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Neon, 808s, Swearing & Screaming: The Definitive History Of Crunkcore

Jack Rogers
Jack Rogers 23 June 2018 at 09.30

Fresh. Divisive. Iconic. Crunkcore has been surprising, delighting and disgusting the masses for over 10 years now. We thought that it was time to look back over the movers and shakers who have made the genre as sublime and ridiculous as it is. Buckle up. 

For those unfamiliar with crunkcore, it's quite simple really. You take the attitude, lyrical direction and pulsing strobe lights of crunk and smash it together with rock music like avocado onto toast. What you are left with is a sound that would sound just as at home blasting out at the club as it would at Warped Tour. 

Picture the scene. 2008. Emo rules everything around us. My Chemical Romance are two years into their Black Parade tour. Paramore are riding high on the success of 'Riot!'. Fall Out Boy are breaking hearts everywhere they go. All is well. Yet no-one saw the shutter glasses shaped storm that was coming. 

BC13 were in the house. 

BrokeNCYDE changed everything when they dropped their debut EP. Never had the sounds of screamo and rap clashed in such a unique and daring way. Many thought it was a joke. The interllectuals amongst us knew much better. 

Just watch the video for 'Freaxxx'. 

The people climbing out of the car boot. The bottle of Hennessy. The bubble writing and faux sexy dancing. The bloke dressed up as a pig for some reason. It is mental.

The mood was set and the floodgates were open.

Once BrokeNCYDE set the standard, everybody was having a go at it.

Neon was the order of the day if you wanted to be part of the action. Shirts, belts, jeans, shoes, hair. Bloody everything. Everybody started saying 'Rawrr' too, which apparently means I Love You in dinosaur. Fringes became longer and more prominent. 

Two completely different worlds had blended into one strobe lit mess that the masses loved to hate but hated to love.

3OH!3 took the mainstream by storm and became staples in every rock club in the world with the likes of 'DONTTRUSTME' and 'STARSTRUKK' which featured a certain Katy Perry. Wonder what she's doing now. 

Hollywood Undead took things to the streets and brought as much sentimentality as they did silliness. 

Attack Attack! may be known as the innovators of crabcore, but they would never have been the ignorant genuises that they were without a little bit of crunk in the trunk.

Millionaires pulled back on the screamy and upped the ante on the saucy. 

Breathe Carolina added layer upon layer of groove and brutality and pushed the genre even further into the Warped Tour stratosphere. 

I Set My Friends On Fire were on everybody's MySpace page with their throat wrecking take on Soulja Boy's classic 'Crank That'. The rest of their stuff was pretty good as well. 

Family Force 5 turned it up to 11 with the pomp as they donned their bespoke jackets and gave crunkcore a pop based facelift. 

Even Fearless Records pulled together some of your favourite bands for an edition of Punk Goes Crunk. 

Though many thought the genre was dead in the water the minute it started swimming, there were plenty showing that it had some legs in it. Perserverence, passion and a desire to just have a bit of fun has seen the crunkcore name be constantly on people's lip for over a decade now. No matter how much you want it to go away, the more it will take over. So you may as well join the join and get freaky with the rest of us. 

Though Breathe Carolina are now superstar EDM producers and 3OH!3 have turned into 12 years old ('My Dick' anyone?), there are plenty of bands still flying the crunkcore flag with pride. 

Eskimo Callboy are as brilliantly silly as it gets these days. 

The Browning probably have the worst band name of all time, but their combination of devestating breakdowns and beat-based interludes is far from awful. 

Then you've got Unicorns Killed My Girlfriend. Yeah.

Oh, and BrokenCYDE are still going strong. 

So there you have it. 

Love it or hate it, crunkcore will never really die. As much as you try to ignore it, it will continue thriving under your nose. All you can do is embrace the synth, dye your hair green and get low as you possibly can. 

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