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Crunkcore

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Brokencyde

brokeNCYDE - the band responsible for this musical monstrosity

Break Silence Recordings
Definition: Crunkcore is the merging of crunk hip-hop beats with screamo vocals. It's also quite possibly the worst musical creation ever. Crunkcore bands take heavy hip hop beats and merge them with screamo vocals - the worst element of the post-hardcore sound - to create a sound that is devoid of substance and virtually unlistenable. And you know, they throw some new slang and try out their brand new curse words on top of that.

That's not to say that it doesn't have its following. Its a large one in fact, populated almost entirely by suburban kids who are seeking to adopt both the credibility of the punk and hip hop scenes, and gaining neither. It's almost the ultimate form of rebellion; kids who have been raised by parents who were into metal, punk, rock or hip hop are seeking a way to rebel and shock their parents. The only way they can do that is by choosing a musical genre that's simply really bad. They can't shock their parents with the content of their music when their parents listened to the Sex Pistols or NWA, so instead they have to go for music of such low quality that it's insulting to anyone with any semblance of taste. If a sociologist, politician or generic old timer reminiscing about the good old days wants to answer the question "you know what's wrong with kids these days?", they need only point at this subgenre of music for the perfect answer.

The punk scene has co-opted many musical stylings over the years, beginning with the Pogues, who blended punk rock with traditional Irish music to become the founders of the Celtic punk sound. Quite often, hip hop and dance beats have been merged with great success. The industrial sound that came from the like of the Wax Trax label is one example, a sound that has progressed steadily toward the electro dance punk of bands like Enter Shikari. And the 1993 soundtrack to the film Judgment Night showed how well rock and metal can merge with hip hop as well, most notably when Ice-T and Slayer teamed up on disorder, a medley that was actually a trio of classic songs originally by the Exploited (Listen/Download).

But at the same time, there were groups that would one day take these great musical influences and turn them toward evil, either out genuine disdain for any sort of beauty in the world, or because they were so misguided that they didn't know any better.

The most guilty of the crunkcore bands are also it's originators - brokeNCYDE. Beginning in 2009, the outfit from Albuquerque began taking money from kids who didn't know any better with their first release, the perfectly and appropriately titled I'm Not a Fan But The Kids Like It. With two other albums, 2010's frighteningly titled Will Never Die and 2011's Guilty Pleasures (with a title that suggests that anyone who likes this band should indeed feel very guilty), they have perpetuated their crimes against music, and even spawned some imitators.

Like when white power hardcore gets lumped in with the punk scene, most self-respecting punks get more than a little embarrassed when a band like brokeNCYDE gets the punk moniker, or plays on the main stage of the Warped Tour. Not only is it a sign that Warped is becoming less and less about its origins, but it's a frightening foreshadowing of music in general. If this is the shape of music to come, we should be very afraid.

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