights that you had to endure were tough, but everybody is super appreciative of it!
- Amanda – aka my wifey – you are always at my side supporting this crazy hobby and lifestyle. I can’t thank you enough for understanding and backing me at all times! You take a pretty damn good picture too. ;-)
- PsykoScott – I can’t forget about you homie. From driving all the way both ways, to always being there to cover events…you truly do earn that press pass, and I’ll always be glad to have you as part of the team!
- Psychopathic Records – That includes Natalie, Will, Dean, Billy, Kuma, and any of the other behind the scenes ninjas there! Thanks so much for putting this event together!
- Rosco – For holding the news down at home…it allowed us to Gather even harder without being stuck in the trailer doing news posts! Much love!
- PunkRockJuggalo – I know it was your first Gathering, and hope to have you there helping us out for many MANY more to come! You may have felt like you didn’t school it this year, but you did homie. Looking forward to the next!
- Faygoluvers Forum Ninjas – Thank you for repping Faygoluvers to the fullest! I love that something that I helped to create has brought a bunch of fresh Juggalos together. Much love!
- Brice – It’s always fun hanging out, and I’m glad we got to do so more than last year! Hopefully we have many more road trips ahead of us!
- Chad Carsten – you were in grind mode the entire time! Always looking for the next interview and opportunity to seize! You’re a HUGE part of Faygoluvers, and I’m so happy to have you as part of the team!
- Rachel Paul – Between the paintings, the Psypher, the new album, your help with the raffle, and all of the people you made smile at the tarot tent, you’re 100% the shit! Keep doing you!!
- Rude Boy – I feel like we grow closer every time we meet up. It’s always so good to see you homie, and I’ll catch you in the D!
- Photo Pit Ninjas – I’m not gonna name you all…this thing is like 28,000+ words long. You know who you are, and you’re all awesome! I’ll be happy to share that pit with you anytime!
- Rachelette and the Info Tent crew – I’m not sure who all helped with keeping the FLH Hoverboard raffle, but thank you SO MUCH for helping raise even more money in support of Joe to help get the use of his legs back! I know he appreciates it too!
- Bluntman – I thanked you earlier, but want to make sure that you know how much I appreciate you offering to sell my Faygoluvers stuff with no expectations of anything in return. You’re the shit!!
- The Juggalo Family – It never ceases to amaze me at what an awesome group of individuals everyone is. I mean is there anyone on the planet that is as fresh as Juggalos? Much love to all who showed love this year and had as good of a time as I did!
- The Artists – Everyone from the main stage performers (ICP, Twiztid, Tech, Hopsin, etc) to Pendum stage ninjas, to everyone in between….you all seemed to have your sets on lock, and hopefully went home with some new fans. Much MUCH love for continuing to come out and rock with the Juggalo Family!
- Cannibal – This goes without saying. The whole Gathering is dedicated to the memory of this hero. RIP homie.
- Homer Bucket – If you go to a Gathering, whether you have an RV or not, get you a big ass Homer bucket from Home Depot with a toilet lid that snaps onto it. Line that bitch with a trash bag, and it’s 100X better than crapping in a port-a-potty. You can thank me later.