Joe Rogan should “step the fuck up” like Insane Clown Posse, says Steve Albini

Donald Trump has also waded into the debate, saying Rogan must "stop apologising to the Fake News and Radical Left maniacs"

Steve Albini has called on Joe Rogan to follow the example of Insane Clown Posse, as Rogan continues to face a backlash over the content of his Spotify podcast.

Rogan recently apologised after it emerged that he had used the N-word multiple times on his show, calling it “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve had to talk about publicly” before arguing that the clips had been “taken out of context of 12 years of conversations on my podcast”.

He was already under fire after Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and more removed their music from Spotify in response to vaccine misinformation promoted by guests on his show, which has been exclusive to the streaming platform since a $100million deal was struck in 2020.

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On Monday (February 7), Albini shared an interview with Insane Clown Posse’s Violent J from 2020 in which the musician acknowledged problematic lyrics in the band’s music.

Discussing ICP’s 2000 collaboration with Three 6 Mafia, which contains the line “sick like a diseased Ethiopian,” Violent J told Stereogum: “I was that stupid. I didn’t understand the offensiveness in that. I was legit that stupid […]I honestly can’t tell you what the fuck was happening in my brain.”

He added: “We were also crazy homophobic back in the day. And now my daughter says, ‘Dad why did you say this?’ And I say, ‘Because your dad was a fucking fool’.”

Reacting to screenshots of the conversation on Twitter, Albini said: “This is absolutely model owning your shit behaviour, and if a goddamn fucking Juggalo can manage it, a nine-figure podcaster can step the fuck up without whining.”

The producer went on to call Juggalos – the name given to ICP’s devoted fanbase – “a non-judgmental, inclusive community for people on the fringe, built on a beautiful communion they call ‘family'”.

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“They remind me of punk/queer chosen families and I love them. I haven’t heard much of the music, it’s atrocious. Who cares.”

Comparing them to Grateful Dead fans, Albini added: “Less annoying than Deadheads by an order of magnitude. Very few lawyers and CEOs for a start. A lot about Juggalos is dumb/laughable. So what, your life isn’t? Get over yourself.

“The part that matters to them, that they are there for each other in material ways other communities fail at, that’s the whole thing.”

It’s not the first time that Albini has criticised Rogan. Last March, he said in an interview: “Rogan, Barstool, all the anti-woke comics, just fuck them all in the eye.”

“It’s trash garbage and I want it all to fail. What if all the stupid shit your racist neighbour you can’t stand said was typed up and put on a blog? Nope, still trash, still fuck it. I want them all out looking for work. Into the chipper with all of it.”

Last year, Albini addressed his own past behaviour, saying: “I’m overdue for a conversation about my role in inspiring ‘edgelord’ shit.”

“A lot of things I said and did from an ignorant position of comfort and privilege are clearly awful and I regret them,” he explained. “It’s nobody’s obligation to overlook that, and I do feel an obligation to redeem myself…”

Steve Albini performing live onstage in 2016
Steve Albini performs live (Picture: Getty)

Albini played in bands called Rapeman and Run N***** Run in the 1980s, touted his friend’s child pornography magazine in the Forced Exposure zine in 1978, and is reported to have used a racial slur against Tyler, The Creator in an online forum in 2011.

Rogan, meanwhile, discussed his own controversy in further depth on the latest episode of his show, which was released on Monday. Speaking to guest Akaash Singh, he called the release of a video compiling his multiple use of racial slurs “a relief”.

“That video has always been out there,” he said. “This is a political hit job. They’re taking all the stuff I’ve ever said that’s wrong and smushing it all together.

“It’s good because it makes me address some stuff that I really wish wasn’t out there.”

Elsewhere, former President Donald Trump also weighed in on the controversy.

“Joe Rogan is an interesting and popular guy, but he’s got to stop apologising to the Fake News and Radical Left maniacs and lunatics,” Trump said. “How many ways can you say you’re sorry?”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – who, like Trump, is rumoured to be seeking the Republican nomination for the 2024 Presidential election – also commented. “I think the left fear the fact that he can reach so many people, and so they’re out to destroy him. But what I would say is, don’t give an inch. Do not apologise. Do not cow to the mob.”

A recent study recently found that 19 per cent of Spotify users have unsubscribed or plan to over the Rogan controversy. A further 18.5 per cent will apparently cancel their plans if more music is removed.

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