Duke Deuce came prepared to fight. At least, he dressed as if he was. When I met the Memphis rapper in the lobby of the Royalton Park Avenue Hotel in midtown Manhattan on a brisk evening last week, he was fresh from a nap, draped in a lilac Nike tech suit covering a white T-shirt. His gut protruded, all-black Air Force 1 sneakers kept him upright, an all-black Memphis Grizzlies fitted cap was slightly cocked over his right eye, and a dazzling chain with the initials “QC” (short for his label, Quality Control Music) hung from his neck. This was the uniform of a man ready to rush hip-hop’s open court with an unmatched Southern stamina.
The crew with him was made up of his friends who have appeared in ad-libs on his booming songs and in the viral videos that have garnered him a cult following. His long “What the fuuuuuuuuuck!” ad-lib is a big part of his charm, as are the dance moves that’ve been turned into memes. We headed to the penthouse reserved by Capitol Music Group, which oversees Quality Control, whose lineup includes some of the titans of modern rap: Migos, Cardi B, and Lil Baby. Duke is the 27-year-old rookie on the all-star roster. “We’re real particular in what we sign,” Kevin Lee, who goes by “Coach K” and is the COO of QC, once said. “They have to be authentic.”
Authenticity doesn’t seem to be a problem if you meet Duke, if you hear his cadence, watch his walk and his talk. You sense that he is the same man from his videos: the dancing, the jewelry flexes that match the big personality. Duke was planted on the East Coast for a few days for his New York minute. We were speaking a few hours after his newest project dropped: Memphis Massacre 2, a 12-song collection of his heartfelt, woozy Tennessee sound. The trip was a flash point in his newfound fame as this generation’s crunk revivalist—an heir intent on bringing back a subgenre that had mostly disappeared from mainstream music after the aughts.
“Crunk is gangsta rock ’n’ roll,” Duke said. “It’s heavy metal and rock ’n’ roll without the guitars. It’s mainly because the energy, the rhythm, the tempo. Everybody got they own way of getting crunk. Some people yell a lot more. So, I don’t know. It relates to everybody. Three 6 Mafia wasn’t as loud as Lil Jon. Then he came and put his own twist on the shit. I have songs where I go up a little bit, too.” For Duke, he says he’s “on both sides” of the sound.
Crunk was a time, man. Every beat felt like an earthquake; it was undiluted, meant to knock your head off. The sound was up-tempo, electronic, full of bass and layered synths with drums that clapped like thunder. Crunk felt like something completely different from rap. It was the Memphis underground dropping nuclear bombs on wax. But crunk wouldn’t stay crunk—or in Memphis—for long. Eventually it was just pop. It intertwined with Atlanta’s sound. It hit South Beach in Miami. Crunk didn’t belong to Memphis alone as the years went on.
The subgenre dates back to the mid-’90s, when Three 6 Mafia dropped their second studio album, Chapter 1: The End, with “Gette’m Crunk” as a staple. Around the same time, Tommy Wright III made On the Run, which featured “Getting Crunk.” Other artists outside of Memphis began to adopt the sound. Atlanta’s Ying Yang Twins, Pastor Troy, Bone Crusher, and Mississippi’s David Banner all had their own takes. Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz, crunk’s most famous practitioners, would produce Get Crunk, Who U Wit: Da Album in 1997 and later bring the music into the mainstream. “Get Low,” off the 2002 album Kings of Crunk, stayed on the Billboard charts for 45 weeks. The album eventually went double platinum. Suddenly, crunk was everywhere, and artists like Petey Pablo and Crime Mob were finding success with it. (The latter group is best known for its classic fight-starting anthems “Knuck If You Buck” and “Rock Yo Hips.”) An offshoot dubbed “crunk&B” became the popular sound of the middle of the decade; Usher’s “Yeah,” Ciara’s “Goodies,” and Chris Brown’s “Run It” all became no. 1 hits. It was official: Crunk was inescapable.
By the late aughts, crunk gave way to the regionally successful subgenres Jersey and Baltimore club music, up-tempo styles that originated in the mid-Atlantic and combined breakbeats, chopped samples, call-and-response lyrics, and looped, stripped-down staccato rhythms. They were similar to crunk, just more frenetic. As the decade turned, modern trap—the Southern, drug-inspired wing of rap—began incorporating crunk elements and became the commercially dominant sound of the 2010s. SoundCloud rappers played with all the subgenres and crafted a new sound for a generation of listeners, and drill artists are currently using that influence to curate the type of electronic explosions that ruled last summer. Crunk influenced parts of what would become today’s dominant hip-hop sound, but lost much of its cachet.
This history is what gives Duke’s rise hefty importance. But for Duke, it’s more about his personal history. Memphis was Duke’s home, but also his muse. “It was rough,” he said about growing up in the city. “But in Memphis, we’ve got a lot of culture. We had a lot of shit to do to have fun.” The music Duke’s making is what he grew up with. Crunk was in his blood, with him from the cradle. Born Patavious Isom, Duke shared a room with his father, famed Memphis rapper and producer Duke Nitty, when he was a boy. The room also doubled as a studio. The younger Duke would fall asleep to the gothic clap of crunk and wake up and play with a tiny beat pad, his favorite toy. “My pops was always doing music,” he said. “And, shit, you know, being around it like that, eventually something gon’ click.”
