Insane Clown Posse’s Sixth Jokers Card “The Wraith: Shangri-La” is over 20 years Old! [Editorial]

Over twenty years ago, it was raining diamonds across the Juggalo world and the underground hip-hop scene alike. As Insane Clown Posse released the highly anticipated sixth Jokers Card  “The Wraith: Shangri-La” on Tuesday, November 5th, 2002!  Changing the Dark Carnival mythology forever. As the influential album  revealed in its final track, “Thy Unveiling”, that the Dark Carnival was in fact God!

Dubbed the “We’re Not Sorry That We Tricked You” LP,  “The Wraith: Shangri-La” record respectfully debuted at number 15 in the Billboard top 200 charts. While sometime in 2010, the  album was eligible to be certified Gold  by the Recording Industry Association of America! Where were you when Insane Clown Posse fully released  “The Wraith: Shangri-La”? What’s your personal favorite track from the classic 2002 LP? Leave your thoughts below! 

Here’s a guest editorial for“The Wraith: Shangri-La” 20th anniversary written yesterday  by In The Pit Photography:

“On this day twenty years ago, Insane Clown Posse released The Wraith: Shangri-La
The Wraith: Shangri-La is the eighth studio album by Insane Clown Posse, released on November 5th 2002, by Psychopathic records. Recording sessions for the album took place in 2002 at multiple recording studios throughout the United States. The album is the first of two albums representing the sixth Joker’s Card in the group’s Dark Carnival mythology.”
“The album was the first Insane Clown Posse album that producer Mike E. Clark did not contribute to. It features guest appearances by JUMPSTEADY , ABK – Anybody Killa , Zug Izland , Blaze Ya Dead Homie , Twiztid and Esham. The Wraith: Shangri-La was released in two different versions as well as in DVD-Audio format. It is the 6th Joker Card in the first deck, and the group’s 18th overall release.
Following a dream by Violent J, in which “spirits in a traveling carnival appeared to him,” Insane Clown Posse created the mythology of the Dark Carnival in 1991. The Carnival, a metaphoric limbo in which the lives of the dead await to be judged, was planned to be elaborated through a series of stories called Joker’s Cards, each of which offers a specific lesson designed to change the “evil ways” of listeners before “the end consumes us all.” The group originally planned six Joker’s Cards to be released, with the final, “The Wraith”, being two separate albums.
At the time of the release of the fifth Joker’s Card, Insane Clown Posse was signed to Island Records. The group did not want to release the sixth Joker’s Card on the label, but were contractually obligated for two more albums. As a result, they released the double album Bizaar and Bizzar, then left the label. Upon returning to their own label, Psychopathic Records, the duo embarked on the Hatchet Rising Tour in 2001. They returned that November and attempted to begin work on the sixth Joker’s Card. Unable to create the character, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope went into seclusion to free their minds. The two agreed that their next appearance would be in the following July at the 2002 Gathering of the Juggalos, where they would reveal the Card.
With his free time, J began jogging daily. The exercise helped clear his mind and allow him to focus on the sixth Joker’s Card. He and Shaggy brainstormed on the telephone regularly, and the two created the character of the Wraith. In the end, J says, the group knew what the sixth Joker’s Card would be because they’ve “said it all along. DEATH, and what’s after that? Heaven and Hell. One for the true, Shangri-La, and one for the rest, Hell’s Pit.” The name of the Card, The Wraith, was another name for death itself.”
“In 2001, Insane Clown Posse built its own studio called “The Lotus Pod” in Detroit, Michigan. After brainstorming in seclusion about the album, the group traveled to recording studios across the United States to produce The Wraith: Shangri-La. They began writing and recording in Dallas, Texas along with Zug Izland and producer Mike Puwal, who offered Insane Clown Posse a sound Violent J described as being more pop-oriented. One night in Dallas, J was approached by a fan. The fan informed him that a woman that he had slept with in the past had died, but that she had always cherished the night the two spent together. Violent J wrote the song “Welcome to the Show” shortly afterward and made reference to the woman in the lyrics.
After recording several songs in Dallas, Insane Clown Posse and Puwal left and headed to a studio in Las Vegas, Nevada. The song “Hell’s Forecast” was written and inspired by Las Vegas’ hot desert sun. Next, the group traveled to a studio located outside of Nashville, Tennessee. They recorded alongside Anybody Killa and studio band member Rich “Legz Diamond” Murrell. Finally, the group headed home to Detroit. They finished recording at The Lotus Pod, and Puwal finalized the album shortly after. A surround sound mix of the album was prepared by Nathaniel Kunkel and Mike Puwal.”
“The image of The Wraith: Shangri-La was first shown at the 2002 Gathering of the Juggalos. Insane Clown Posse later released The Wraith: Shangri-La Sampler. The four track sampler concentrated on the group’s history and contained a seminar that they held at the 2002 event. On November 4, 2002, the day before the release of The Wraith: Shangri-La, 10 release parties were held by Psychopathic Records nationwide. The next day, eight more release parties were held nationwide. Hosts of the parties included Twiztid, Anybody Killa, Juggalo Championshit Wrestling wrestlers Rude Boy and Sabu, and Insane Clown Posse.”
“The Wraith: Shangri-La was released in two compact disc editions, one with a bonus DVD featuring a seminar from the 2002 Gathering of the Juggalos, and the other featuring a live concert performance. The album was also released on DVD-Audio format with the surround sound mix. In 2003, Insane Clown Posse went on the 75-date Shangri-La World Tour, where the group performed across the United States, Australia and Europe.
The Wraith: Shangri-La was such a huge release for Insane Clown Posse and their fanbase. But it also drew a lot of criticism because the album’s final track, “Thy Unveiling”, revealed that the hidden message of their music was always to follow God and make it to Heaven. Some critics and fans were not pleased with ending of the Dark Carnival mythology.
In September 2003, Insane Clown Posse was voted the worst band of any musical genre in Blender, with The Wraith: Shangri-La named as the group’s worst album. Despite describing Insane Clown Posse as “imbecilic white rappers”, the magazine complimented the album for its “charming, good-natured idiocy.”
The image of the Wraith from the Shangri-La album cover was used on a flight test patch for the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works’ Black Ops Desert Prowler program. The patch features the Wraith, with added red eyes, surrounded by six stars with the words “Desert Prowler, Alone and on the Prowl.”
The Wraith: Shangri-La debuted at number 15 on the Billboard charts, and in 2010, became eligible for gold certification by the The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).”

from Faygoluvers


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