With the eventual release of Woh the Weeping Weirdo, the era of Insane Clown Posse’s ‘Yum Yum Bedlam’ has drawn to a divisive but decidedly final close. Spanning one full length album and four EP’s, many have called the main event of the era, the eleventh Joker’s Card itself, a return to form for the clowns and the second deck entry most reminiscent of the legendary first six. Of course, ‘many’ have said that about nigh on all of the second deck cards (with the robust exception of the Marvellous Missing Link), but on this occasion I do agree that the combination of sounds and themes has brought us back, particularly on the more upbeat tracks, to those found on The Wraith: Shangri-La.
To draw the Bedlam saga to a close, and because I love ranking things, here is how I rank the Yum Yum Flower herself, along with her three seedlings and Lure.
5) Woh The Warrior
Favourite track – Banshee
‘Woh the Warrior’? Alexx you’ve got the title wrong already you confused fuck! Didn’t you refer to it as Woh the Weeping Weirdo just two paragraphs ago?
Bizarrely I would agree with you against myself, but as ‘the Weeping Weirdo’ is never mentioned once across all five projects, but ‘Woh the Warrior’ is in the introductory track for the EP, it sounds like Woh has been through a hasty name change late in production. I have some speculation for the reason behind the change, but that’s an article for another time.
In short, the most recent and final addition to the Yum Yum mythos is rather weak. Mysteriously delayed for eight months and abruptly dropped on the 5th of July for the beginning of 2023’s Gathering of the Juggalos, the songs on this EP are a clear indication the clowns are very much done with this era and want to get on with future projects.
It took until my third listen (as this EP is thankfully short) for me to be able to name a single track I liked, and even then it’s far from as good as three quarters of the other songs from the Yum Yum Bedlam projects. All in all, not great without being awful. I doubt I’ll still be thinking about it a week from now. Next!
4) Wicked Vic
Favourite track – Mutilator
The gap in quality between Woh the Whatever and Wicked Vic is significant. The most important reason I find for this is how evident it is that J and Shaggy sound like they’re having fun with production of the first seedling. ‘To honour the arrival of little Wicked Vic *clown horn* we about to CLOWN that bitchass’ being the opening line makes me smile every time.
The answer to whether I prefer Kuma’s remix of Ain’t No Time over the original changes regularly, and the rest of the EP feels fun and fresh on every listen. I’ve never been overly fond of Hyde Park Pedaler, which seems to be a common pick for most Juggalo’s favourite song off Wicked Vic, so what the fuck do I know I guess.
Similarly to my favourite track off every Bedlam record (except Woh), the track I loved the most is one I kept coming back to and playing multiple times a day, every day, for weeks after first hearing the EP. With all the Juggalo music regularly releasing over the last few years, that is in itself quite a feat.
3) Yum Yum’s Lure
Favourite track – Afraid of Life
I don’t understand all the backlash this EP seemed to attract at release, as I found the eight tracks on it varied wildly in quality throughout. The opening track Bewitching did a good job in setting up the lore of the lure and the Yum Yum Flower, but musically as the first track introducing a five record set for a Joker’s Card, it was an underwhelming beginning.
The following three tracks, Loyalty, Afraid of Life and Smell of Rain more than made up for this however, and form a much stronger opening to the eleventh Joker’s Card music. I’m not at all keen on the album ending with a song / advert for a product which has never materialised, but overall the songs which are trying to be songs on Yum Yum’s Lure do manage to stick the landing. Afraid of Life was a clear standout to me, particularly because it reused the lyrical flow from the title track of the Missing Link: Lost, one of my favourite songs from that era.
2) Pug Ugly
Favourite track – Abbracadabbra
It was a genuinely difficult decision for me to put Pug Ugly in second place, as to me this is definitely the strongest EP of the entire second deck. The track list is absolutely stacked with bangers, and builds tremendously on what I said about Wicked Vic that ICP are clearly having so much fun in the production of these tracks.
The return of the legendary unofficial third member of ICP, Mike E. Clarke, producing most of the EP is absolutely what sets it ahead of the pack for quality across the era of Bedlam.
While I confess I’m not hugely into Mike P’s remix of Queens, though to be fair I’m not that into the original version anyway, I never skip any of the other six tracks contained within the mighty Pug Ugly. If this EP had been longer with more Mike E. Clarke production I would be able to put it comfortably into my top three albums of the second deck. I only hope he sticks around to produce some tracks for the sixth Joker’s Card!
1) Yum Yum Bedlam
Favourite track – The Drunk & The Addict
Of course the Joker’s Card itself is going to top the ranking here, though I have to confess it is only just. ICP’s choice to make Wretched, arguably the darkest song of the entire era, the lead single was pretty misleading as it set most of us up for expecting an album stuffed to the gills with the wicked shit. While that’s not what we ended up receiving, I have really enjoyed the majority of the lighter songs on offer off this record. Here Comes The Carnival and the original Something To See are among the best ever upbeat tracks by the clowns, and The Drunk and the Addict immediately became a formidable contender to be in my top five favourite second deck songs the instant I first heard it (despite the issue I’ll get into later).
The album is far from perfect however, with more than a couple notable gripes I have with the album as a package deal. I skip Insomnia and Heart and Soul on most listens, with the latter really feeling like a phoned in cover that just makes my brain shut down and zone out whenever it comes on.
I complained about them in my review back when the album first dropped, and I still fucking hate the producer tags being left in. ShaggytheAirheadonthebeat being played both at the beginning and in the MIDDLE of Insomnia does this already slow song no favours, but their inclusion throughout the rest of the album is a mind-meltingly bad design choice.
I have heard Juggalos say that ICP addressed this during one of their livestreams, stating it was their wish for the tags to stay in, and while I can find no evidence of this myself, that still doesn’t excuse it. The removal of the tag for the Clown Drippin’ music video doesn’t reflect this same level of confidence if the above statement ever truly happened.
Overall, Yum Yum Bedlam is a fairly strong album, with as many forever memorable tracks as forgettable ones. I enjoy every listen of this record, and the assortment of lyrical themes throughout ranging from the pitch darkness of Wretched and the bright and popping Carnival of Lights are as ever a treat for the ears.
It is very likely that ICP will be unveiling the highly anticipated sixth Joker’s Card of the second deck at this year’s Hallowicked on 31st October, and I could not be more excited. Just keep the tags out of this one, okay?
Do you agree with my ranking? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be back soon with more Insane Clown Posse content, so thanks for reading.
Written and edited by Alexx.