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Island inks Insane deal after Disney drops disc

Insane Clown Posse, the Hollywood Records act whose debut album was pulled from store shelves when Walt Disney execs objected to its content, has jumped ship to Island Records. The Detroit-based duo of Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope inked a multidisc deal with the label Wednesday.

The move to recall the disc by Disney execs — and the subsequent publicity surrounding it — gave the band a level of visibility it probably would not have had if the album was merely released (Daily Variety, June 26).

The disc surprised observers by logging a first-week sales tally of 18,000 copies. More than 52,000 copies of “The Great Milenko” disc have been sold in three weeks of release, despite the recall, which many stores have refused to honor.

Island, which like Hollywood is distributed by Polygram Group Distribution, will add three new tunes to the disc before its release sometime next month. The tracks were initially pulled from the disc by Disney execs.

“I thought it was a great record and the two guys are very smart,” Island Records exec veep Hooman Majid told Daily Variety. “They know their fans, and the album and (their act) is very exciting and flamboyant. The music business could use some excitement.”

Majid credited the duo’s fanatical following in the Detroit area, and its track record of selling 400,000 copies of its previous albums as additional reasons for making the deal. Island will reimburse Hollywood for its costs and pay the label a high six-figure sum to extricate the band from its pact.

Disney recalled the disc June 24 because it contained lyrics “that were inappropriate for a product released under any label of our company.” The recall, which the studio denied was linked to a boycott of the company lodged by Southern Baptists, sparked a media feeding frenzy that attracted interest in the band from other record labels.

Insane Clown Posse will launch a tour to tout the release of the disc.

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