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Atlanta-based Lil' Jon & the East Side Boyz often refer to themselves as the "Kings of Crunk." Three of their five album titles to date contain the word "crunk."
This article is about the hip hop music subgenre and its related state of the mind. For information on the swear word, see Krunk (profanity).

Crunk is a specific type of hip hop music, based out of the southern United States, particularly Atlanta, Georgia. While most crunk-style music could be called "Dirty South" or southern rap, the reverse is not necessarily true. Eightball & MJG for example have a more "Southern funk" sound.

The sound itself is a mix of repetitive chants and drum machine rhythms, the Roland TR-808 being especially popular. Many of the drum machines (and the rhythms they produce) were previously more well known in specialty genres of dance music. The delivery of the lyrics, as with other Southern rap, is based on a rhythmic "bounce" which is very effective in clubs. In fact, several crunk songs have been banned in venues due to how wild the crowds can get.

Popular crunk-style acts include Bone Crusher, Lil' Scrappy, Ciara, Lil' Jon & the East Side Boyz, Three 6 Mafia, and the Ying Yang Twins. Lil' Jon & the East Side Boyz often claim to be the "Kings of Crunk." Lil' Scrappy is referred to as the "Prince of Crunk" whereas Ciara has been referred to as the "Princess of Crunk" and Chyna White is sometimes known as the "Queen of Crunk." While these artists have embodied the term crunk in the hip-hop industry, the term was more widely exposed to the non hip-hop community during a broadcast of the hit Fox show "American Idol", when a particular contestant repeatedly used variations of the phrase "Get crunk!" during his audition.

In the hip hop world, "crunk" rappers have been criticized for lacking any lyrical content and all using essentially the same beats and styles. Others, while agreeing that the subject of the lyrics are all more or less identical, say that the music is specifically designed for the rowdy clubs in which it thrives, and serves this purpose admirably. In any case, crunk has established itself as a major sub-division of hip-hop and should enjoy greater success due to the increased number of crunk albums being released.

Songs that contain "crunk" in their titles:

Another successful single that aided "crunk" in becoming a mainstream word is "Family Affair" by Mary J. Blige, which contains the following refrain:

Let's get it crunk upon
Not fun upon
Up in this dancery

Also Usher used Crunk in his song Uturn saying: What's crunk now used to be called getting to it

Also The Bad Seed used the word crunk in Usher's leaked song Ride saying: Get it crunk, get drunk Also Ciara used Crunk in her song Oh saying the lines This is where they stay crunk and Getting crunk in the club



The term "crunk" itself is allegedly a portmanteau of the words crazy and drunk, and it may very well be. But according to one entry in the Urban Dictionary (, the word crunk may actually have Yiddish origins. Crunk in Yiddish means "sick," from the German krank, of the same meaning. It was brought into the Southern Black vernacular through the presence of European Jewish immigrant shopkeepers in black neighborhoods in cities such as Atlanta.

Another theory suggests that it is the Southern/Ebonic past tense of the word "crank", like Dizzy Dean's famous use of "slud". This origin suggests that it does not exclusively deal with drugs and alcohol, but simply refers to acting crazy and energetic.

Can be used in the sense of "messed up" as in "these forks are crunk," and spread to "messed up" as from controlled substances

Crunk as a state of the mind

Crunk can also be used as a term meaning both high on marijuana (chronic) and drunk on alcohol at the same time or for being both crazy and drunk. This has also led to the term being used as a general synonym to 'getting wild' or excited. It is, for example, used this way at Indianapolis Colts home games at the RCA Dome. Achieving this status is known as "getting crunk," commonly not using the usual -ed suffix. Liquids that aid in this process can be referred to as "crunk juice" (popularized by Lil' Jon).

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See also

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Trip Hop - Freestyle - Hip house - Hip life - Go go - Miami bass - Nu soul - Ghettotech - Electro - Rap metal - Reggaeton - Merenrap - Urban Pasifika - Crunk

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