Otherworldly in its own way is the controversy that arose last week when the Disney company ordered its subsidiary "Hollywood Records" to recall an album by a Detroit white-rap duo called the Insane Clown Posse on the same day it went on sale, and then dropped the group from its roster.
Disney, which had spent a reported $1 million to buy the Clown's contract from Jive records, claimed it only realized at the last moment that the album, an apocalyptic opus called "The Great Milenko," was filled with very un-Disney-like sentiments.
Not every record store returned the album, though. 18,000 copies of it have been sold, enough to put it at number 63 on Monday's new "Billboard" pop chart.
Inevitably, Disney's actions sparked a flurry of offers from other major labels for the Clown's services. Disney would not talk about it, but Chris Connelly tracked down the Insane Clown Posse in Los Angeles this week, to get their side of the story.
CHRIS CONNELLY: Chris
Connelly on the streets of Los Angeles with the Insane Clown Posse angrily responding to Disney's decision to pull their record from stores nationwide just hours after its release.
VIOLENT J, Insane Clown Posse: Don't let Disney say that it slipped through their fingers because I handed in this album six months ago! Six months ago! You know what I'm talking about, Mickey!
SHAGGY 2 DOPE: Got the lyric sheets. Looked at 'em. Approved 'em. Took the record out. Took it off the shelves.
VIOLENT J: Hollywood Records is not at fault here. The entire staff was down with the problem. They bought us off jive. Then said record this record. So we recorded this super album. Alice Cooper, Slash, Steve Jones, I.C.P. -- everybody that ever resembled controversy is on "The Great Milenko."
CONNELLY: So, do you think your lyrics are offensive?
VIOLENT J: I could explain every lyric, what it is. Everybody that dies on our record, everybody we kill is either a racist,
bigot, or they're somebody that beats their wife, or they're a drunk or something. That's who we kill. We're like vigilante super heroes. But I don't justify my lyrics. We are just plain fun.
CONNELLY: You said before they were very specific about the changes they wanted made the first time you gave them the lyrics. How specific?
VIOLENT J: I would say something like "I shot him in the face" and they would say (shakes a finger) "Dbb. Dbb. Dbb. You can't do that." So I would say "I peeled his cap back with my nine." And they would say (gives a thumbs up), "Now that's a go."
CONNELLY: Given the considerable amount of publicity the Insane Clown Posse has reaped as a result of Disney's decision to pull their record, you might think that this is the greatest thing to ever happen to this midwest band. But the band members themselves say they are hurt and angered by Disney's decision.
VIOLENT J: We will sell more records, but to sit in the studio for a year and
a half and honestly give everything you have inside to make the greatest record you ever did and to have it yanked off the store after six hours is a pretty emotionally damaging thing.
The new Beatles: Insane Clown Posse! The group's lawyer says Disney wants a substantial sum of money to release the master tapes of "The Great Milenko" and that the group may sue Disney for breach of contract.