August 26, 2006

Michigan's Musical Connection: Joseph Bruce

Welcome to yet another episode in the continuing series, Michigan's Musical Connection. Here's how we play this game - this series we spotlight musicians, from all musical genre, that were either (1) born in Michigan, (2) raised in Michigan, or (3) are best known as being associated with the State of Michigan.

This entry is #7 and I have elected to jump to the other end of the musical spectrum from the last post. I admit this person represented a bit of an awareness challenge for me. I had actually been researching a different artist and found a thread that led me to Joseph Bruce.

I work in the entertainment business for a major record label distribution facility. We distribute the works of this performer with his band, Insane Clown Posse (ICP) and I never realized the band was rooted in Michigan. As I looked further into the background of the group, I found some pretty cool bits of information.

That's one main reason why I enjoy putting this series together. I am learning quite a bit about artists that are outside my usual area of interest or listening palette.

Wiki -
Joseph Bruce, (born April 28, 1972 in Wayne, Michigan) better known to the world as Violent J of the Insane Clown Posse. He is also the co-founder of the record label of the band, Psychopathic Records, with fellow ICP rapper Joseph Utsler (aka Shaggy 2 Dope) and their manager, Alex Abbiss. He is also younger brother to rapper Robert Bruce, (a.k.a. Jumpsteady). He has a son named Joseph Bruce II who was born in January 2005.

Shaggy 2 Dope mixes the music for the group, and because of this J sings the lead vocals on most songs. Plus, according to Shaggy, J spends more time in the studio, hence he has more vocals time.

He was offered a role in Prison Song as a security guard, but declined because he was not permitted to wear his clown make-up.

In his own movie Big Money Hustlas which he wrote, he had to pay $100,000 out of his own pocket to complete it. In all of his CDs he gives credit to "the Butterfly".

Michael Jackson was one of his favorite artists including Prince and Pearl Jam.

The feud between Eminem and Insane Clown Posse began in 1998 when Eminem approached them with a flyer to promote his "Slim Shady LP" release party which stated 'Insane Clown Posse might make an appearance!' Neither Violent J nor Shaggy knew or met Eminem at the time. Violent J declined the invasion and Eminem took it as an insult, then in a song on the Marshall Mathers LP album of Eminem's called them names which made ICP and Eminem enemies.

Bruce is also a professional wrestler. He started off in 1990 as an independent wrestler under the moniker Dropkick Daniels and Corporal Darrell Daniels. His first match ever was working for Al Snow, and it was also the same night where Rob Van Dam and Terry Brunk (Sabu) had their first matches.

Bruce then went on to wrestle in the WWF, ECW and a long stint in WCW with Shaggy, Vampiro and Raven as The Dead Pool. After WCW, he and Shaggy created Juggalo Championshit Wrestling, which was a huge success with "juggalos" (ICP's fanbase), and the backyard wrestling fanbase. Bruce remains great friends with many wrestlers including Sabu, RVD, and Vampiro, just to name a few.

Update 9/03/06: Short video clip of Joseph Bruce aka Violent J doing a Saturday Night Fever bit on the tour bus. Via YouTube.



Anonymous Maggie Danger said...

I fuckin ADORE Violent J and i love ICP. KUDOS!

April 20, 2007  

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