How Howard Stern Faked a Beef Between Slipknot and Insane Clown Posse to Get Them on His Show

Bill Norton, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Stuart Sevastos, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons Amaury Laporte, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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If you know much about Slipknot or Insane Clown Posse, you are well aware of each group’s propensity for feuds.

The former have engaged in public squabbles with everyone from Mushroomhead and GWAR to Machine Gun Kelly and Imagine Dragons while the latter have straight up dropkicked Fred Durst and gone to verbal war with one of the most formidable wordsmiths in modern history, fellow Detroit rapper Eminem. 

Given their public personas, would anyone be surprised to hear a rumor that Slipknot and ICP hate each other? Well, they don’t – and they likely never will. However, the fact that Slipknot were totally down with the clown and Insane Clown Posse had never even heard of the Nine didn’t stop record companies and Howard Stern from trying to stir up trouble between the two midwestern carnivals in 1999.

On the strength of their self-titled debut album and a strong performance on the second stage at Ozzfest, Slipknot were just beginning to generate mainstream buzz right before the turn of the century. At the same time, Insane Clown Posse had become lords of their own corner of the underground, with their 1997 album, The Great Milenko, selling nearly platinum numbers.

As part of a classic episode of The Howard Stern Show, the host invited bands who had problems with ICP to the studio in order to confront the Clowns in person. Coal Chamber, who had been kicked off of a support tour opening for Insane Clown Posse due to poor sales, were first up. After they said their peace, it was time for Slipknot to let their voice be heard. 

Fittingly, the first member of the Nine to speak was Shawn “Clown” Crahan, who said: “First of all, thanks for making us wait for fucking ever.”

As would quickly be revealed, ICP had never heard of Slipknot before. When the host asked them why they were angry with the Detroit rappers, Joey Jordison (who was riding on Clown’s shoulders, of course) explained, “We have nothing but respect for Insane Clown Posse. When you said we were mad at them, I think you heard wrong.”

All was immediately right with the world. ICP might not have been aware of Slipknot up to that point, but they sure dug their vibe. “I’ll tell you one thing, though,” said Violent J. “This band looks fresh as hell. Now that’s what I’m talking about. That’s entertainment!”

Seeing that Howard was visibly annoyed by the setup, producer KC Armstrong said: “This is a totally different thing that I’m hearing now. I heard that [Slipknot] hated [ICP] and they wanted to come yell at them. They were all upset and everything like that. This is totally new to me.”

“I don’t know who would have started that one,” said Jordison. “I think it’s probably a ploy to get us, basically, on this show. That’s what I think it was.”

Check out the whole exchange below: