Crunk Music Guide: Definition and History of Crunk Music

crunk music

Crunk Music is a genre of <a href="https://jambox.io/blog/royalty-free-hip-hop-music”>hip hop music. Crunk was first discovered in the late 90s in Tennessee and later on, it evolved in Atlanta which then spread to Philadelphia and North Carolina. This article talks about the definition, history, and some notable crunk songs of all time.

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What Is Crunk Music?

Crunk is a subgenre of hip-hop music that emerged in the early 1990s and gained mainstream success during the mid-2000s. Crunk is often up-tempo and one of Southern hip hop‘s more dance and club-oriented subgenres. It is typified by its aggressive, hard-hitting beats and often loud, heavily distorted basslines.

History of Crunk Music

Crunk emerged from Southern nightclubs as part of the Miami bass scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s and shared many of its defining elements: drum machines and booming bass, electronic dance music beats, and a rhythm section driven by synth lines. A style of music that gained momentum in Memphis and Atlanta before spreading to the Dirty South. It was popularized by names like Lil Jon, Ying Yang Twins, and Three 6 Mafia.

The first notable crunk hit was “Tear Da Club Up” by Three 6 Mafia. First released in 1992, it was released on their 1995 album Mystic Stylez as well as Underground Vol. 2: Club Memphis – A collection of underground hits from Three 6 Mafia.

Musical Characteristics of Crunk Music

Crunk is often up-tempo and one of Southern hip hop‘s more dance and club-oriented subgenres. An archetypal crunk track frequently uses a main groove consisting of layered keyboard synths, a drum machine clapping rhythm, heavy basslines, and shouting vocals, often in a call-and-response manner.

Biggest Artists of the Crunk Movement

The crunk movement was a subgenre of hip-hop that emerged in the late 1990s. It was characterized by an aggressive, Southern sound and lyrics that were often sexual and violent. The movement’s biggest stars included Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, Ying Yang Twins, and Three 6 Mafia.

Lil Jon

Lil Jon, born January 17, 1972, better known by his stage name Lil Jon, is an American rapper, DJ, record producer, and former lead singer of the rap group Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, who was instrumental in the emergence of the hip hop subgenre crunk and helped bring the genre to mainstream success known. Lil Jon scored three chart-topping albums with the East Side Boyz, including 2004’s Crunk Juice, and three No. 1 singles on the US Rap charts. He’s also a busy featured artist and producer, most notably on the Grammy-winning β€œYeah!” which topped the Hot 100 and charts in multiple countries.

Lil Scrappy

Lil Scrappy has always been a polarizing figure in hip-hop. Since the early 2000s, he’s been known for his brash attitude, his aggressive delivery and his often gritty sound. But what many people don’t know about Lil Scrappy is that he’s one of the biggest artists to emerge from Atlanta’s crunk movement.

The crunk movement was a short-lived era of Southern rap culture that began in the late ’90s. It was characterized by fast tempos, hard beats and raucous lyrics β€” typically delivered with a “tough guy” persona. His first album, The King of Crunk & BME Recordings Present: Trillville and Lil Scrappy (2004) was a split release with the eponymous crunk trio; it reached No. 12 on the Billboard charts, and his first official solo release, the Lil Jon-produced Bred 2 Die Born 2 Live (2006), fared even better, generating three Top 30 singles. A second solo LP, Prince of the South, topped the indie album charts in 2008, but subsequent releases failed to maintain an audience. He found subsequent fame as a star of the reality series Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.

Ying Yang Twins

The Ying Yang Twins are a Southern hip hop duo and they were the pioneers of crunk music.

They are not actually twin brothers. The group debuted in 2000 and rose to mainstream popularity in 2003 collaborating with Britney Spears on her album In the Zone and with Lil Jon on “Get Low“. In 2004 and 2005, Ying Yang Twins became more popular with party singles “Salt Shaker“, “Wait (The Whisper Song)“,” Shake “ and Badd “. They have received notoriety for their song “Halftime (featuring Homebwoi)” which is played at New Orleans Saints home games after most touchdowns.

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Three 6 Mafia

Three 6 Mafia is an American hip hop group from Memphis, Tennessee. The group was founded by DJ Paul and Juicy J, who are the only remaining original members of the group. Their debut album Mystic Stylez (1995) has been cited as one of the most iconic albums from the Crunk era. Emerging as a horror-themed underground hip-hop group, they would eventually go on to enjoy mainstream success. Two of their albums are RIAA-certified platinum: When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1 (2000) and Most Known Unknown (2005), the latter featured their hit single “Stay Fly“. In 2006 the group won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 78th Academy Awards for their song “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp” from the film Hustle & Flow.

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