Insane Clown Posse, Ringmaster
They make for laughably easy targets — the make-up, the rudimentary shock-raps, the overcommitted fans, “Miracles” — but the outskirts-of-Detroit duo of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope are undisputed DIY pioneers. They came of age in the days when two suburban white kids had few prospects in the rap game, so they simply created their own lane. It was certainly an unusual one, influenced by pro wrestling, local acid-rap legend Esham and the power of circus-as-metaphor. 1994′s Ringmaster was their first gold record, a local hit that eventually made the national rounds. Soon, misunderstood kids around the country would be painting their faces, flocking to the annual Clown convention and wondering where they could get some Faygo.