Random Kendra anecdote: Due to the slightly restrictive environment I grew up in, I wasn’t introduced to certain music until I went to college. There, I learned of the type of music called “crunk.”
This music defined my first few years of college, and these songs became fixtures in my life as ringtones and common phrases (“That girl said what? Please, she better get on my level! Pssh, what she gon’ do?!”) Crunk seemed like such a heavy force, but it definitely doesn’t seem as dominant as it used to be. So, why don’t we try to find out where some of these crunk music creators and contributors are?
Three 6 Mafia
Cited as the creators of crunk music, the group that hailed from Memphis, Tenn. came on the scene with the heavy beats that are so representative of crunk music. After winning their Academy Award for “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” they went on to do their reality show “Adventures in Hollyhood,” which only aired for one season.
Juicy J and DJ Paul competed in the VH1 reality show “Famous Food,” and they both have done voice acting for video games. They also released a clothing line. Separately, Juicy J has released multiple mixtapes, two solo albums, including the hood classic single, “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” and is planning to release another album in 2013. DJ Paul has also released multiple mixtapes and three solo albums. His latest was released in 2012, but he ran into a few problems when a taser gun was found on him in NYC during a routine check.
“WHAT?! … YEAH?! OKAY!!” Who some would consider a booming voice in crunk music, Lil Jon took the genre by force with his group, The Eastside Boyz. Releasing multiple songs and albums, his popularity grew. Deciding to capitalize on it, he released his energy drink line, appeared in skits on the “Chappelle’s Show,” and produce some of the top songs from 2002 to 2005.
Lil Jon began to focus on his work as a DJ and producer, and has been touring around the world while still working with big name acts like LMFAO. He did a stint on “Celebrity Apprentice,” and is set to do another appearance in 2013 for “Celebrity Apprentice All Stars.”
Ying Yang Twins
The fellas who encouraged listeners that if you’re gong to “twerk” you might as well whistle while you do it. The ATL performers teamed up with Lil Jon and released single after single, particularly “Get Low” and “Salt Shaker.” In 2005, they released the album U.S.A. (United States of Atlanta) and on that album came the infamous “Whisper Song.”
They continued to release music throughout the years, even putting out a greatest hits album in 2009. Besides appearing on an episode on the 9th season of “Bad Girls Club: Mexico,” and after dealing with D-Roc’s DUI, drug possession and child endangerment arrest, they signed with Epic Records, remixed Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” and released a new single “Fist Bump, Jump Jump.”
In the video for “Never Scared,” Bone Crusher appeared larger than life, and in real life, he was so. Releasing the album AttenCHUN!, Bone Crusher’s single was appearing in multiple venues for sports teams, and even video games. But along with his larger than life personality, his weight was larger than life as well, which earned him a spot on Celebrity Fit Club, where he lost 51 pounds. He was also honored at the 2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors, which was in honor of the “Dirty South.”
As of now, he continues to tour and perform in clubs in the Atlanta area.
“The Prince of Crunk,” was one of the first artists signed to Lil Jon’s BME label. His song “Head Bussa” was the theme song for the Atlanta Braves when it came out, and he gained popularity by appearing in multiple singles for other artists like Lil Jon, Trillville, and Crime Mob, while also releasing his own popular singles.
After signing with Ludacris’ DTP label, he ventured into acting in 2010 in the film Just Another Day, and you can catch him now on “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.”
Another group signed to the BME label, Trillville, they released the song “Neva Eva,” and shot to popularity with it and their collaborative records with Lil Scrappy. Their other songs, “Some Cut,” (which features a younger RHOA Porsha Stewart dancing in the video) and “Get Some Crunk in Yo System” were also popular.
In 2006, group member Don P was arrested for rape and sodomy on an alleged 16 year old girl in 2006, but the charges were dropped that same year. They moved to Ludacris’ DTP label and still release mixtapes, but no real albums at the moment.
The group that introduced A-town stomping with their hit song “Damn!” and a fresh faced Lauren London as a video vixen was very hot just a few years back. The duo was arrested for weapon and drug charges in 2006 but was later released. The group produced multiple singles and worked with heavy hitters like Lil Jon. But since then, the group has separated to do solo projects, releasing solo mixtapes and singles, and soon, LPs. Sean P’s latest single “Shoes Match the Hat,” is out and both men do have plans to make another YoungBloodZ album in 2013.
The inter-gender group of crunk released bangers like “Knuck if You Buck,” “Stilettos (Pumps)” and “Rock Yo Hips.” Though the group was big on smacking people up in the club, apparently that tension stemmed from wanting to smack people up in the group. Group member Killa C was kicked out of the group for child molestation charges when he was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender. Diamond and Princess feuded, and that beef continued after the group broke up.
Each member (besides Killa C) has released multiple mixtapes, and Diamond was nominated for a BET award in 2012 for Best Female Rapper. Though each member is doing their own thing, they did reunite for a performance in summer of 2012 and a few of them have mentioned that they would be interested in doing a reunion CD in the future.
Featured on Lil Jon’s “Kings of Crunk” album, Pastor Troy went on to release multiple CDs and mixtapes. After being sued on Judge Alex in January of 2012, Troy has stayed on his hustle, constantly performing and collaborating with acts like Travis Porter, 2 Chainz, TI and more. He released an album in 2012 entitled The Last Outlaw that’s available for purchase.