Juggalos, be real with me. Did some of you truly expect Violent J to come out with a solo album to rival the timeless Psychopathic classic Wizard of the Hood? No disrespect against J and ICP’s last decade of music, as there’s a lot about the second deck I prefer over the first, but the idea anyone could listen to and love Wizard of the Hood and think it can be replicated is insane (clown posse).

After months of silence from Violent J following the tragic passing of his girlfriend Laney Chantel (Rest in Peace), his long awaited third LP, Bloody Sunday, released on 17th February. I listened to it a couple of times before forming an opinion, and overall I feel it’s a very good album. Do I think it’s anywhere close to as good as Wizard of the Hood? Fuck no. Do I think that it’s better than his second album, The Shining? Fuck yes!

I loved The Shining but Bloody Sunday grows on me more with every subsequent listen. I’ve said it a hundred times before, I got into ICP for the wicked shit, and that’s exactly what we received with this album! The haunting opening before the title track eerily blows through your brain brings a fresh level of wickedry on every listen, and the bumping beat for Clown Blood has made it one of my favourite all time solo Violent J songs.

On most listens there are no tracks I skip, but I do have to be in the mood for the lengthy Horrendous Ways, and somewhat lighter track, The Stiff. I admit I couldn’t stand No Friends the first couple of times I listened to Bloody Sunday, but now it has grown on me to the point I wouldn’t dream of skipping it.

Another track I want to highlight as one of my new favourite Violent J solo’s is Something’s In My Room, another dark song though with traces of comedy scattered throughout. When it comes to storytelling songs, few rappers active today are as good as the Duke of the Wicked. The claustrophobic conditions detailed in the first verse of Horrendous Ways had my heart pounding in my chest from stress, which is not something a song has been able to do to me before.

In The Hole is another song I wasn’t sure of at first, but now I will sometimes play it by itself if the mood takes me. A Harrowing Time is a slow yet enjoyable song but appropriate for its late placement in the track list. It continues the current trend of ICP being astoundingly bad at choosing lead singles for their projects. While this did also double up as the Hallowicked 2022 single which feels fitting, surely Pitch Dark would have been a much better candidate!

Scatterbrain 2, The Hurter and Some Good Pxssy are all around good songs that I don’t really have anything to say about. I do think Some Good Pxssy and No Friends should have switched places in the track list as the latter has better ‘dark album finale’ vibes to it.

Overall, Bloody Sunday is currently my favourite album of 2023, with the title track, Clown Blood and Something’s In My Room being my favourite three songs on it. To repeat an earlier point, I like this album more overall than The Shining, predominantly because Bloody Sunday sticks to its theme more whereas The Shining feels like a collection of singles.

That’ll do it for me! To those who don’t know, Insane Clown Posse’s other member Shaggy 2 Dope is also releasing a solo project on 26th of May: Professor Shaggs & The Quest for the Ultimate Groove. Wacky name aside, I always look forward to anything new by these guys, so I cannot wait for this to drop! In the meantime, definitely check out Bloody Sunday if you haven’t already, and thanks for reading!

Written and edited by Alexx.