I Need to Understand More About This Music Band...

Updated on January 11, 2010
J.C. asks from Round Rock, TX
15 answers

The issue is my little 12 year old sister listening to Insane Clown Posse (ICP) and telling me about her favorite songs that supposedly she has permission to buy and listen to. Which according to my research, are incredibly violent and gory. Just so I know I am not totally off my rocker, there are no "kid friendly" versions of the songs this group puts out, right? Songs like My Axe and To Catch a Predator. You can see lyrics here: http://www.metrolyrics.com/to-catch-a-predator-lyrics-ins....

Am I over-worrying this? Because at the moment I'm really kind of shocked at the lyrics. This is not like mom to let her listen to this. But sometimes when I say things, mom gets mad. However, to note - I am my sister's guardian should my mother die of the cancer she has. We've had a rocky roller-coaster of is mom dying or not. I'm always in a weird place of her wanting me to help her parent my sister, and other times not. I do not take this personally. It is so hard on all of us knowing that mom may not see sis grow up. And I know my sis is struggling to deal with all this inside. I have no desire to "get my sis in trouble" or tell my mom what to do. At the same time, mom knows my sis is hiding things from her and hopes I'll catch things she can't while she's so sick. Mom's always relied on me as the oldest to help with my syblings and it's a place I find rather uncomfortable. I myself am fairly flexible about music with my kids, but I do not let them listen to explicit lyrics. Though I wouldn't "let" my kids listen to some of Lady Gaga's explicit work, knowing my sister has did not alarm me and make me think it's ruining her. Nor would I "freak" out if I found out my kids were. But reading the lyrics of the above two leave me worried about what she's going through inside and knowing my sis is sneaking on the internet to talk to strangers. From an adult standpoint, I see that as much as I do not enjoy horror movies, others do and it does not make them bad or violent. I cannot think that somehow music is entirely different. But there is the aspect of emotional maturity that comes into play at this age. I want to be a good sister, not the sister who gets her in trouble. It's my preference to keep this between sis and me. That is why I ask, help me understand the music, so maybe I can see from her point of view.

Please, I need to hear from fans and folks knowledgeable about the band too. I want to feel certain there is no way I am mis-understanding anything before I try to step in. I always wished I had an older sibling to be there, understand me and help me with the struggles I went through growing up. And sometimes I felt abandoned and alone. My sister has voiced similar feelings already. So I can't ignore it completely. I need to have my facts straight and understand sides so I can be there for her without alienating her. I am not her mother - I'm her big sister and she needs that relationship.

Thanks in advance.

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answers from Houston on

Hi J.-

When I was younger I listened to many bands that my parents probably would have been shocked to hear. To be honest I probably would have been embarassed to listen to the bands with them. But I was a straight A student, never got into any trouble and was very trustworthy. We never know what would have been if things had been different...perhaps if my parents had checked up on my music regularly I would have simply followed their rules, not listened to the music, and I would have still been a "good kid" and everything would have turned out the same. OR I would have felt that they didn't trust me, I had to sneak around behind their back, and I might have rebelled more. It's a tough balancing act and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do it when my children are approaching the teenage years.

I guess I feel that as long as your sister isn't changing for the worse since listening to this music and it just seems to be a phase use it as a opportunity to discuss what she is hearing. There are some things mentioned in their songs (domestic violence, drugs, etc) that actually could provide a starting point for a conversation about this as she gets closer to dating and being exposed to these things.
Of course you should give her your opinion on the music without being judgemental. Tell her you don't like the music because of ......... It could be that she will respect your opinion enough to stop listening on her own.
I think that as her sister it's not your place to "step in" on this. Again if you see her doing things she shouldn't be or notice a change in her personality I think it's fine to say something to her or you mom as a concerned sister, but to police her music choices is not one of your jobs. You have a unique opportunity to be an adult her life that she can confide in and look to as a friend, not a disciplinarian or judge.

Good luck,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

When I saw how old your sister was I kind of freaked. I have an 11 year old and I would never ever allow him to listen to this kind of music with my knowledge. I tend to be on the more conservative side and I have free access to his ipod at any time to review his playlists and he is not allowed to download music without my reviewing the lyrics (hence no Lil Wayne and most rap and even some more explicit pop/r&b songs too.)

The genre of music is called Horrorcore. I've given you an article from a small newspaper and the another article from the SF Gate on the same thing. I found a blog and included that link too. He has pics and CNN news stories and YIKES!!!!




