Yes, this is Insane Clown Posse, the counterargument to every point you ever tried making to someone about the artistic merits of rap music and it being based around intricate wordplay and rhyme schemes. They’re most likely rap music’s biggest guilty pleasure this side of Vanilla Ice. While we’re at it, let’s admit we all dig ‘Ice Ice Baby’ and that you simply can’t front on that song, okay? Good.
Now as far as guilty pleasures go ICP are a riot. If you’re not into frat boy, or better yet juvenile humor you’ll never be able to stomach their brand of music and you probably haven’t noticed that they’ve become better at rapping over the years. At least Violent J has but Shaggy 2 Dope knows his role and plays it to perfection.
The Tempest, released in 2007, is in my opinion the most fun album they’ve made in their entire career and the best pure pop-rap album in a minute. Make no mistake about it, The Tempest is ICP turning into a Kid ’n Play for the new millennium, with serial killer aspirations, and it’s a blast kickstepping your way through this one.
Producer Mike E. Clark is largely responsible for the record turning out as good as it did. It’s his work behind the boards that truly makes the record the rollercoaster ride to which the album title refers. Clark knows that you can never overdue old school scratching on the turntables and that dropping some meaty guitar bits in the mix just adds to the overall flavor. Leave some rooms for catchy hooks and sing-along choruses
With the beats behind them the clowns can do what they do best: entertain. Their approach on the mic might be basic but they never set out to be Aesop Rock or Royce da 5’9”, they just want to talk about parties, girls and killing sprees. It’s when they venture into more serious territory that their limitations become obvious. Luckily that doesn’t happen too often on The Tempest. At times they tend to overplay the poppy hooks card but there’s a always a dirty joke lurking just around the corner when that happens.
If you’re looking for a fun record that’s good for some laughs and takes you back to the glory days of the Fat Boys and Young MC, in spirit at least, The Tempest is well worth spending an hour with.
Recommended: The Party, Bitch I lied, Mexico City, If I was a serial killer