The group agreed, but not to copying the style of Esham closely.
The group began recording their debut album, Carnival of Carnage, with producer Chuck Miller.
After recording only three songs for $6,000 with Miller, Alex Abbiss made his first major managerial move by finding another producer, Mike E. Allmusic reviewer Stephen Thomas Erlewine compared the group's performance on the album to "a third-rate Beastie Boys supported by a cut-rate Faith No More, all tempered with the sensibility that made GWAR cult heroes—only with..sexism and jokes that..up sounding racist".
The Dark Carnival is elaborated through a series of stories called Joker's Cards, each of which offers a specific lesson designed to change the "evil ways" of listeners before "the end consumes us all".
The original lineup of Insane Clown Posse was John Utsler (John Kickjazz), Joe Bruce (Violent J) and Joey Utsler (Shaggy 2 Dope).
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.