You can also get the lyrics to the songs and print them out to make sure you're not misinterpreting them. I guarantee you're not.


This is very scary stuff in my mind. I'd be interested to hear what other moms say too. I think most moms would want to know if their kid is listening/watching something that is this violent and "over the top." If you just show your mom the wikipedia info on the ICP and horrorcore music, print some lyrics out, and maybe the Southside Messenger article or any other news stories from a credible source and hand them to her. I know how hard it can be to stay on top of this with our kids being more tech savvy than the parents. You're a good sister to care, but ultimately your mom is the decision maker here. You could always find some other music for your sister that your think is appropriate (and kidz bop, won't do it) and burn a CD or take her to a concert. I think at 12 she's pretty impressionable and if her first concert is something more tame, maybe that will change her mind?!?!?! Or I'm really, really naive.


PS Also contacted my 17 yo niece for info. If she says anything new/different I will forward on to you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Lets not keep our kids in a bubble....back in the day, we had Front242 and other bands....thats just it...they are stupid bands....make a big deal...they will make a big deal.
Have structure in your life and open communication.

Good Luck,
Margaret :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Killeen on

That's a tough one. I wouldn't want my 12 yr old listening to it, but I know that myself at that age, if my parents had said I wasn't allowed to do something I wanted to do, id just find a way to do it anyway. I think it'd be better to say why you don't like the music, talk about why she does, talk about the lyrics, and make it clear that she will not play it loudly enough in the house for anyone else to hear and will not repeat the lyrics out loud in your prescense (I mean the parent should do all this). Since you are the sister, if you are close you could definitely bring up a discussion on why you don't lke it, etc. And I would probably ask your mother if she has listened/ read the lyrics and then ask why she is letting your sister listen to it. Approach the subject calmly, maybe say " I would like to know your reasoning because I'm worried about my sister" maybe she will be more willing to talk about it. I also agree that if your sister isn't behaving differently then there's probably no need to worry. I listen to rob zombie and korn and eminem, but I don't go around killing or raping or whatever lol good luck though whatever you decide to do!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

From what I can tell ICP's songs are all about killing people, having sex with people's mothers, and the circus. On top of it all, they aren't even good music. I don't know how much influence you have over your sister, but maybe talking with her about your feelings on the objectification of women, self respect and your values. That may go farther than going to your mother.
The thing is, in this day and age, its hard to shock. Everything is so accepted that you have to find something REAL taboo to try to set your self apart. Talk to your sister about the kind of message she wants to send out, and what kind of young woman she wants to be. Maybe showing her she can rebel through activism or taking a stand against something she feels strongly about would be a good rout.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Hello J., My Husband is a Law Enforcement officer, and investigates gangs. The latest trend they recently discussed in a summer conference was the ICP. Each album has a meaning and songs like " Chicken Hunt" refer to random killing. They have a symbol a man in dreads running with a ax. People who are fans of ICP call themselves Juggalos (guys) and Juggalettes (girls). Law Enforcement across the country are starting to see the trend of crimes committed by these juggalos and are also seeing them organizing like gangs do. Juggalos accept anyone who feels they are "outcasts" and dont fit in . They even had Disney interested in them several years ago and realized what they were really about and dropped them. Here is a link to their website justifying what they are http://www.juggalofaith.com/?url=home.php . Hope this helps. Kimberly..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I know you just want to hear about the band, but I'm going to give you advice about you mother anyway...
Unsolicited advice, much like your advice to your mother, is often unsolicited for a reason.
You have already tried to talk to your mother obviously and she isn't interested, so now it's time to remember which of you is the mommy and let her deal with it as she sees fit. If you are really worried continue to try and talk sense into you sister.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

It is not so much musical influences that pull children off of the path but people. Is she hanging out with a new crowd too? If she is hanging with her same group of friends and doing the same type of stuff then I would not worry. All of us listened to music that our elders thought was iffy. I am assuming that the majority of us on this website turned out ok. My Mom let my younger sisters do things that she would have killed me for. That is the crappiest part of being the oldest. I had to pave the way.



answers from Houston on

I read all the responses thus far and there is a range. I agree with the ones who say talk to your Sister. Listen to the music with her some and get her take on it. Every now and then my 12 year old will talk about or have me listen to a song I am sceptical about. But when we talk about it, she has a good grip on how much music should or shouldn't influence her. The ones that are questionable seem to fade out fast. She hangs with really good girls and that has more influence than music.