Duke’s crunk revival is a hybrid of different sounds. “Whole Lotta” is a consistent thump. “Yeh,” his 2019 hit, features crass yelling over a dancing keyboard as loud booms cut through the mix like a boxer swiping at a heavy bag. “Crunk Ain’t Dead,” his biggest song and hardest jam, is an orchestra of violence. It’s an arrogant, inviting, recurring slap. Duke shouts, “Crunk ain’t dead, crunk ain’t dead, crunk ain’t dead, bitch!” over strings, piano, and 808s. It is pure octane.
“I took a lot of singles from out of the city, local songs that was hot in my city, and I started running through the beats on the muhfucka,” he said. “That joint just stood out the most to us. When that muhfucka came on, and the way I came in, everybody went crazy every time. So I said, you know what? Fuck this shit! I’ma take this muhfucka and we just gon’ go with this on period. I added the chant chorus onto it, and boom!”
That fury comes through on his new tape, Memphis Massacre 2. The “Crunk Ain’t Dead” remix turns the song into a posse cut of legends with Juicy J from Three 6 Mafia and Project Pat, as Lil Jon’s voice acts like a defibrillator. “BHZ” has a creepy Halloween-esque piano and features rhymes like “Ridin wit the muhfuckin’ P’s in the back / If 12 pull us over then you know we running track.” The syrupy “Fat Mac” is perfect for the strip club, where crunk originally found life. There’s even a Lil Yachty verse on “Crunk Ain’t Dead Mob” where he, actually, you know, raps. Duke Deuce’s new crunk reality can bring out the best in everyone.
Memphis has embraced him, he said. “They pretty much like, ‘It’s about time somebody came with the real Memphis sound.’ They proud, mane. It ain’t too many people pushing that sound. Everybody’s kinda, a little, I don’t wanna say boring,” he said. “Everybody’s just kinda in the same lane to me.”
Duke’s dancing is another thing. Part of his appeal is that his moves, both inspired and audacious, are captivating. He’s nodding to the “gangsta walk” rhythms of Memphis, something—like his sound—that hasn’t hit the mainstream in over a decade. Sometimes, this gets turned into a meme. Don’t worry. He’s quite aware of it. Duke wants his moves to go viral, and he’s conscious of how important that is for a rising rapper in the digital age. He’ll pace the studio until the light bulb flashes in his brain and he concocts a masterpiece—“gangsta and simple,” he said, because he won’t be “out here twistin’ my gotdamn ankles.” (That’s no small feat for a man of his stature.) “We pretty much came up doing this shit,” Duke said. “I feel like a lot of rappers don’t dance because,” and then he let out an exasperated and elongated “shiiiiiiiiddddd” as he rolled his eyes.
“Niggas think they too cool, ya know what I’m saying? Everybody don’t gotta dance. It just leaves more room for me to shine. I ain’t too cool to dance.”
Those moves—and the music—helped turn him into a budding star, beginning with 2018’s “Whole Lotta.” It was a smash: Well-known Atlanta dancers started making videos to the song, and rapper Offset liked what he heard. A few online messages between the two later, Duke found his way to QC, home of Offset’s group, Migos. He said he thought the messages were fake at first. But they led to his new reality: He was a frequent feature on Quality Control’s 2019 tape, Control the Streets Volume 2, and he’s gotten cosigns from the likes of labelmate Cardi B. When the money from his deal hit, Duke bought a bevy of things: jewelry, of course, but also one thing he loves chatting about, his tricked-out Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. He beams thinking about what his new success has afforded him.
“That shit did something for me right there,” he laughs. “I can get used to this.”
Later that night, folks huddled in Chelsea Music Hall to hear Duke’s new project, waddling in from the cold to hear an old rap sound reborn.
It was a collection of New York socialites: influencers, drill music lovers, people who found themselves in Manhattan for a midweek reprieve. There were tributes to the late Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke, who was killed in Los Angeles that morning and whose booming Brooklyn sound was the hard-hitting, scratchy soundtrack of New York’s last summer. An assortment of sounds filled the room as people waited for Duke: Yachty deep cuts, Lil Uzi heaters, and homages to the late D4L rapper Shawty Lo, among others. Strobe lights touched every inch of the compound as a crew of black millennials bopped under the lights. It felt free. For a moment, it was just us and the bass, our shoulders shimmying to the snares, our hair flying in the breeze from the pounding speakers. The glory of New York lived here for a few hours, without pretenders, without posers, without the assumption that we’d live beyond the moment we were glued to.
Duke Deuce appeared from behind the fog of the smoke machine shortly after midnight, just as the event was originally supposed to end. Many who had showed up to see him had vanished by that point, unwilling to adhere to a talent’s schedule on a Wednesday night. This wasn’t a top headliner. This was the new King of Crunk in a city that doesn’t care about it more than a natural East Coast sound. At one point reps from Capitol Music Group said Duke would be on stage by 11, then it was 11:30, then people started moving, zombielike, out the door when he was nowhere in sight. When the DJ asked whether anyone was “ready to see Duke Deuce,” and nobody reacted, he said, “Yeah, I’m ready to see him, too.” It was the typical routine of waiting for an artist to appear at their own event. A metronome between curiosity and boredom. One has to strike the right balance. And here, it was nearly absent.
