Last week I went to the Gathering Of The Juggalos, and honestly, it was far and away the best music festival I've ever been to. There was Faygo. There were titties. Some Juggalos took an entire car apart when they found a thief in their midst.
But no matter what was going on, the Juggalos were constantly shouting three phrases at each other: "Whoop Whoop!", "Piss Yourself!", and finally, "Fam-I-Ly! Fam-I-Ly!"
If you've seen Sean Dunne's masterstroke documentary "American Juggalo," you know that these dudes are all about family. It's all fam. Fam, fam, fam. But what the hell are these kids actually talking about? When I talk about family, I usually talk about how I feel vaguely uncomfortable. So this year at the Gathering, I asked a few young ninjas, including ICP's Violent J himself, what Juggalos talk about when they talk about family.
Robert Helen, United States Army, deployed in Afghanistan.
Hi Robert! What is family love?
Robert: That's a good one. It derives everything from community, helping out the old, young, kids, women, men… Anything it is to be able to be there supporting, to be there for one another, to help Juggalos when they're down. You always hear of Juggalos with problems, and this isn't just a chant. When someone says family, we all mean family. If you see a Juggalo on the ground, you pick that bitch up.
Is that pretty much exactly like it is in the army?
More than words can express. Absolutely. It's the same thing in the Army. If you've got a man down, you pick his ass up.
Michael Shriver, Juggalo.
So what's with this whole "family love" thing, anyway?
Michael: My definition is, well, all this. It's… well… Whoop whoop! [ten people say "whoop whoop" back] It's that!
Can you put it into words?
It's just a different environment. This is a different type of family from your home. This is just like friendly shit. I'm down two or three dollars, can I get some? Not too many other people would do that, feed one another, help one another. Even your own family, who knows. Like I can hug anyone here. If you try to hug some dude on the street, you'd probably get knocked out. But we don't judge each other. We don't care what you look like, we don't care where you're from. If I know a Juggalo in Ohio, I'm just like, whadup fam. You're family. Whoop whoop.
Violent J, Rapper.
What is family love?
Violent J: Juggalos chant family because that's the best way for them to show love, and say welcome, we accept you, you're one of us.
Why do you guys chant it to each other?
We chant it to each other because of unity. No one's gonna judge you, no one's gonna give a fuck if you're doing something different or crazy. There ain't one fight all weekend.
Rory O. Williams, Unemployed.
Yo Rory, What's your definition of family in 100 words or less?
Rory: To me? Or these fucking kids?
I dunno, to you.
The real family is the people who've been coming here for more than four years. Five years is the best. They're the kids who don't wear the merch, and they help each other out. That's the main thing. Like, if you need a bag of squibs, here's a bag of squibs. That shit is pretty rare. The family is who you're gonna be in the pit with.
Anything else to add?
Yes. If you see some kid fucking with your boy, you put him on the fucking floor.
Need more info on face-painted Faygo-swillers?
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