Violent J

Detroit-based rapper, producer, wrestler, and actor Violent J (born Joseph Frank Bruce) is best known as half (along with Shaggy 2 Dope [born Joseph Utsler]) of the greasepaint-wearing hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse. The eldest of three children, Bruce's childhood was spent in relative poverty, surviving on clothes from rummage sales and food from local can drives. He met Utsler after moving to the suburb of Oak Park, where the two reluctantly got involved in gang life. They also became enamored with rap music, and in 1989 released a single called "Party at the Top of the Hill" under the moniker the JJ Boys. At the age of 17, after numerous run-ins with the law, Bruce embarked on a short career in professional wrestling before forming the Inner City Posse along with Utsler and his brother John. They released one album, Bass-Ment Cuts, in 1991 on Psychopathic Records, a label they started with manager and record store owner Alex Abbiss before morphing into the highly successful Insane Clown Posse. Bruce has released a handful of solo recordings, including 2003's Wizard of the Hood and 2009's Shining. ~ James Christopher Monger

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