But once Duke came out, he was a Memphis powerhouse. The remaining crowd sprinted to the front of the venue as he stepped on stage. Duke danced the night away in a bright orange and turquoise North Face jumpsuit that made him look like a HollyHood astronaut. His boys surrounded him and jigged across the stage with a magic made on Beale Street. Ski masks covered their faces as they made finger guns. The energy was electric, but as Duke told me earlier, he doesn’t settle for satisfaction. He wants an explosion. In the middle of one of his slower songs from the back end of Memphis Massacre 2, he cut the music. “Let’s turn this shit up!” Everyone knew what that meant and the chaos that would subsequently ensue. His homies were disappointed. “How y’all don’t feel this shit?!” one asked. “It’s OK,” Duke reassured. “I got something for ’em!’”
When Duke played “Crunk Ain’t Dead,” the building went nuclear. “What the fuuuuuuck,” he boomed. “Ayeee ayyeee!!” The crowd shot back. This is what they’d waited four hours to see. The dancing Memphis man. The choreographed black joy. The uninhibited gall to stomp that stage out like it owed him money. “I’m a gangsta, muhfucka, and I’m standing on that shit!” Duke spat. A mosh pit of men rapped right next to his face, sweating next to each other like a gym class. Hell. I almost got killed in the resulting fervor. Then he stopped the song halfway and started from the top. He wanted to prove a point. He wasn’t going to tear the roof off his friends’ studios back in Memphis and not do the same at his New York coming-out party. It was an inspired performance. If he was trying to give us tinnitus, it almost worked.
Duke told me that he wants to be the best artist to ever come out of Memphis. The bigger names already support him, and he’s popular enough that he can support smaller acts back home. “I’m kind of standoffish, but I’ve got a big heart and I love to show love to other people,” he said. The legends of Memphis rap, “they fuckin’ wit me,” he said. And the movement isn’t his to bear alone. Juicy J is still a mainstay on the scene. Drake had DJ Paul on his last album. Travis Scott reappropriated Three 6 Mafia’s classic “Tear Da Club Up” for 2018’s “No Bystanders.” The sound is gaining newfound momentum behind Duke, but it’s never truly fizzled out.
People are going to catch on to his crunk rebirth. He believes it’s too strong. Too vital. Too important to the framing of hip-hop’s current sound. But they must, he stresses, understand where it came from. “People don’t understand that crunk came from Memphis,” he said. “I’m pretty much here to let the world know.”
What radiates from Duke is what he proclaimed the entire day I spent with him: He’s not trying to come off as a hard-as-fuck gangsta rapper at all times. He’s a goofball. He believes he’s down to earth. He has an infectious energy that you can’t help but smile and nod with when you’re around him.
At one point in the day, Coach K, who had been following Duke’s tail from the hotel to the venue, tells Duke that he reminds him of the late Heavy D—the self-described “overweight lover” who crossed over into the mainstream in the early 1990s—given the heft of each man and the way they danced. “Ain’t been a heavy muhfucka since him,” Coach K says. Duke gives a wry smile. Well, when’s the last time you saw a dude this size move like that outside of a football field? He’s gleefully and forcefully trying to revive a dead art. And he promises this isn’t a gimmick. He just has a certain way of gettin’ crunk.
It reminds me of how we left each other earlier that day. Duke’s friends were egging him on to do his signature ad-lib in the packed penthouse restaurant. He tried to hide his smile. “I would say it, but it’s going to be too loud,” he laughed. I told him to do it. Why not? His friends pushed and shoved, wanting him to remind the place who he was.
“They gon’ kick us out this muhfucka!” he chuckled. “Y’all see all these white people?!”
“We staying here!” one said.
“You paid good money!” another reminded him.
“Y’all really want this, huh?” Duke laughed again. “Y’all crazy as hell!”
Eventually, he let his guard down, and the man from the viral videos emerged. Duke craned his neck back and cupped his hand to his mouth and belts the now-signature Memphis sound from the top of the tower for all of midtown Manhattan to hear.
“WHATTT THEEEE FUCKKKKKKKK?!?!?!?!”
We all snorted. It was worth almost getting kicked out of the place. For a moment, the unsuspecting saw the Memphis shine off one of rap’s new generation in the boisterous crunk style the rest of the world has come to know and a young set of fans are getting acquainted to—through force, if need be.
An earlier version of this piece misstated that Kevin Lee is head of Quality Control Music; he is the COO.
Crunk Ain't Dead (Remix)
Quality Control Music (Caroline)2020Various Artists00 Track3 min 33 sec
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About Crunk Ain't Dead (Remix) Album
Crunk Ain't Dead (Remix) is a English album released on 05 Feb 2020. Crunk Ain't Dead (Remix) Album has 1 song sung by Duke Deuce, Lil Jon, Juicy J. Listen to Crunk Ain't Dead (Remix) song in high quality & download Crunk Ain't Dead (Remix) song on Gaana.com.
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Released onFeb 05, 2020
© Quality Control Music (Caroline)
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Lil Jon Going Global With 'Crunk Rock'
Though "Give It All U Got" is clearly geared towards the clubs -- like much of Lil Jon's repertoire -- the beat veers closer to the current electro-pop trend than the Southern crunk that he brought to the mainstream. But Lil Jon says he's still the same artist.
"'Lovers and Friends' [his 2004 R&B single featuring Usher and Ludacris], that was a stretch to people," he explains. "But when they really got into the record, they were like, 'This is a hot song -- it don't matter if Jon ain't screaming and hollering.' So I think people will accept this one without any problems."
Still, Lil Jon plans to release an urban single shortly after "Give It All U Got" hits radio to keep his hip-hop fanbase satisfied. The song he has in mind is a Drumma Boy-produced collaboration with R. Kelly that he promises will "hit so hard--it's gonna be major."
