Hip-Hop culture has once again contributed to American lexicon, as the word “crunk” has officially been added to the Merriam-Webster’s yearly list of words to be included in the dictionary.
Crunk is one of 100 new words that will be included in the 2007 update of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition.
Other words that will be included in the update include Bollywood, DVR, ginormous, smackdown, snowboardcross and others.
The word is listed as a noun and cites Lil’ Jon and the Eastside Boyz as one of the many group’s who have used the popular word in their lyrics.
Crunk, which is said to have originated in Memphis, soon spread to Atlanta and is reported to be a combination of the words “crazy” and “drunk,” although it refers to a persons state of mind when they become is extremely excited.
Chart topping rapper Lil’ Jon has built a number of profitable businesses using the word.
His ventures include a successful energy named Crunk, a video game titled “Crunk Blitz” and his upcoming album is titled Crunk Rock.
“I told yall “crunk aint dead,” Lil’ Jon told AllHipHop.com. “It’s amazing that the word has become that popular. We been saying ‘crunk’ in Atlanta [for] as long as I can remember. All I did was put it on a record and let the world know our lifestyle! We live to get crunk n the south and I guess Webster’s dictionary recognized that and how big the music has been in the last 10 years.”
The term was also popularized by rappers like Pastor Troy, Al Kapone, Project Pat, Lil’ Scrappy, Ying Yang Twins, and Oscar Award winning rap group Three 6 Mafia, who landed what is recognized as the first “crunk” hit with their single “Tear Da Club Up ’97,” which reached #29 on Billboard’s Rap chart.
“Crunk music is coming back with the release of our new album Last 2 Walk on December 4,” Crunk pioneer and Three 6 Mafia group member DJ Paul told AllHipHop.com. “Three 6 Mafia/Hypnotize Minds is independent and rich because of the crunk style. Back in the day before crunk it was ‘buck.’ ‘Get Buck’ music strait outta Memphis Tennessee and Three 6 was the first group to go nationwide and see a major deal with the sound, but no one oringally wanted to sign us. We was doing things and concepts that rock groups did like in the “Tear The Club up ’97’ video, which was ten years ago, we was jumping in the crowd, being carried, mosh pitting, wearing masks, just straight wild s**t! Onyx was also doing the wildness back then too. Label’s was scared but when we got a gold album in 1997, the labels started signing crunk artists and the rest is ‘dictionaried’ history!”
Below in Merriam-Webster’s official listing for the word crunk:
Main Entry: crunk Pronunciation: ‘kr??k Function: noun Etymology: crunk, word of fluctuating meaning used during the 1990s in lyrics of the rap groups OutKast and Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz Date: 2000 : a style of Southern rap music featuring repetitive chants and rapid dance rhythms