I’m going to give complete credit to Chris Thompson for bringing the term “crunkcore” to my attention. I can’t really remember what I called it before, I think it was something like “stupid fucking scene kids rapping” or some such similar nonsense.
I’m going to blame I Set My Friends on Fire for this monstrosity. Last year, right around the time I went away to my freshman year of college, Soulja Boy (Tell ‘Em? I never understood if that’s actually part of his name or what) released the shining gem of pop music that was “Crank That.”
A few months later another, I Set My Friends on Fire came out with”Crank That Cavalry Boy,” the inevitable screamo cover of Soulja Boy’s classic. And yeah, I thought it was really funny. The inner high school sophomore that got a kick out of Whistlecore and Death By Penguin in me came out. Once the laughter subsided, I resumed the rest of my life as usual, never once thinking, “Hey, I bet those kids will get a record deal some day.”
My sophomore year I became the music director at our college radio station, and sure enough, one day we got in the fucking I Set My Friends on Fire album. Yes, those kids who screamed over an instrumental version of “Crank That” were picked up by Epitaph and put out a 12 song album. My co-director/roommate Fred and I gave it a listen just to say we did, whereafter he, in typical fashion, promptly threw it into a wall and broke it into seven or eight pieces.
For some reason, other very legitimate artists decided to capitalize on this trend.
Stuffwhitepeoplelike.com has entries listed for both Irony and Self-Aware Hip-Hop References, both of which seem appropriate to mention because they tie beautifully together to make up this pseudo-genre. Crunkcore emcees are almost exclusively those white guys you see in Hot Topic with dyed or straightened hair, tight jeans, scarves even during the summer, trendy sunglasses, and some form of lip piercing. Crunkcore songs consist of said caucasian males screaming about getting drunk and having sex and other wholesome gangsta activites. Or, in the immortal words of Latarian Milton, “hoodrat stuff.”
Brokencyde – Pictured above. ‘Nuff said.
Dot Dot Curve – If this kid makes more money than me I’m going to be pissed off.
Rockstar – Word to the wise, buddy. Autotune doesn’t make you sound better if you’re singing in the wrong key in the first place.
3OH!3 – Of all the acts mentioned, these guys seem to do it the most tongue-in-cheek. The others, I’m just not sure.
My other favorite part of crunkcore is that if you go to ANY of their myspaces, and I mean any of them, there is guaranteed to be at least one photo album consisting of nothing but preteen girls (and some guys, I suppose), posing in a typical Myspace angle or mirror shot with the band’s name somewhere in the frame, either written directly on themselves with pen, with a handwritten/drawn sign, or MS Painted on with some wingdings.
I mean, if you actually like this shit, more power to you. I just can’t understand why this joke has gone on for so long.
(I think I’m going to blame Kanye West for this as well. He really started the whole hip-hop-with-a-non-hip-hop image thing. Also I look for any reason to pin society’s ills on him.)