Lil Jon says "Crunk Rock" will have a total of 20 tracks, about half of which are still being completed. Among the other highlights are "G-Walk," a song featuring Soulja Boy Tell 'Em that he describes as "crunk and swag mixed together," a 3OH3! collaboration entitled "Hey!" and the Ying Yang Twins-assisted "Ride The D," which he says is a "classic, dirty South strip club anthem."
Though the concept for "Crunk Rock" has moved away from a literal mashup of crunk and rock, Lil Jon also says there will be some genre-mixing cuts on the album, including a song with indie Afro-punk band Whole Wheat Bread. In addition, "I got a nice, diverse community of producers," he says, from Dr. Luke and David Guetta to Shawty Redd, Danja and Benny Blanco.
"Crunk Rock" will also be Lil Jon's first release on Universal Republic since his tumultuous split with TVT Records, and among the perks of his new label relationship is a global marketing push. An alternate version of "Give It All U Got" has been recorded with the chart-topping U.K. rapper Tinchy Stryder, who is also shooting a second version of the music video with Lil Jon and Kee in Miami.
"I never really had the commercial success internationally that I had in the States," says Lil Jon. "This will help take me to another level where I deserve to be at. We're going to push the button, and it's going to be Lil Jon mania all over again."
Lil Jon's "Crunk Juice" has sold 2,505,000 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
2020 crunk music
The Hardest Rap Beats of All Time
Every genre has its own way of going to loud and heavy extremes. But rap production has a somewhat abstract set of criteria for judging how hard a beat can be, and how a track can make the MC on it sound like an unstoppable Man of Steel. Maybe the drums sound like they’re going to punch through the speakers. Maybe the bass feels like it’s going to shake you out of your chair. Or maybe an obscure sample with a piercing, high-pitched tone takes the energy of the track to another level. Through the aforementioned techniques, and more, hip-hop’s greatest beatmakers, from Dr. Dre to RZA to Just Blaze, have pushed the genre forward. They’ve done so in part by showing us new ways to make a looped rhythm track sound like a solid, immovable object, or more likely, a steadily pounding mechanical piston.
From Rick Rubin’s rock-rap anthems of the ‘80s to the Swizz Beatz synth bangers of the ’90s to the bombastic Just Blaze soul beats of the 2000s to the Lex Luger trap tracks of the 2010s, the most aggressive hip-hop hits of each era have their own unique texture. The Neptunes’ minimalism can be just as hard as The Bomb Squad’s noisy wall of samples. The handclap from Lil Jon’s 808 can cut through the air just as sharply as a snare that DJ Premier lifted from a ’70s funk record. Sometimes, a shouted M.O.P. or DMX chorus helps amplify a beat’s intensity. Other times, calmly delivered rhymes by T.I. or Biggie contrast beautifully with the frenetic energy of the track and let the production speak for itself. While some of these songs crossed over to the pop charts, others remained favorites of real rap heads and connoisseurs. Regardless of their ultimate fate, these are the hardest rap beats of all time.
For other uses, see Crunk (disambiguation).
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. 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. The term "crunk" is also used as a blanket term to denote any style of Southern hip hop, a side effect of the genre's breakthrough to the mainstream. The word derives from its African-American slang past-participle form, "crunk", of the verb "to crank" (as in the phrase "crank up"). It refers to being excited or high on drugs.
The term has been attributed mainly to African-American slang, in which it holds various meanings. It most commonly refers to the verb phrase "to crank up". It is theorized that the use of the term came from a past-tense form of "crank", which was sometimes conjugated as "crunk" in the South, such that if a person, event, or party was hyped-up, i.e. energetic – "cranked" or "cranked up" – it was said to be "crunk".
In publications, "crunk" can be traced back to 1972 in the Dr. Seuss book Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!. He uses the term "Crunk-Car" without any given definition. The term has also been traced to usage in the 1980s coming out of Atlanta, Georgia nightclubs and meaning being "full of energy" or "hyped".[unreliable source?] In the mid-1990s, crunk was variously defined either as "hype", "phat", or "pumped up". Rolling Stone magazine published "glossary of Dirty South slang", where to crunk was defined as "to get excited".
Outkast has been attributed as the first artist to use the term in mainstream music, in the 1993 track "Player's Ball". A seminal year for the genre was 1996, with the releases of Three 6 Mafia album Chapter 1: The End (featuring "Gette'm Crunk"), and Memphis-based underground hip hop artist Tommy Wright III's album On the Run, which featured the Project Pimp track "Getting Crunk".
Artist Lil Jon was instrumental in bringing the term further into the mainstream with his 1997 album titled Get Crunk, Who U Wit: Da Album. He later released other songs and albums using the term, and has been credited by other artists and musicians as galvanizing use of the term as well as mainstreaming the music genre itself.
Lil Jon further popularized the word with his 2004 album Crunk Juice, and has been credited with inventing the potent alcoholic cocktail by that name. This use of "crunk" became synonymous with the meaning "crazy drunk". Non-alcoholic drinks, to which alcohol could be added, were manufactured and marketed under the Crunk brand name, with Lil Jon as spokesman.[self-published source?]
The term has continued to evolve, taking on a negative stigma with police, parents and the media. In 2011, the company which manufactured "Crunk" drink brought out an alcoholic version named "Crunk Juice". This drink was allegedly marketed towards 19- to 21-year-olds – those under the US legal drinking age – resulting in Crunk Juice drinking being blamed as a cause of crime or becoming a victim of crime. The mainstream media began publishing stories in which the term "crunk" was used to refer to "crazy and drunk" criminals.
