TVD’s Ask Ms. Mixtape

Shoot your questions and tales of woe to Ms. Mixtape at and she’ll endeavor to unspool your personal and musical dilemmas in this spot each week. —Ed.

Q: My sister just introduced me to her new, serious boyfriend. He seems all right, except for one thing: He’s a Juggalo. Yes, a Juggalo. He only listens to Insane Clown Posse. I’d like to introduce him to some new music that might help him expand his horizons. What should I start playing around him that he might take an interest in?

A: First, I’d like to commend your restraint. I think many people, in your situation, would be asking, “how can I convince my sister to dump the Juggalo?” or “do I need to commit anyone to any sort of facility?”

Second, I feel like I should be saying something very heartfelt and diplomatic here about how this question is really about you and not the music. Like, you should deep within your soul to ask yourself why you want to change this poor Juggalo, and why you can’t just let this Juggalo be.That’s all kind of bullshit though because, well, really.

And now for the practical advice. I suggest you try opera.

I’m not kidding. The appeal of a band like Insane Clown Posse isn’t the music (OH NO SHE DIDN’T) but the drama and the community. Opera has those things in spades.

Ease into the opera thing. Check out Fucked Up’s new album, David Comes to Life. Fucked Up is a hardcore band, so there’s already some overlap with ICP’s sound. But Fucked Up are critical darlings, and David Comes to Life is a rock opera epic in four acts. I don’t entirely know what that last part means, but the album is great and Pitchfork loved it, so it seems like a good starting point for you, o questioner who clearly has discriminating taste.

There are plenty of other great rock operas out there–Tommy’s the classic, and Ziggy Stardust, but Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell might be more appropriate to your situation. I know ICP has a rap element, but stay far away from rap operas or anything claiming to be a hip hopera. You’ll end up trapped in a closet with R. Kelly, or watching Carmen: A Hip Hopera, which is my new favorite movie I haven’t seen but which is probably not for everyone.

And then you get to classical opera. Classical opera is badass. And short of telling your sister’s boy to get really into Glee, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more devoted music community. Plus, opera is often in Italian so you can decide that the soprano is actually dying from having an alien in her stomach, instead of boring old tuberculosis. I’d stick with German operas in your case, though. Wagner is probably particularly good because his stuff is IN-TENSE. (Yeah yeah Nazis I know but we all still drive BMWs and Volkswagens so deal.) I think opera has the potential to bring up a lot of the same emotions that cause Juggalos to get so incredibly devoted to ICP. Just make sure you’re listening really effing loud, otherwise it’ll just sound boring.

Finally: Slayer?

Love and kisses,
Ms. Mixtape

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