When Insane Clown Posse (ICP) emerged from the darkness surrounding Detroit’s underground music scene in the early 90s, the world had yet to imagine the impact that the hardcore hip-hop style spawned by these two artists — Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope — would bring to bear on mainstream music. Shunned by mainstream music players like MTV and castigated in the media, banned from radio airwaves and yanked from the shelves of “conventional” retail outlets, ICP was dealt a hand that seemed destined for swift and certain failure. Instead, the duo amassed a following of millions of fans endearingly called “Juggalos” and smashed through the ceiling of music industry expectation.
Hailing from north of the ATL, in the suburbs of Gwinnett County, Georgia, comes Southern rapper Jonathan McCollum, aka Rittz. With a quick, sharp tongue and dexterous rhymes, McCollum had a few close calls in the music industry, winning a battle contest on Hot 107.9, and nearly following in the career path of Eminem, but unfortunately, he was unable to lock down a record deal due to disputes in management and contract deals. Soured by the experience, and just on the verge of giving up rap entirely, Rittz was recruited by Yelawolf to guest on "Box Chevy" from the 2010 album Trunk Musik 0-60. More collaborations followed, and so did two mixtapes, 2011's White Jesus and 2012's White Jesus: Revival. Strange Music signed the rapper late that year, and released Rittz's studio debut, The Life and Times of Jonny Valiant, in 2013.