By Emma Silvers
By Gary Moskowitz
By Alee Karim
By Ian S. Port
By Ian S. Port
By Derek Opperman
By Emma Silvers
By Alee Karim
According to Urbandictionary. com, here is the definition for "crunk": "The word in Yiddish means 'sick,' and was brought into the Southern Black vernacular through the presence of European Jewish immigrant shopkeepers in black neighborhoods in cities such as Atlanta." This means that Lil' Jon could've just as easily pioneered a movement called meshugeneh.
There's also the widely agreed upon theory that the term comes from Atlanta and is a blending of "drunk" and "crazy."
Whitney and Bobby live in Atlanta. (I'm just pointing that out.)
Basically crunk isn't hip hop, it's death-metal house; Lil' Jon has a dark heavy-metal past, it turns out. Whatever its origin, crunk moved in and reinvigorated popular urban music, giving it some chutzpah. It made it badass again, a little silly, and capable of turning off anyone over the age of 25. And it's just about the best thing to listen to while you drink $2 Tecates on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Alabama at a place called Da Corner.
"You want to go to da bar down da street?" asked my friend Justin who lives in da neighborhood. I did, I did indeed.
Da Corner opened up on Super Bowl Sunday of this year and is slowly and steadily trying to become da place where the neighborhood goes to watch da game. This means Latinos, African-Americans, Asians, and honkies who live up and down Army can converge in this one spot to watch the Giants. The jukebox has Los Tigres del Norte, Jay-Z, and Neil Young, if that's any indication of the bar's Rainbow Coalition vibe. I love Neil Young but would've felt like a complete asshole putting on "Cortez the Killer" whilst everyone else in the place wanted to hear Luis Miguel.
On this night, the joint was smattered with broad-shouldered young Hispanic guys with shaved heads playing pool. The bar is fairly small, with walls painted a smoky maroon, a trio of sofas in one corner, and beer signs providing a dim glow.
When we sat down, Lil' Jon was playing. The thing about crunk that really gets me is its background beat of impending doom. Every song sounds like an air raid siren going off at a meth lab, which in turn somehow forces you to drink faster. "To the window to the wall, to the window to the wall ...." Lift and glug and lift and glug.
I was on a definition-of-terms kick, perhaps due to the mysterious origin of the word "crunk," but probably due to the fact that we had nothing else to do but munch on bar snacks, so we decided to invent a new term for "cock block." You see, there really is no female equivalent. One friend of mine came up with "snatch latch" once, but Justin said that, to a guy, that phrase seems like "a girl you can't get rid of," instead of someone sabotaging your action. So we started tossing ideas out. "Clam spam?" I offered.
"Pussy 'pediment?" he said.
The bartender brought us another round. We sat there in silence while the music remained at double time. It was all like some wannabe Gen-Y Volkswagen commercial. You know, like the one where the guys are in a car and they see a used armchair on the side of the road and they pick it up and that's the whole ad? Only instead of the Shins playing or something it was the Ying Yang Twins.
We took the bold move of asking for more bar snacks. I gotta say, I never met a bar snack I didn't like. Whoever invented the combination of Goldfish Crackers, pretzels, peanuts, and extra salt was a genius. Let's give these victuals their due and call them "b'snacks."
Slowly, the bar cleared out and by 11 it was just me, Justin, the gal behind the bar, what was left of a gallon jar of b'snacks, and one of the owners playing pool. There is nothing more hopeful than a brand-new bar, and nothing sadder than a brand-new bar that is struggling after a promising start. Especially when a tumbleweed bounces delicately to the hyper strains of Jon's "I Don't Give a Fuck!"
We called it a night and Justin walked me to my car in the rain. The "whoop-whoop, whoop-whoop" alarm from Usher's "Yeah" in my head carried me down the street. I turned on my car radio and listened to Coast to Coast AM with George Noory, Art Bell's replacement. He was talking about the impending end of the world, which I was thankful for after what seemed like weeks of discussion about biodiesel. What is freaky about alternative fuel sources? I like to hear about ghosts, satanic possession, and Bigfoot when I turn on AM radio.
According to many of Noory's callers, the demise of the planet is coming and the signs can be seen in the tsunami, global warming, and the death of the pope. Whoop-whoop, whoop-whoop. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: "muff muffle." Could "muff muffle" be the girl's answer to "cock block"?