A Juggalo's Three 6 Mafia Torrenting Gave a Bar 500 Copyright Violations
We spoke to Scott Bell about how Insane Clown Posse fans may have caused "the CBGBs of the Midwest" to receive a box full of DMCA notices.
Original photo by Frazer Harrison for Getty Images
Three 6 Mafia are the greatest rap group of all time, though someone who attended a juggalo Valentine's show at Mac's Bar in Lansing, Michigan may have felt the need to celebrate them in a chaotic and damaging way. The venerable music venue received 500 DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) notices last week (essentially just cease-and-desist letters) after an unknown patron downloaded Three 6's full discography on the bar's Wi-Fi. The too-good-to-be-true tweet that broke this news is below.
The tweet is by Scott Bell, talent buyer for Mac's and tour manager for Scranton punks The Menzingers. Speaking to Noisey, Bell describes coming home from tour managing in Europe to "this big white box. I was like, 'oh did Comcast send us a new router?' No, they sent us 500 pages of the same DMCA notice." Bell notes that the incident happened during a local event for juggalos, which he says isn't all that weird of an occurrence. "The whole hipster obsession with Insane Clown Posse is not so much of a fad in Michigan," he says, "it’s just another brand of music." We rang up Bell from Lansing to get the full story on what exactly went down and how exactly juggalos were involved.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
So, how did this all start?
Well, it starts with the package coming in on Thursday. Mac’s Bar is a dive bar that’s been around since the 60s as a music venue. For me, it’s the CBGBs of the Midwest. It’s kind of a shithole but a lot of great bands have played there and my company books a lot of great shows there. Macklemore played to 70 people there. Mastodon, Agent Orange, Lil B, Local H. But yeah, we did some detective work and the date lines up with the same night that I had a local juggalo Valentine’s Day hip-hop show. Each violation occurred between 9:40 and 10:30 PM, so what appears to have happened is that somebody was torrenting or downloading from the Mac’s Wi-Fi.
I’m sorry, did you say “juggalo Valentine’s show”?
I mean... in Michigan, that’s a big genre for us. Every act that played was like, juggalo or horrorcore rap. There’s between eight or ten acts that played that night and the theme on the flyer was “be my Valentine, battle of the sexes,” stuff like that. Someone must have gotten the Wi-Fi password or the DJ got it from the bartender. Apparently they needed to download all of Three 6 Mafia’s discography because every single piece of paper is a Three 6 Mafia song, without exception. From there they also downloaded Young Buck's Straight Outta Cashville, which is also a classic.
So, you suspect it was a juggalo, but you don’t know which juggalo?
Yeah, I’m pretty positive I can nail it down. Probably our sound guy? I don’t know, cause they’d need a laptop. The thing is like, if they’d downloaded Young Buck's discography that would have only been about thirty songs. It’s because they chose to download 30 years of music, that’s what brought the red flag. A large spike in web traffic.
What would you say to the person who downloaded the songs, if you found them?
Honestly, I probably know them. [I’d say] that, since I changed the password, just don’t do it again because they’re gonna cut our internet, man! I mean, we’ve booked Three 6 Mafia, we’ve booked Juicy J before, we’ve booked Project Pat. Great guys, great music, but… Maybe I should offer [whoever downloaded the music] my Spotify password.
What is your personal favourite Three 6 song?
I wanna say “Hot Out Here for a Pimp,” Academy Award winner, you know? But “Poppin My Collar,” just for nostalgia’s sake. That was my hood banger that me and my friends would roll around to in our late high-school days.
Three 6 Mafia’s having a moment, too. ASAP Ferg and Future both quoted “Slob on My Knob” recently so it’s interesting that this comes out now.
Yeah, one of our tenants was just thinking if this was Three 6 Mafia’s team, actually. Would they be getting royalties for these songs?
You’ve heard Future’s verse on “King’s Dead,” right?
Not that one, no.
You should, it might be the rap verse of the year.
Ah, yeah. I was in Europe tour managing, so hip-hop and American politics are the two things I get cut off from. I have plenty of catching up to do.
What are you going to do now?
Well, we’re gonna change the password to the number “3” then the number “6” and be done with it. But we have changed the password. Hope I don’t hear from Comcast any further. From here on out I have to tell all the DJs we book not to download music. I think we might frame a couple of [the notices]. We might frame the “Slob on My Knob” one.
Are you going to keep booking juggalo events?
Phil is on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Noisey CA.