It’s late. Rainbows of 24 ounce Faygo and the dim glow of the gas station cooler are my only friends. Is today a Redpop kinda night, or a Rock & Rye kinda night? Should I drown my sorrows in Ohana Lemonade, or Root Beer? Aw, fuck it, I’ll try Moon Mist Blue.
But wouldn’t you know it? I dropped it, and fizz exploded out of the bottle and onto the cool vinyl floor. It reminded me of… what was it? Memories of makeup, men, and excessive cussing flashed in my mind.
“Get some Faygo, get some Faygo, get some Faygo!”
Oh yes! I.C.P. – the Insane Clown Posse, Detroit’s number one ambassadors of Faygo, face paint, juggalohood, and violent rap. Sadistic gangster rappers done up as clowns? Why the hell not?
Of course, it’s easy to mock I.C.P. With brilliant couplets like “If I was fat bitch’s thong, I’d be like ‘hell nah’/If was a hotty’s thong, I’d be like ‘ahh'”, and a clothing line dedicated to I.C.P. hockey and football jerseys, I get it. It ain’t Shakespeare, and it isn’t exactly high art.
But there’s a raw, visceral quality to I.C.P. It’s cut up hot dogs in ramen noodles, cheap soda, and old slapstick cartoons. It’s a raging alcoholic dad or a mom bringing a different guy home to the trailer every night. It’s the kids at school making fun of you because your clothes don’t fit. Etc.
Take those scenes, put it in a blender with a shot of alcohol, a pinch of weed, and an ever-present hatchet, and you’ve got the dark sugar buzz of I.C.P. You can hate it – just realize what you’re hating. It’s the sound of a good segment of America.
And Faygo, regrettably, is one of the I.C.P.’s many haters. The “family-friendly” company has turned its nose to I.C.P. at every opportunity, even though the band has probably done more to raise the profile of the soda company than its marketing department ever could. Not only does the band rap about Faygo – every concert, they cart in hundreds of dollars’ worth of Faygo to spray the audience with.
It’s a time-honored spectacle: at some predetermined point during the show, the group’s stereotypically creepy clown sidekicks run on stage and dump buckets of Faygo on the expecting crowd of self-styled “juggaloes” as a demented calliope organ and repetitive bass play to sickeningly syrupy high-pitched “get some Faygo” chant. 2 liters of Faygo fly across the room. In an instant, the rancid smell of sweat, beer, and puke gives way to the scent of a candy factory.
It’s… it’s… almost heaven.
I grabbed another bottle of Moon Mist Blue and hastily paid for the drink before the clerk could notice the growing mess in back. I took a swig; the tart but indefinable flavor of “blue raspberry” hit my tongue with a numbing clarity. Moon Mist is supposed to be Faygo’s version of Mountain Dew, but the similarities stop after the color and citrusy intent of the discount beverage.
Remember, good artists imitate but never copy.