Musically, crunk borrows heavily from Miami bass and 1980s-era call-and-response hip hop. Heavy use of synthesized instruments and sparse, truncated 808 drums are staples of the crunk sound. Looped, stripped-down drum machine rhythms are usually used. The Roland TR-808 and 909 are among the most popular. The drum machines are usually accompanied by simple, repeated synthesizermelodies in the form of ostinato, to create a hypnotic effect, and heavy bass stabs. The tempo of the music is somewhat slower than hip hop, around the speed of reggaeton.
The focal point of crunk is more often the beats and music than the lyrics therein. Crunk rappers, such as Lil Jon, however, often shout and scream their lyrics, creating a heavy, aggressive style of hip hop. These lyrics can often be isolated to simple chants ("Where you from?" and "You can't fuck with me" are common examples). While other subgenres of hip hop address sociopolitical or personal concerns, crunk is almost exclusively party music, favoring call and response slogans in lieu of more substantive approaches.
Crunk music arose from Miami bass music before 1996 in the southern United States, particularly in African Americanstrip clubs of Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis-based hip hop group Three 6 Mafia were "instrumental for the emergence of the crunk style" in the mid-to-late 1990s. Two mixtape DJs from Memphis, DJ Paul and Juicy J, started making their original music, which was distinctive with its "spare, low-BPM rhythms, simplistic chants... and narcotically repetitive, slasher-flick textures". This duo soon became known as Three 6 Mafia. Frequently featuring rappers such as Project Pat, Lord Infamous and Gangsta Boo on their releases, they became instrumental in the formation of crunk music.
In 1997, in Atlanta, Lil Jon, with his group the East Side Boyz, released their first album titled Get Crunk, Who U Wit. These were the first of six albums released by Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz. Lil Jon states[when?] that they were first to use the word "crunk" in a song hook; he claimed that they had started to call themselves a "crunk group" due to this album. However, The New York Times denied that Get Crunk, Who Are You With was the first crunk album ever. He was one of the key figures in popularizing crunk during 1998 and 1999, and produced two gold records independently, before signing to TVT Records in 2001. After being named the "King of Crunk", Lil Jon went on to make collaborations with many popular artist such as Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Ludacris and Britney Spears. Nevertheless, crunk was not exclusively associated with Lil Jon and Three 6 Mafia. In its early stages, such artists as Ying Yang Twins, White Dawg, Bone Crusher, Lil Scrappy, Trillville, Youngbloodz and Pastor Troy from Atlanta, and David Banner from Mississippi also helped to popularize crunk music.
Popularity and evolution
In the early to mid-2000s, some crunk music hits like "Get Low", "Goodies", "Yeah!" and "Freek-a-Leek" produced by Lil Jon climbed to the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Other hits produced by Lil Jon included "Okay", "Cyclone", "Girlfight", "U and Dat" and "Touch". "Yeah!" and "Goodies" were the first tracks to introduce the substyle of crunk music and contemporary R&B, called crunk&B, to the public. Those two tracks (performed by Usher and Ciara, respectively) were mainstream hits of 2004.
The song "Get Low" (2003), performed by Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz with the Ying Yang Twins, is credited as the track which put crunk music into the national spotlight. "Get Low" reached the number two position on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart; overall, it spent more than 21 weeks in the charts. Though rappers not from Dixie had tended to avoid being associated with Southern hip hop music before, Busta Rhymes and Nelly accepted offers to perform on remixes of "Get Low". Lil Jon's album, titled Kings of Crunk, which contains "Get Low", became double platinum.
In 2004, independent label Crunk Incorporated signed a major distribution deal with Reprise/Warner Bros. Records for the crunk group Crime Mob, who released the platinum single "Knuck If You Buck". They followed this with their 2006 hit, "Rock Yo Hips". In March 2004, R&B singer Houston released his crunk&B hit "I Like That", which reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2005, crunk&B reached the Billboard Hot 100 number one position with the song "Run It!", performed by Chris Brown. In 2005 and 2006, crunk and crunk&B conquered the American R&B charts (and other charts specializing in music with rapping) and replaced hip hop and older styles of contemporary R&B. Atlanta R&B group Cherish also gained prominence with their summer 2006 song "Do It to It" where the song debuted at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week of May 20, 2006, later peaking at number 12 for the week of September 2, 2006 and staying on the charts for 21 weeks.
The growing interest in crunk music among music producers outside the Southern hip hop scene led to the development of various subgenres of crunk, including Eurocrunk, crunkcore, crunkczar, aquacrunk, acid crunk and most recently, trap music. By the end of 2009, crunk had seen a relative decline in mainstream American music, mostly due to the rising popularity of the trap and drill music subgenres as well as electropop and EDM. In 2015, American singer Tinashe incorporated crunk elements in her single "All Hands on Deck" featuring Iggy Azalea. The song contains themes of girl power and self empowerment. In 2019, rapper Saweetie sampled Petey Pablo's 2004 crunk hit "Freek-a-Leek" for her song "My Type".
- ^ abcSanneh, Kelefa (November 28, 2004). "Lil John Crunks Up the Volume". The New York Times.
- ^ abSarig, Roni (December 2003). "Southern Lights". Vibe. 11 (12): 168–74.
- ^ abcdefMiller, Matt (10 June 2008). "Dirty Decade: Rap Music and the U.S. South, 1997–2007". Southern Spaces. Archived from the original on 10 August 2012.
