On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN sat down with Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse for a flavorful conversation about how they earned their stripes in the music industry.

The hardcore rap group got their start in the genre in 1989. Going back to their childhood friendship, Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope initially started out as backyard wrestlers but became so intrigued by Hip Hop that they switched gears and started pressing their foot on the gas. In 1992, the unit released their debut album, Carnival of Carnage, and began distributing the record around the greater Detroit area.

Their grassroots strategy worked, and throughout the course of that decade, they were elevated as some of the most popular artists to hail from Detroit. They went on to drop well-received projects like Ringmaster, Riddle Box and The Great Milenko. And they capped off the 1990s with a performance at the legendary Woodstock festival in 1999. Their discography didn’t end there though. Over the last 20 years, the multiplatinum-selling artists continued to feed their fanbase — the Juggalos — with new music and an entertaining flair.

During this discussion, they offered some real spill on what it took to reach these heights and how it feels to look back at such a riveting journey. Below are nine takeaways from the interview and the full episode can be watched here.

1. On the early days of ICP

Back in Detroit when the group first started out, they felt as if their calling was to become wrestlers. That is, until the art of Hip Hop adopted them. “We had no f**king doubt from the age of 12 until Hip Hop overtook this dream… We were gonna be wrestlers. I used to tell these muthaf**kas at school, ‘Man, get my autograph right now because one day you're gonna [be] like, ‘I went to school with that mug,’” Violent J remembered.

Shaggy 2 Dope then chimed in and expressed how dedicated they became to rapping: “We didn’t do nothing but this s**t… We ate, slept and breathed it as kids. That’s all we knew how to do. We’re like trained circus monkeys. That was it, the grind, day after day.”

2. On segregation in Detroit

For those who have never been to Detroit, ICP broke down how the city is split when it comes to race. “I didn't realize how f**ked up Detroit is and segregated. [In] 8 Mile, all Black people are on one side, white on the other. There's literally a wall on the east side of Detroit,” Violent J said before Shaggy 2 Dope cut him off and added, “Going across backyards, like a Berlin Wall type s**t.” Violent J explained the economic split as well and went on, “Grosse Pointe, Michigan, one of the richest cities in America. On the other side of that wall: Crack.”

3. On why they wear face paint

It’s a rare occasion to catch ICP without their signature face paint. When discussing why they have always opted to cover their faces, Violent J explained it has to do with their disdain for being billed a certain way. “My brother made me read Malcolm X's book when I was 15. Halfway through the muthaf**ka, I was like, ‘White people are the devil,’” he began. “I hate white people, I'm not gonna lie. I think part of the reason we f**king painted our faces is 'cause we didn't want to be identified as white. We [would] rather be identified as a clown. Seriously, man.”

4. On what soured their relationship with Kid Rock

ICP and Kid Rock have been at odds for a long time now. Though this wasn’t the first time that the group addressed their beef with the fellow Michigan native, they did trace back the origin point of the feud. As the group was coming up in the industry, they received some advice from Kid Rock that left a bad taste in their mouths. “That muthaf**ka was sitting with his Black girlfriend and was like, ‘Don't ever trust anybody Black in this business... I don't give a f**k what anybody says,’” ICP claimed. They went on to explain how they couldn’t believe that he said such a thing with his partner in attendance and as the father of a biracial kid.

5. On their issue with major record labels

ICP has mostly navigated their careers as independent artists. But that’s not to say that they didn’t initially take the major label route as well. They discussed why it was difficult to swim in those waters.

“The problem we found with major labels is nobody knows how to f**king market us. Because we're too rock for rap and we're too rap for rock. They're like, ‘What the f**k do we do with this?’ They don't know who to market it to. They don't know how to market it,” Shaggy 2 Dope said. “So, we always gotta take the reins. That's why we never had A&Rs and s**t like that because we're the only ones that knew how to market our s**t.”

6. On Proof ending their beef with Eminem

Decades ago, ICP and Eminem expressed their mutual dislike for each other on wax in a slew of diss tracks. The static between the Midwest rappers didn’t last long though, thanks to the late D12 member Proof. “Allegedly, Proof was on a mission to end all of Em's beefs,” Violent J said. “That muthaf**ka showed up at our office, came in, spit a verse on our s**t. And we went to a bowling match with D12 that night and got drunk as f**k.”

He concluded, “The problem with that f**king beef is it didn't involve [us]. It was our crews beefing all over the f**king city.”

7. On being placed on the FBI’s national gang assessment list

In 2011, ICP’s fan group, the Juggalos, were reported by the FBI as a gang unit. They discussed how that improper affiliation tarnished their business. “First thing that happened was all the f**king chain stores in the mall -- Hot Topic, Spencer’s and all that -- immediately dropped all of our s**t because now our s**t was gang apparel, and it was being sold as gang apparel in their eyes. And then our concerts were considered gang rallies,” Shaggy 2 Dope explained. “Muthaf**kas were getting denied going to the armed services. Muthaf**kas were losing custody of their kids. All that s**t because it's ‘official’ gang s**t now.” In multiple instances, ICP tried to sue the FBI and clear the air, to no avail.

8. On Drake being a fan of ICP

ICP has accrued an extensive fanbase and one of the people within it is diamond-selling rapper Drake. The duo recalled the moment when they realized that he was on board with the movement. “He was wearing one of our jerseys and we were just like, ‘It's probably just something his stylist gave to him or whatever.’ 'Cause it's retro and cool or whatever the f**k. And then our boy f**king Adam22, he was like, ‘I talked to Drake, and he said he used to bump this s**t back in Toronto.’ And namely, he said The Great Milenko,” Shaggy 2 Dope explained. “He's another muthaf**ka on another level type s**t.”

9. On being accepted by Hip Hop

As an act who sat squarely in between rap and rock, ICP had to fight for their respect in Hip Hop. But according to Shaggy 2 Dope, these days, they no longer question where they stand within the genre. “We just been around so long that it's undeniable and people accept us now. Back in the day, it was an uphill battle. It was. But we got to a point where I think it was just undeniable. 'Cause we've been consistent for 30 years. We never f**king stopped or took a hiatus or no s**t,” he said. “It feels so good being accepted by Hip Hop because I grew up in Hip Hop. That was my whole come up.”