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Riddle Box
Studio album by Insane Clown Posse
Released October 10, 1995
Recorded 1994 – 1995
Genre Midwest hip hop
Length 70:40
Label Battery/Psychopathic
01241-46001
Producer Mike E. Clark
ICP
Professional reviews
Insane Clown Posse chronology
Ringmaster
(1994)
Riddle Box
(1995)
The Great Milenko
(1997)

Riddle Box is the third studio album by American hip hop duo Insane Clown Posse, released on October 10, 1995, by Battery Records, a short-lived subsidiary of Jive Records and the ICP affiliated label Psychopathic Records. It is the third Joker's Card entry in the group's Dark Carnival saga.

Contents

Music

Production

"Chicken Huntin'", which was remixed for Riddle Box, was previously released on Insane Clown Posse's 1994 album Ringmaster. "Dead Body Man" was previously released in 1994, on the group's second EP The Terror Wheel, in a slightly lower key. Finally, "3 Rings" with a slight change in lyrics, was previously released on Shaggy 2 Dope's 1994 EP Fuck Off!.

"I'm Coming Home" contains a sample from "Confetti Day" by Hot Chocolate.[1] A song called "Fat Sweaty Betty" was originally intended for this album. Insane Clown Posse even released a single of the song. It was cut from the album at the last minute, but was later released on Forgotten Freshness.[2]

The music video for "Chicken Huntin' (Slaughter House Mix)" was shot at the State Theatre (now called the Fillmore Theatre) during an actual Insane Clown Posse concert. The director of the video, Paris Mayhew, wanted Insane Clown Posse to perform the song several times in order to get the footage from all angles, but the duo refused to repeat the song because it was an actual ICP concert, and not just a video shoot. The video was shot with ICP performing the song only once.[3] The original version of "Chicken Huntin'" was performed for the video shoot, because their fans were not yet familiar with the remix. This made Jive furious, but there were no editing problems, and Violent J later referred to the video as "our freshest video ever."[3]

Lyrical themes

The eponymous Riddle Box is a jack-in-the-box that decides whether one's soul is sent to Shangri-La or Hell's Pit in the afterlife.

The album's themes mostly revolve around those of death: in "12," an anti-execution song revolving around an elaborate riddle, Violent J takes vengeance by murdering 12 jurors who were involved in sentencing him to death. In "Chicken Huntin'" the group raps about meeting and killing multiple racist rednecks, referred to as 'Chickens'.

The album makes several references to American popular culture. "The Joker's Wild," inspired by the quiz show of the same name, is set in Hell and involves the punishment of the wicked. "Ol' Evil Eye" is loosely based around Edgar Allan Poe's famous short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" and features excerpts from the story being read. Poe was given credit for the track's lyrics.

Release

There are four different versions of the album: the standard pressing, a version containing a bonus track of snippets from four Hed PE songs, a version with reversed colors on the disc and a remastered version.

Reception

Riddle Box was the second Insane Clown Posse album to be certified Gold. The album spawned one single, "The Joker's Wild".

In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide, the album received one and a half stars out of five. [4]

Legacy

In 2002, the track "Riddle Box" was featured in the film Solaris. According to Insane Clown Posse, the group has not received any financial compensation from the filmmakers.[5]

On December 16, 2008, Riddle Box was released as a vinyl double LP.[6][7] The vinyl features all of the songs from the Riddle Box CD, as well as one song from The Terror Wheel.

Track listing

Compact disc

# Title Time Writer(s) Producer(s)
1 "Intro" 1:23
2 "Riddle Box" 2:51 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
3 "The Show Must Go On" 5:07 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
4 "Chicken Huntin'" (Slaughter House Mix) 3:42 Mike E. Clark
D. Greenburg
H. Dodd
M. Niles
ICP
Mike E. Clark
D. Greenburg
H. Dodd
M. Niles
ICP
5 "Interview" 0:47
6 "Toy Box" 5:24 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
7 "Cemetery Girl" 5:08 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
8 "3 Rings" 4:50 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
9 "Headless Boogie" 4:22 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
10 "The Joker's Wild" 4:56 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
11 "Dead Body Man" 4:20 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
12 "Lil' Somthin' Somthin'" 5:28 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
13 "Ol' Evil Eye" 4:53 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Edgar Allan Poe
Mike E. Clark
ICP
14 "12" 6:35 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
15 "The Killing Fields" 4:55 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Mike E. Clark
ICP
16 "I'm Coming Home" 5:52 Mike E. Clark
ICP
Errol Brown
Mike E. Clark
ICP

Vinyl

Disk one

  1. "Intro" – 1:23
  2. "Riddle Box" – 2:51
  3. "The Show Must Go On" - 5:07
  4. "Chicken Huntin'" (Slaughter House Mix) - 3:42
  5. "Interview" - 0:47
  6. "Toy Box" - 5:24
  7. "Cemetery Girl" - 5:08
  8. "3 Rings" - 4:50
  9. "The Smog" - 7:45
  10. "The Joker's Wild" - 4:56
  11. "Dead Body Man" - 4:20
  12. "Lil' Somthin' Somthin'" - 5:28
  13. "Ol' Evil Eye" - 4:53
  14. "12" - 6:35
  15. "The Killing Fields" - 4:55

Disk two

  1. "Headless Boogie" – 4:22
  2. "The Joker's Wild" - 4:56
  3. "Dead Body Man" - 4:20
  4. "Lil' Somthin' Somthin'" - 5:28
  5. "Ol' Evil Eye" - 4:53
  6. "12" - 6:35
  7. "The Killing Fields" - 4:55
  8. "I'm Coming Home" - 5:52

Personnel

Chart positions

Chart (1995) Peak Position
Top Heatseekers 16[8]

References

  1. ^ "Release information for Riddle Box". Discogs. http://www.discogs.com/release/512689. Retrieved 2008-05-12.  
  2. ^ Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Complete Discography". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 548–549. ISBN 09741846083.  
  3. ^ a b Bruce, Joseph; Hobey Echlin. "Fuck Jive". in Nathan Fostey. ICP: Behind the Paint (2nd Edition ed.). Royal Oak, Michigan: Psychopathic Records. pp. 262–263. ISBN 09741846083.  
  4. ^ Brackett, Nathan, ed (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. pp. 405–6. ISBN 0743201698.  
  5. ^ "Who R ICP > Discography > 1995 - Riddle Box LP". Psychopathic Records. http://www.insaneclownposse.com/carnival/iframe.php?page_id=icp_discography_7. Retrieved 2009-11-27.  
  6. ^ "Vinyl spins & turntable dreams; 11 new titles added to LP catalog in October 2008, including four 180g audiophile pressings". Sony BMG Music Entertainment. 2008-09-16. http://www.legacyrecordings.com/News/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsGuid=15e82a45-26e0-4536-b153-6e3a2f9df049. Retrieved 19 September 2009.  
  7. ^ "Insane Clown Posse Riddle Box Vinyl LP Record". CD Universe. http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=7754799. Retrieved 19 September 2009.  
  8. ^ "Insane Clown Posse Artist Chart History: Albums". Billboard. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&searchlink=INSANE. Retrieved 2008-08-19.  







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