- ^crunk at dictionary.com
- ^ abcOxford English Dictionary
- ^Buchwald, Art (July 30, 1974). "Richard M. Nixon Will You Please Go Now!". The Washington Post.
- ^Wong, David (2011-12-22). "Ridiculous Origins of Everyday Words". Cracked.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29.[unreliable source?]
- ^ abJones, Steve (July 25, 2003). "Get Crunk". USA Today.
- ^"Outkast Lyrics: 'Player's Ball'". Lyricstime.com. Archived from the original on 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- ^Birchmeier, Jason (1996-12-03). "Da End: Three 6 Mafia". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- ^"On the Run: Tommy Wright III". Allmusic.com. 1996-11-19. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- ^"Crunk Energy Drink". 2007.[self-published source]
- ^"Crunk Juice Website". Cjcrunk.com. Archived from the original on 2014-05-17. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- ^"A Google listing of Crunk Related Crimes". Google.com. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2013-05-29.[original research?]
- ^Green, Tony (October 16, 2001). "Twerk to Do". Village Voice. Archived from the original on 22 September 2008.
- ^"Lil Jon biography". Archived from the original on 2015-10-22. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- ^ abGreen, Tony (May 21, 2004). "Punk rap". MSNBC.
- ^Baca, Ricardo (September 16, 2003). "Brink in da Crunk: More take notice of hyper sound with Southern accent". The Denver Post. p. F-01.
- ^Shepherd, Julianne (August 18, 2006). "Soul Bounce: Crunk 'n' B 101". Archived from the original on September 13, 2007.
- ^Hope, Clover (May 11, 2006). "Rihanna Stays Strong On Hot 100". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- ^"Cherish and Sean Paul Of The Youngbloodz - Do It To It". aCharts.us. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
|Look up crunk in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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2020 Was The Year Female Rappers Dominated
Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr / NPR / Getty Images
In 2020, there were many ways to understand the year in music; this week, we're considering four. It's been a long journey for women to get their critical and commercial dues in hip-hop, but the past year came replete with glimpses of progress. First, the facts: For a brief period in May, four Black women—Nicki Minaj alongside Doja Cat on "Say So" and Beyoncé alongside Megan Thee Stallion on "Savage" — occupied the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100. That two-week span marked historic moments for Nicki, Doja and Megan, all of whom scored their first No. 1s, and for "Say So," which became the first single by two female rappers to reach the top of the chart. Cardi B later joined their ranks with her fabulously naughty collaboration with Megan, "WAP." Of course, these measures and milestones fail to capture the dynamism of women in rap as a whole, a renaissance of sorts which has only seemed to grow in enthusiasm and breadth since Cardi's first historic run in 2017. To know what tomorrow sounds like, one need only listen to the women in rap today. They are creating scenes within scenes that speak to and embody the manifold experiences of people who exist across the spectrums of gender and sexual orientation, all while fueling the sounds popularized by artists in and outside of hip-hop. Unbeholden to the narrow representations of old, these 23 songs represent but a handful of the women in rap who left their mark on 2020. —Briana Younger
Armani Caesar, "Drill A RaMA" ft. Benny the Butcher
Even surrounded by the hip-hop heavy hitters of Griselda, Armani Caesar holds her own and then some with crafty technical prowess and unassailable aplomb. On "Drill a RaMA," from her label debut, THE LIZ, the Buffalo native trades lines with labelmate Benny the Butcher before launching into a slippery flex flow that is as much an exercise in presence as it is skill. She knows her way around gritty classicist production (see: "Countdown"), but she's just as compelling when she's poppin' pussy over trapped out 808s (see: "Yum Yum"). Her stylistic pliability only further highlights her lyrical savvy — better get you a rapper who can do both. —Briana Younger
Audrey Nuna, "Damn Right"
Endorsed by BLACKPINK's Rosé and reminiscent of eccentric wordsmith Tierra Whack, Audrey Nuna proved she's one to watch this year. On "Damn Right," Nuna turns bars into knives as she slices loose tongues, cutting through superficial flexes and gossip. She raps effortlessly on packed, lively verses that demand full attention before switching it up with sweetened choruses. She sings, playful and electric, "everybody talkin' s*** and they d*** right," and suddenly, I'm obsessed. —LaTesha Harris
Bbymutha, "Roaches Don't Die"
On "Roaches Don't Die," BbyMutha raps with an unyielding, breezy tenacity that elevates lines like "Dearly departed / Kill these b****** while I rest in peace / I ain't even took my bonnet off" from thrilling lyric to lethal mantra. Unafraid to deliver a face-burning read without a second thought, the Chattanooga-born rapper maximizes the real estate of a spiked melody and a menacing bassline to support the kind of candid intimacy typically reserved for a group chat. Her self-assured battle armor is fortified with human-sized vulnerabilities, well-suited to slip onto your shoulders (and tongue) when your own reserves are running low. —Melissa Vincent
BIA has been on the come-up since 2016, but she officially claimed her stake in the rap game after collaborating with Russ on 2019's Rihanna-approved "Best on Earth." The Boston-born rapper continues to cement her presence with bangers like "Skate." The single shows BIA at her most confident as she, well, skates over an ice-cold trap melody. As she continues to ascend, she makes it clear that her success is all her doing: "I made it out the mud, only me I wanna thank." —Bianca Gracie
