So we found out today that Twiztid has officially left Psychopathic Records. The reason why is unknown at this time. When I heard the news I was not totally surprised yet completely shocked. I don't know how it is for you guys but for me I had always assumed that ICP would retire and turn the reigns of the company over to Jaime and Paul. Now I really don't know what to think.
A few years ago I saw a shift at Psychopathic Records. Alex retired and Billy was tasked to take over. Since this time I have noticed several things change with the label and the way "business" is being done. While Alex was in charge the focus was on Family. Meaning that the ticket prices for shows, merch, the Gathering, etc were all kept at a relatively reasonable cost so more Juggalos could afford to take part in these live events. Examples of taking care of the Family are:
-$100 to go to the Gathering. Reasonable cost includes campsite and free swag.
-All albums had 1 version. Any added tracks would be a free giveaway with your order or made into another complete album and sold for cheap.
-Outside venues artists would occasionally hang our with the fans. No $100 VIP which didn't include a ticket for the show necessary.
-Merch at Hatchetgear was expensive but not as expensive as now.
Since Billy has taken over we have seen a shift away from Family and the focus move toward profit. Examples of this include:
-The Gathering now costs $150+ depending on if you want a good campsite or not. Swag bag is tiny and includes ads for albums coming out and a charm, that's it!
-When ICP releases an album they make at least 3 versions with the only difference being 1 or 2 tracks added to the end. They know the fans will buy all 3 and are just taking advantage of that fact.
-No more hanging out for free. Now you pay $100 for an hour of time and that price does not include a ticket for the show. You might get to hang out for an hour but be lucky to even meet any artist based on how many people show up.
-Hatchetgear is now a luxury item. No longer can a scrub save up for a few months and get a dope jersey, now it's like saving a months rent to get anything. And on top of that the quality has greatly declined.
You might be asking why I am bringing this up, well I firmly believe these changes have led to Twiztid leaving Psychopathic Records. They have always been more concerned with the fans than any artist on the label. They have always taken time out to sign autographs, tell jokes, and general be a face for the company. It was said to me not long ago "To even talk to Violent J is like talking to a mob boss. No one gets close to him unless he calls em." That really made me start to listen to what was being said by former artists, friends of artists, and other who have dealt with Psychopathic Records. The theme of the opinions were all similar:
Joe Bruce micro-manages everything and nothing get done, recorded, etc without his approval.
Joe Bruce is an asshole and tough to deal with.
Now I have no direct knowledge of this but if a majority of people who deal with the label have the same opinion something must be true in it. I have always liked ICP and their music but felt they were making Twiztid play second fiddle. Take Abominationz vs Mighty Death Pop. TMDP had a single, music video, and tons and tons of promo material months before the release. Abominationz had a few small promos, word of mouth and Twiztid self promoting. I firmly believe that Abominationz was the superior album by far and deserved more promotion and a much bigger tour set up. The same thing happened with W.I.C.K.E.D. Twiztid years ago became the better of the two groups and showed that the student has surpassed the master. Why then would ICP not take a back seat and let Twiztid shine? I can only guess Ego. They have to be the biggest and most promoted group, in their eyes. Twiztid has earned this opportunity to shine.
So when the news came out today I sat for an hour thinking about how I feel. Here is what I decided:
-Twiztid deserves a chance to shine and be more heavily promoted.
-If ICP and Psychopathic do nothing to change the course, they will be closing their doors within 5 years. They just lost one of the biggest money making groups. The other side is that Twiztid makes up a huge part of Dark Lotus and Psychopathic Rydas and those two groups can no longer exist either.
-Blaze will surely follow Twiztid's lead. They are long time homies and I fully expect Blaze will leave the hatchet as well.
-I will support both Twiztid and Psychopathic records. They both hold a special place in my life and I will not choose sides.
-The shape of the underground has shifted and I am excited to see what is to come.
Family I don't know what side you fall on, but I would hope you show support for both groups. They have both done a lot to earn and keep our respects. Lets not let this event shatter our Family. We all need to stand tall in the face of whatever is coming and bond together. I will wear the hatchet til the day I die with pride.