There exists music that is so terrible, it stops making sense to me. The only appropriate reaction is to write a MTiTM entry dealing with a whole genre.
I’m a huge fan of fusions – a lot of the music that really excites me is a fusion of some kind. So when a band comes along that fuses two diverse musical styles, each fine in their own right, into a horrific mess of vomit, it upsets me a little. BrokenCYDE are the original and most infamous act in the genre known as ‘Crunkcore’. Crunkcore is best described as “terrible”, but a more complete account might say something like “Funeral for a Friend if they were possessed by Lil Jon and the Eastside Boys“. The stylistic mix is baffling to say the least – autotuned vocals and dirty hip-hop beats are accompanied by the high-pitched screams of hardcore vocals. Not exactly an intuitive mix, for a very good reason. Mixing one of the least accessible and commercial-friendly elements of hardcore into a popular, though niche, style of rap, seems to be calculated to alienate just about everyone.
Weirdly, if that was indeed the aim, the results have been mixed. Crunkcore, and BroneCYDE in particular, are favourite figures of fun on the internet (on Cracked.com, Yahoo! Answers, blogs) yet they seem to have generated a tenacious fanbase nonetheless. The lyrics might be seen as a parody of the typical fare of crunk hip-hop; partying, drinking, money, misogyny. Boy, the misogyny:
The one thing I can say in defense of this band is they seem to have a good sense of humour – they have albums named I’m Not a Fan, But the Kids Like It! and Guilty Pleasure, so they either recognize and relish the fact they are terrible, or are just amused by the strong reactions they evoke in listeners.
BrokenCYDE are merely the most successful crunkcore group. A number of other bands exist, but so far none seem to have reached the levels of infamy that the originators hold. I’m not going to post these videos, because they aren’t entertaining enough to fit into this post, but for the truly brave, I will link them.
To sum it up: BrokenCYDE, and others in the toxic genre they have spawned, manage to artlessly fuse two genres that do not belong together. This is music so awful it fascinates – I’m amazed by how it manages to make a pretty good stab at imitating the two genres that inspire it, but at the same time fail utterly to combine them. They seem to nearly understand about song structure and production, but just don’t quite get it. In so many ways it’s almost right, but in the end, it’s just wrong.