Bree Runway, "GUCCI" ft. Maliibu Miitch
A talent unbound by genre and only tethered to excess, giving everything and beyond, British artist Bree Runway's ability to rap, sing, dance and deliver is a full-package reminiscent of a lost generation of performers — a Missy Elliott, Madonna, Rihanna hybrid who puts the "star" in popstar. On "GUCCI" she partners with Bronx bombshell Maliibu Miitch for a braggadocio-filled, experimental rap record with an equally experimental visual to match. Signaling both the Italian fashion house and her state of mind and being, the pair are, simply put, high-quality and highly-coveted. The track is a testament to the tenacity of Bree Runway, an artist who can do and be anything the art needs her to. —Ivie Ani
Chika's refreshing brand of transparency — in addition to her impressive flow — has made the Alabama-bred rapper one of the year's most essential voices. On "BALENCIES," a cut from her major label debut EP Industry Games, the Grammy-nominated rapper ruminates on the ins and outs of her newfound fame by putting the ghosts of her past in dialogue with her present and future lives. Over a thumping choral beat, she tackles her demons, such as egoism and fluctuating mental health, with sincerity, pondering how she's gonna win when she ain't right within. By keepin' it 100 with herself, Chika becomes a beacon for listeners dealing with struggles of their own. —J'na Jefferson
City Girls, "Rodeo"
Talking that talk times two, City Girls' highly anticipated sophomore album, City On Lock, would have made perfect party music if we were not in a global pandemic. Even without clubs, "Rodeo" is a gem, as JT and Yung Miami assert their right to have erotic experiences, explaining them in detail over pounding drums. It's filled with quotable one-liners — "I'm young and I'm sexy and reckless" JT declares in the opening verse — that uphold the tradition of Black women using rap to conceive of and construct their sexuality, and it's the first thing I'm playing when it's safe to be outside again. —Nadirah Simmons
After her brief hiatus last year, cupcakKe's "Discounts" displays how the Chicago emcee got her groove back. Through lightning-fast witticisms about money, sex and status — accented by a sprightly flute looping throughout the track — the 23-year-old re-emerges as an upgraded version of herself, self-assured and more audacious than ever. Several labels reached out to work with cupcakKe following the rousing response to the single, and while she remains unsigned for now, if "Discounts" is any indication, she's stepped into her destiny as a force not to f*** with. —J'na Jefferson
In April, Baltimore's Deetranada dropped a scorching, attention-grabbing verse on "BRAIN," a standout cut from Robb Bank$'s No Rooftops 2 that sampled N.E.R.D.'s song of the same name. Two months later, she brought that fearless energy to a solo effort, releasing a track celebrating her 19th birthday, aptly titled "19." On it, the rapper contemplatively reflects on the life she's lived, while also candidly flexing about what sets her far apart from her contemporaries. —Kiana Fitzgerald
DreamDoll, "Ah Ah Ah" ft. Fivio Foreign
As drill music dominates New York, the artists on the periphery of the city's current rap scene continue to find their place within the genre and beyond it. Bronx rapper DreamDoll makes a subtle foray into the movement with assistance from Brooklyn drill heavyweight Fivio Foreign on "Ah Ah Ah." Produced by Dizzy Banko, the track marks a Bronx and Brooklyn connection bound by the streets' argot of choice, unintelligible to tongues outside of NY's borders. DreamDoll's party bars became the vox populi for New York baddies held back by a quarantine summer of clubless nights, but "Ah Ah Ah" did more than provide scripture for Instagram captions; it's helped solidify DreamDoll within the vanguard of new New York rap. —Ivie Ani
Flo Milli, "Like That B****"
As summer anthems go, 20-year-old Flo Milli's "Like That B****," released on her debut mixtape, Ho, Why Is You Here?, is of the fight song variety, the kind sorely needed in the twilight of this particular year. Coming out of the corner wearing her hometown of Mobile, Flo Milli locates herself amongst her predecessors and contemporaries, Southern and otherwise, with playful ease. "Like That B****" is both announcement and demonstration aided by a J. White Did It beat proudly signifying on mid-2000s trap crunk. Flo Milli cartwheels through your favorite rappers' favorite cadences, delivering a ready, rowdy South that won't stop punching. —Zandria F. Robinson
Junglepussy continues to be the funniest one in the room. Flippant yet intense, she acts out lovestruck infatuation on "Telepathy," falling into an obsessive spiral to indulge in fantasies of a man she knows she should drop. With shameless honesty, she threatens her partner with affection and begs him to read her mind. Her vulnerabilities are obscured by a repetitive, bird-like, record-scratching beat and monotone delivery. Still, lines like "this coochie a gold mine" and "my ooch wally had you wildin' full time" prove that even with a debilitating crush, her signature bravado and wit reign supreme. —LaTesha Harris
Ivorian Doll, "Rumours"
The self-proclaimed "Queen of Drill" made her mark with a deliciously unrepentant breakthrough track, brilliantly inverting the misogynistic concept of a "body count" into an extended metaphor for a different method of violence. Complete with a video situated in a high school to further cement the sophomoric nature of attacking a woman's rise through slutshaming and unfounded allegations, Ivorian Doll's rhythmic banter coupled with her skills on the mic established her as a force majeure with a fresh perspective in a subculture dominated by men. —Shamira Ibrahim
Ivy Sole, "NAME IT"
