Crunkcore (also known as screamo crunk, scrunk and crunk punk) is a fusion genre that combines second-wave screamo with commercial Hip-Hop (especially Southern Rap), and electropop. The blend of screamo/metalcore and hip hop/electropop comes in varying degrees; for example, Hollywood Undead utilize all traditional "core" instrumentation (guitars, bass and live drums), while BrokeNCYDE and Dot Dot Curve only use synthesizers and drum machines and the only overt "core" element of their music is the screaming. In fact, some bands that are nigh universally associated with crunkcore aren't overtly crunk or core, like 3OH!3 and Millionaires. Others, like Breathe Carolina and Blood On the Dance Floor, are clearly 'core-influenced but not remotely hip hoppish. Regardless, the crunkcore grenre and bands associated with it are characterized by hedonistic party lyrics, flamboyant clothing and vocals that range from rapping and screaming to autotuned clean vocals.
The stylistic origins of crunkcore are blurry; in the late 2000s, the trend came out of nowhere and took Myspace music culture by storm, seemingly overnight. In the mid 2000s, artists slowly but surely began to bridge the gap between hip hop/rap and "emocore", a curious mash-up — for example, rapper P.O.S. sampled Underoath and Jay-Z collaborated with Fall Out Boy. Formed in 2005, Hollywood Undead are generally considered an early juggernaut for crunkcore; their major label debut Swan Songs, along with the compilation album Punk Goes Crunk and 3OH!3's single "Don't Trust Me", helped catapult crunkcore into mainstream attention.
The genre's name is somewhat of a misnomer, as the music's hip hop elements are usually more in the vein of Lil Wayne than Lil Jon. However, crunk artist E-40 has collaborated with Brokencyde and Lil Jon once performed with 3OH!3 during one of their concerts.
The genre's heyday was roughly between 2007 and 2012, when it became inextricably tied to scene (to the point where the label of "scenecore" was understood to include it, modern metalcore, and electronicore). The fall of scene over the course of 2013 and its complete and total cessation as a subculture by the end of 2014 took crunkcore with it, and by the middle of the decade, almost no one was willing to admit that they had ever listened to any of those acts, unless it was to make fun of their past musical taste. The few acts that survived did so by retooling their sound, while Attila's deathcore and Nu Metal leanings helped them avoid the fallout largely unscathed.
Should not be confused with the separate but somewhat related genre electronicore, which is essentially metalcore and post-hardcore with electronic elements.
Bands associated with crunkcore include:
- Attila (a modern post-MySpace example that uses much more elements of deathcore mixed with hip hop.
- Blood on the Dance Floor
- Breathe Carolina
- Dot Dot Curve
- Emanuel (Ur-Example- their lyrical themes dealing with drugs and sex fairly often,"tough guy" image and cover of a crunk song make them the precursor to many early examples.)
- Enter Shikari (Sometimes— they're easily the most liked band here)
- Family Force 5
- Falling in Reverse ("Fasionably Late" only)
- Hollywood Undead (Early Material)
- Hyper Crush
- I See Stars
- I Set My Friends On Fire
- Jeffree Star
- The Medic Droid
- Scene Kidz
For the sake of this article, "screamo" will remain synonymous with "mid-00's post-hardcore/melodic metalcore" here and "emo" with "music associated with the emo/scene trend". Let's not contest how authentically emo or screamo any of the bands mentioned here are; it's just a hassle.
Tropes associated with Crunkcore:
- Emo Teen: Members of crunkcore bands are often self-identified "scene kids", a youth subculture closely related to emo. However, crunkcore kids tend to eschew the darkness and wangst of emo in favor of flamboyant fashion and party-hardy hedonism.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Enter Shikari have dabbled in crunkcore from time to time, and when they do, are the only members of this genre to get critical acclaim and respect.
- Girl Group: Millionaires.
- Guilty Pleasure: Try to find someone who enjoys the genre. Even those who like it will have a hard time coming up with reasons why.
- Intercourse with You: The subject of many, if not most crunkcore songs.
- Neologism: Would you believe the word "Crunk" was coined by Conan O'Brien?
- Public Medium Ignorance: In most people's eyes, crunkcore is generally limited to 3OH!3, Brokencyde and Hollywood Undead.
- Spiritual Successor: About 10 years after Crunkcore, a different take on combining emo and rap music arrived with "Emo Rap", headed by the likes of Lil Peep, Lil Tracy and XXX Tentacion. The difference being that emo rap approaches the concept from the rap side instead of the rock side, and primarily consists of solo rappers instead of bands.
- Stealth Parody: Hollywood Undead and 3Oh3 definitely, Brokencyde if you believe them.
- Trope Codifier: BrokeNCYDE.