In Defense of Screamo crunk
I’ll admit, my first reaction to screamo crunk was abject horror. The next in a series of crossover genres (although, really, who thought nu-metal and rap-rock were good ideas?), screamo crunk combines the lyrical themes and liberal Auto-Tune usage of crunk with the trademark shrieking vocals of screamo. The result is both repellant and morbidly fascinating.
Some screamo crunk bands are fairly tolerable—3oh!3 has garnered some critical acclaim, and it’s difficult to dislike a band that instructs listeners to “do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.” On the other hand, bands like Brokencyde make you wonder how this genre has any artists, much less fans. Brokencyde, formed in 2006, are the “quintessential” screamo-crunk band. While the group is currently scheduled to play on the Warped Tour circuit, many have threatened to boycott the tour unless the band is removed from the lineup. Similarly, the video for Brokencyde’s “Freaxxx” just made Cracked.com’s list of “The Six Worst ‘Professional’ Music Videos on the Web.”
With these prejudices firmly in place, I showed a good friend of mine the video for Brokencyde’s “Get Crunk.” She was similarly affected, but what she said gave me pause.
“Oh my God, this is terrible. Why is he screaming?”
“No, no,” I replied, “You’ve got it all wrong. The screaming is fine, it’s the rest of it that’s terrible.”
Rather than a ridiculous mashup gone wrong, screamo crunk is an opportunity for musical unity. I appreciated the song because of its relationship to my beloved screamo, while my friend was a connoisseur of crunk. Brokencyde had effectively combined elements that we liked for different reasons and churned out a result that we could both hate and, more importantly, hate together.
That said, I found crunk much more engaging with the addition of screaming, and with a crunk backbeat, my screamo became much more palatable to my friend. Perhaps this abomination will actually be a stepping stone for our musical growth. And really, nothing ups your hipster cred more than liking something ironically.