John Rode left after Dog Beats was released in 1991, and John Utsler left before Carnival of Carnage was released in 1992.Joseph Bruce (Violent J) and Joseph Utsler (Shaggy 2 Dope) met in Oak Park, a suburb on the north border of Detroit, Michigan.Bruce became frustrated with the backstage politics of the wrestling business and began searching for another career.Back on the streets, Bruce, Utsler and Utsler's brother, John performed hip hop music at local night clubs, using the stage names Violent J, 2 Dope, and John Kickjazz, under the name of their gang, Inner City Posse.While trying to get stations to play the single, Bruce learned that one of the stations he and Abbiss visited would be interviewing local rapper Esham, who Bruce considered to be a "superstar"; Bruce had recently begun to collect Esham's albums, as he had done with other local rappers; by the time he had discovered Esham, the rapper had released two full-length albums and three EPs.Bruce met Esham for the first time at the station and praised him.Seeing a need for a manager, Bruce's brother Robert recommended his friend and record store owner Alex Abbiss, who established the Psychopathic Records record label with the group in 1991.Later that year the group released the self-produced EP entitled Dog Beats.
Several names were considered before Bruce recalled his dream of a clown running around in Delray, which became the inspiration for the group's new name: Insane Clown Posse.
According to Nielsen Sound Scan, the entire catalog of the group has sold 6.5 million units in the United States and Canada as of April 2007 Originally known as JJ Boyz and Inner City Posse, the group introduced supernatural- and horror-themed lyrics as a means of distinguishing itself stylistically.
The duo founded the independent record label Psychopathic Records with Alex Abbiss as manager, and produced and starred in the feature films Big Money Hustlas and Big Money Rustlas.
After Battery/Jive Records showed little interest in promoting the album, Insane Clown Posse funded the promotion of Riddle Box independently.
This effort led the group to Dallas, Texas, where it persuaded several music retail stores to stock the album. The group started recording its fourth studio album, The Great Milenko, in 1996, during which Disney requested that the tracks "The Neden Game", "Under the Moon", and "Boogie Woogie Wu" be removed.