answers from Houston on

Hi J.,
First off let me start by saying that it's great that you are so involved in your sister's life even with such a gap in age. Also, let me say that as a mother of three with one of which is 11 years old, I have raised my children with allowing them to listen to majority anything. Some things I will screen, but I am not near as strict as some mothers are with music. I am however, a bit more strict on movies than some. I have just taught my children that music is a persons way of expressing themselves. It is a form of art, and that the music is not meant to be taken literal or to do what is said in the music. But that music is meant to paint a picture, or a feeling. Not literal. This is how I feel. My parents did not really shelter me in music. It is something I myself am passionate about, and my children are as well. They know they are not allowed to sing the bad parts, or repeat the bad parts to anyone, but that I trust them not to make bad decisions based off of the music they listen too. I don't think music makes one act a certain way. That person makes the decision to act the way they do. On top of that, I don't really feel it is your place to tell your own mother how to raise her daughter. It's one thing to make your mom aware of what your sister is listening too and allow her to make the decision on what she does with the information and a whole nother thing to try to tell your mother what she should do. I think she can handle making this decision on her own. Just be there for your sister. I personally have not heard the music you are referring to here, but my kids have listened to Eminim. My oldest used to love it, but made the decision on his own not to listen to it anymore because he doesn't like cussing. I think you will be suprised that when given the chance, most children will make good decisions on their own but you are just there to guide them in the right direction. This is not your child. So maybe tell your mom about the music and let her make the decision from there. Hope this helps.



answers from Houston on

My sisters and I were having this conversation last night about our 12-13 yr old daughters. They like to listen to whatever "everyone" else is listening to. But I have found that when you question them on the words, they give you that deer in the headlights look. What words mom, I like the music?!?!?! Then that gives you an opening to discuss the words and what message is being sent. Most of the time, they don't realize the "whole" message. I have found that if you openly tell them why you disapprove and give them the opportunity to think about it, they will move on to something else. But like one of the other responders said, if you pay attention to their attitude, grades, and over all demeaner that will give you a clue as to whether they are just listening for pleasure or are they troubled and looking for an "out".
As for your mom, if you bring her the facts about the band and tell her your concerns she may understand better. Don't come at her as she is being a bad parent, she will feel less defensive.
You are a great sister and only want what is best for your family. Keep up the good work. Pray for your little sister to become a stronger person and find solace in more positive things.
Good Luck and God Bless!



answers from Austin on

In my opinon, the ICP is for adults only. Although it's not gangster rap, it is very violent, suggestive, and disrespectful to women.
I'd be very embarrassed if my child were singing the lyrics to or sharing ICP tunes with my or even worse their peers. You are not crazy or a prude. That band definitely crosses the line of acceptible music for a youngster.
Google some of their lyrics and email them to her mom so she can be the judge as to whether her kiddo should listen to ICP. If she's not offended I'd be surprised.



answers from Houston on

ICP is in no way kid-friendly music. To my knowledge, there are no clean versions and even if there are, all they would have done is bleep out the curse words but the other lyrics would remain the same. I think you should listen to it yourself before potentially causing problems between you, your mother, and your sister. However, if you still think it is inappropriate (as I think you will) then you should speak up.



answers from Houston on

I have to admit that there are a few of their songs that I find entertaining... That being said, I was like 18 before I first heard their music, and I do not believe that it is music that a 12 year old should listen to. I do agree with the other posters in that if it is presented as forbidden, then it will become a power struggle, and she will listen out of spite, rather than enjoyment. I have a much younger sister, too, I am 29 and she is 17; but we are very close and she listens (talks) better to me, especially about those things than she does to our parents. Talk to her about the music and the message and be sure that she understands that it is just music and by no means a life lesson. We all find entertainment in different things...but the hard part is that I still feel that 12 is a little young for ICP, but hopefully your sister will be open to your thoughts and feelings...Good luck



answers from Austin on

Ouch. When I first heard them 10 years ago, the only kids listening to them were the troubled kids and there are no kid friendly versions. Now, they seem to be more mainstream. It doesn't change the fact that their music has an awful message (I'm pretty sure when I listened to Suicidal Tendencies they also had awful messages). Anyway, the likelihood of her not being allowed to listen to it (esp if she already is) is slim and she's being exposed to other awful messages in other music. So, what about promoting/initiating really open discussions about it instead? What she likes about the music, what the message is, why other kids like it, why parents might be alarmed, similarities/differences with other music etc....

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