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Violent J of Insane Clown Posse Explains the Remarkable Song ‘Miracles’

Insane Clown Posse get it — the Detroit rap group is aware that people have been laughing at the video for "Miracles," their earnest new single about the various wonders of life. With its mystical CG imagery and aggressive shout-outs to rainbows, the pyramids, giraffes, and magnets ("how do they work?"), "Miracles" was instant fodder for online ridicule and a Saturday Night Live parody. But ICP isn't letting the hate get to them. Speaking over the phone from Detroit, Violent J said he mostly feels let down that people can't recognize all the magic around us. He also discussed the Posse's beefs with Eminem and Martin Bashir.

Everyone's talking about "Miracles." What's the story behind the song and concept?
People that have listened to us for a while know that we've always included one, sometimes three, deep, meaningful songs on our records. So the style itself isn't anything new for ICP, it's just the first time we ever made a video for one. The concept is about appreciating everything in this world. It's not about God; it's not about religion; it's not 100 percent about science, even. These things are just beautiful things; they're like miracles.

How do you feel about some of the hate you've been getting for it?
I think that hate maybe comes from our misunderstanding of the word "miracles." I've always thought a miracle was something awesome, like a great happening or an awesome event. And I guess it really means something that cannot be scientifically explained. So maybe we were a little loose with the word, 'cause everyone seems to pick on the fact that a lot of the things we mention are not, in fact, miracles. But they're totally missing the point of the song: It's just about appreciating those things. For example, a long-necked giraffe. A giraffe may not actually be a miracle according to the books, but I took my daughter and my son to the zoo last fall and we fed a giraffe. Let me tell you something — a giraffe is a fucking miracle. If you've never stood next to a fucking yellow-ass giraffe with a long neck, looking like a fucking dinosaur, it's just an amazing sight. To me, all the negative comments people say about the "Miracles" video, it doesn't make us angry because we've always been the most hated band in the world. But it makes me sad that people walk around unable to appreciate that shit. It makes me feel sorry for them.

Did you see Saturday Night Live parody?
That was funny. I can appreciate that. Seeing two clowns rap about outer space and shit, and floating around what looks like a bunch of screen savers or something. I can appreciate how someone who isn't familiar with the band could find it funny. I get it. But for people who know the band, I think [our] song is cool. It's talking about things you can appreciate on this Earth. Let's say there's no God. Let's say nature put us on this Earth. It's still incredible. We could have been born inside of a rock, eating algae off the fucking walls. But instead we were born on this incredible planet, with all its secrets and mysteries. We can go anywhere we want. We can go underwater. We can go in the air. If you stop, open your eyes and look around, there's just a lot of cool shit here, man. Like rainbows. I know it's not a "miracle." It can be explained. But when you see an awesome rainbow, who doesn't point it out and say, "look at the rainbow." It's a beam of color stretching across the sky.

You guys were interviewed on Nightline last month. What are your thoughts on how the piece turned out?
I hated how it turned out. It's like, here's this respectable, American journalism show. You're supposed to trust what they say. But they were lying on us. With the editing, they even took my response from one question and put it to another question. I took Martin Bashir on the bus, I introduced him to my family, we fully explained to him that we're entertainers, we're not really murderers. We sat down with him for an hour that day, and I have a good feeling that we changed his mind about the whole thing. But even if we did, they were still going to paint that picture. It was scary, because if Nightline will lie, it seems like everybody will.

Insane Clown Posse had beef with Eminem a few years ago. Was there ever a reconciliation? 
There was, before Eminem's hype man Proof passed away. He reached out to us. That was really, really, really fucking cool. I guess Proof had wanted to kill all the beef they had with everybody, including us. And ICP's so different, they could have just said "fuck them," but Proof included us. So in private, in Detroit, we had this bowling match. It was ICP versus D12. Eminem wasn't there, but Proof and them were there, and then we went out hanging and drinking that night. We never spoke to Eminem, we never officially shook his hand or squashed the beef, but we did so through Proof. I don't think we're Eminem's favorite band, and we're definitely not his favorite rapper. If I heard he was down the street buying ice cream, I'm not gonna run down there to see him, but there's no beef.

Photo: Courtesy of ICP