Urban Dictionary lists 144 definitions of the word “crunk.” It means “to get crazy and act a fool” (I got so damn crunk last night, I shot up dat nigga house) or “fucked up or intoxicated in any way” (Let’s get crunk off that syrup), depending on who you talk to.

Of course the term’s been in your vernacular for years. But in this week’s mainstream media, it’s just gotten Out. Of. Hand.

Stephen Malkmus plugs his new album on MTV News.

STEPHEN MALKMUS: I Googled [Face The Truth] and I found that there’s crunk-style hip-hop guys that have a song called “Face the Truth” down in Houston. And that shit’s selling … When Houston-style crunk first came out, it was based on drinking cough syrup and so much codeine. They would do these mixes that were really slow. And the leader of the scene, his body gave out from too much Robitussin or something. And I love that … these over-the-counter cough syrups are influencing music. Instead of marijuana for once, it’s nice.

Cute. Let’s see if Jon Stewart can keep up. From last night’s Daily Show:

ICE CUBE: Do you know what crunk means?
JON STEWART: Do I know what crunk means? You ask me … and it’s Passover no less!

That’s okay Jon. I’m sure Marc Ecko, can define for you

MARC ECKO: You go to Atlanta and crunk means something in completely different than what it means in New York … You go to a real hip-hop club in Atlanta and crunk music is CRUNK!

OK! Even conservative columnist and Lawrence Welk fan James Kilpatrick wants in.

JAMES J. KILPATRICK: It’s a wunnerful word, but what does it mean? I learned from Google that “the lurching beats and bellowed choruses of Southern crunk have become 2004′s defining pop sound.” … In “crunk” we have what appears to be a neologism…

Coming soon: (Killer Mike) Bloomberg christens his West Side stadium Crunk Juice Convention Center … Dirty South Brooklyn’s Jonathan Safron Foer publishes Extremely Loud And Incredibly Crunk … and indie-crunk-yuppie blogs.

Now for your daily MP3…

Lil’ Jon once told USA Today he was the first “to use it in a hook and tell people to ’get crunk.’” But please don’t give him credit for “YEAAA-UH.” David Byrne’s new Afro-Beat mix reveals where he stole it from.

The whole comp is fantastic. Buy it at Luaka Bop.

Comments (25)
  1. Justin  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    Coming soon to a suburb near you: bored teenagers drinking “syrup”, and the inevitable media hysteria that ensues.

    Coming soon to an “indie” club near you: hipsters drinking syrup “ironically.”

  2. Mimi  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    Didn’t Conan O’Brien start that word a few years ago?

  3. robb  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    “Crunk” is the new “Bling,” something that no rapper will ever utter again once whitey takes it waaaay too far. “These McNuggets are Crunk!” “TGIF is Crunk this week!”

  4. Sorry Mimi, Conan, and others: the word “crunk” actually shows up in American culture first in 1972, in that seminal Dr. Seuss work “Marvin K. Mooney, Won’t You Please Go Home.” Quote is as follows:

    “You can go on stilts. You can go by fish. You can go in a Crunk-Car if you wish.”

    Appropriately, the picture of a Crunk-Car which accompanies the caption is one mightily crazy, intoxicated-looking vehicle.

    Though I’m on the wrong campus of our two-campus school to access it right this moment, I’ll try to scan it in tomorrow when I’m at the other library, where it’s located, and post the pic in my blog so all can see it.

  5. Well, what does “crunk juice” actually consist of, then? I had one idea before, but now, I guess it depends on where you are when you drink it…


  6. i heart baby names  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    May I stray off topic and ask with whom Malkmus had a baby? All these articles say he’s having a kid, but none of them name names. I want names.

  7. Nelson  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    Noticing a trend is the surest way to kill it. I thought that happened a couple of years ago with crunk, but apparently not. Either way, it’s probably best to move on if you haven’t already, before, as robb suggested, TGIF gets crunk.

  8. I remember that Conan fake curse word! What was it — was it really “crunk”? Those segments were funny. Also when Amy Poehler played Andy’s sister.

  9. this was absolutely hilarious. thank you.

  10. crunxd  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    umm, justin, are you kidding? kids have been robotripping since before the scene existed. hard to believe, i know.

  11. Grimmone  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    Its all over when Frat Boys, Mary Hart and Pat O’Brien and that snoty British guy from that show on VH-1 “The Fab life of…” start using your word adnuseum.

  12. grrr  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    When will people start understanding that over the counter cough syrup and codeine cough syrup are TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. The southern scene has nothing to do with robitussin. Codeine cough syrup is a prescription drug. It does not contain dxm.

  13. Isn’t Malkmus confusing (Atl-centered) Crunk with (Houston-centered) chopped and screwed? Last I heard they were two very different genres, or at least that’s what I read every Sunday in the Times, buffy…

  14. Ken  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    You’re right John, Malkmus is confused when a song is Screwed it’s slowed down it was started by DJ Screw, who died of a codeine overdose.


  15. i’d always heard outkast were the first to use crunk? it’s in rosa parks: ‘we the type a people make the club get crunk’ & in B.O.B. i believe.

  16. And how old were the outkast crew in ’72? Dr. Seuss and his Crunk-Car’s got you all beat, yo.

    To see the infamous Crunk-Car, search inside the following book for “crunk-car”


    You must be logged on to amazon to play…

  17. robb  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    Yeah, I think I heard Pat O’Brien use “crunk” in one of his infamous voicemails.

    “You’re so fucking hot, lets get some coke, and a hooker, and just get crunk.” “Say yes, or just wink at me if you agree.”

  18. gena  |   Posted on Apr 27th, 2005 0

    the conan crunk was KRUNK. with a ‘k’ so apparently different.

  19. assturkey….

  20. who gives a crunk?

  21. Did Conan actually write it down somewhere on the show? Wouldn’t he have just said it?

    I’ve been using the word ever since that episode.

  22. I went to an NFL football game last year, and the scoreboard had one of those encouraging graphics (i.e. D-Fense!) that said “Everybody get CRUNK!”

    It was hilarious. I really don’t think they want 60,000 people getting crunk at the same time. Probably not.

  23. mimi  |   Posted on Apr 28th, 2005 0

    Conan came up with Crunk or Krunk as a fake curse word and had video clips of people using it in a sentence. The only one I remember is Salt from Salt n Pepa saying “I wanna crunk you” into the camera.

  24. rashaunna  |   Posted on Feb 29th, 2008 0

    well i get crunk ernight and all the definitions bitch!

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