2020 has been an opening of wounds many of us didn't know were there, but Ivy Sole's "NAME IT," off their latest Southpaw EP, is a balm for the unrelenting strife. Outside of holding space for a breadth of experiences, the Charlotte-born, Philly-bred rapper and singer is able to achieve a specificity in their work that mirrors that of the best songwriters. Where plenty of music allows us to escape to other worlds, "NAME IT" asks us to move inward: "How can I hate the place that I came from? / How can I hate what I wanna change?" Following in the tradition of icons like D'Angelo and peers like Jamila Woods, their mellow merging of genres asks us to see where we come from even when it's most difficult. —Clarissa Brooks
Jocelyn "Jozzy" Donald is one of the 2010s most prolific songwriters of R&B, hip-hop and pop music, credited and uncredited. The Memphis native's solo work, like October's five-track EP, Soul Therapy: Apartment 215, is a window into the quotidian beauty of the genius's interior voice and life. "Pleasantville," the EP's lead track, is a dreamy, muted love story in sound and color that echoes this year's quiet, intimate, reflective and enclosed but sometimes wide-open spaces — wherever, however and whenever we were blessed to find them. —Zandria F. Robinson
Over a flurry of sonic influences, courtesy of frequent Megan Thee Stallion producer DJ Chose, Houston emcee KenTheMan invokes the flavors of current and past women rappers as she weaves a captivating aural tapestry of her very own. With a generous sampling of Trina's carnal 2008 single "Look Back at Me" as her foundation, KenTheMan picks up where Trina left off, priding herself on sexual autonomy, freedom and self-empowerment. —Kiana Fitzgerald
Mulatto, "In n Out" ft. City Girls
Mulatto is known for having some of the naughtiest lyrics among her peers, and what better way to raise the bar than by teaming up with the City Girls? From Mulatto's debut album, Queen of Da Souf, Atlanta meets Miami for the cheeky "In n Out." Don't mistake this for the beloved fast food chain — these ladies are serving up s***-talking ("30 Glock in my Dior, I dare a b**** to run down"), an earworm chorus and references to this summer's infamous entanglement. Mulatto may not have revealed what's in that "Big Latto Sauce", but whatever the secret ingredients, they're pushing her closer to Southern rap domination. —Bianca Gracie
Noname, "Song 33"
In a year where Black neighborhoods were being crippled by state-sponsored violence — from the pandemic negligence to the police — the role of celebrities in the Black liberation movement has increasingly been called into debate. Noname, on her end, has largely chosen to shift her platform away from music to learning and amplifying, a position that has at times put her at odds with peers such as J. Cole, who expressed his misgivings on the track "Snow on Tha Bluff." "Song 33" not only served as a rebuttal to his commentary but as a call-to-action to the Black bourgeoisie within the movement embedded in sharp lyricism; she declares a "new vanguard" in the delicate matrix of arts, politics and performance. —Shamira Ibrahim
ppcocaine, "Hugh Hefner"
ppcocaine's single "Hugh Hefner" could best be described as a hard-edged sugar rush — a never-ending angsty ride that leaves you ready to fight. The LA-based rapper, who met her stylistic match with a recent guest verse on Rico Nasty's "Smack A B**** Remix," is the newest star of the pop-punk rap niche at the age of 19 and is already shifting what we think stardom can look like. Her screamo and high pitched tone over hard 808s call to mind the days of Kelis and is a needed contrast to the yesteryears of surface-level Black girl magic. —Clarissa Brooks
Rico Nasty, "OHFR?"
Even with women enjoying a new wave of recognition in rap, Rico Nasty still finds a way to crash against what's current. The DMV rapper crafts electro-welded chaos on "OHFR?," the anarchist calling card off her long-awaited debut album, Nightmare Vacation. As the inventor of sugar trap, reveling in dichotomy has always been Rico's strong suit, but the rasp in her tone and sarcasm in her bars cut deeper than ever thanks to some manic punk production courtesy of 100 gecs' Dylan Brady and more self-assured gumption behind every syllable. —Sidney Madden
On Su'lan's "B.T.H.N.," the Oakland duo trade quips atop a sample of an iconic viral video (courtesy of producer Drew Banga) to create a song full of the rightful fury Black women need to hear and express. The pair are ready to spar, letting naysayers and haters know they can be met with the Draco or their fists to "break that hoe nose" as they take up the kind of hyper-aggressive space in the realm of rage rap that's so often only afforded to men. It's as rowdy as it is freeing — not to mention a hard beat to dance to. —Nadirah Simmons
Sydanie, "purple carousel"
When it comes to love, Sydanie poses an urgent inquiry: How does one locate the balance between desire and volatility? On "purple carousel," the Toronto-based rapper and producer explores potential answers with razor sharp bars, teeming with cosmic introspection and executed with the caliber of skill you'd bet money on. Over a mosaic of metallic drum & bass, laced with flourishes of relentless breakcore (multi-instrumentalist composer and Club Quarantine co-founder Casey MQ holds production credits), Sydanie builds a case for pleasure with finely spun precision, pinpointing her boundaries and holding herself with compassion in order to yield its healing properties. —Melissa Vincent
Yung Baby Tate, "I Am" ft. Flo Milli
Yung Baby Tate's new EP After The Rain is a technicolor ball of pop music that finds perfect harmony in sultry R&B and vibrant hip-hop. The latter peaks on the effervescent "I Am," a charming collaboration with Flo Milli and producer Slade Da Monsta who laces the pair with an elastic beat that bounces and thumps in turns. The two rappers, who have alarmingly perfect synergy, fill the track with wall-to-wall positive affirmations — "I am healthy, I am wealthy, I am rich, I am that b****" goes the hook — to give mirror work a hell of an anthem. —Briana Younger