Fifteen-year-olds know nothing about it, thirty-year-olds do, but they understand it little, from forty years of age on the dark: (almost) nobody, in this age group, has any idea what corecore means. Or what a corecore is, what is meant by this term so loved by twenty-somethings, those who today are part of the so-called Generation Z.
Corecore is actually a hashtag, born on Tumblr and literally exploded on TikTok, with the usual, incredible multiplier effect of the social platform of the Chinese ByteDance: on the Net, the first traces date back to 2020 but they were on Tumblr and few noticed it (posts below). Fast forward a couple of years and the trend starts to catch on on TikTok: from November 2022 to today, the hashtag has collected over 465 million views (a couple million for #corecoreita) and the first videos in which it was used, like the one visible below, have alone totaled over 10-11 million views.
tiktok – one of the first corecore videos
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Why corecore is called corecore
Before you understand that what is meant by corecore and when this hashtag can be used properly, it helps to understand the origin of the term. Which must be read in English but if desired it can also be read in Roman style.
The point is the suffix -core, which indicates the gist or fulcrum of a matter. An excellent example for is the word hardcore, which indicates the ultimate expression of something, its essence, its heart (precisely): punk hardcore it’s punk brought to the nth degree, i.e. short or very short songs, shouted words, music played at very high speed. The essence of punk. Likewise, a hardcore gamer is the opposite of a casual gamer, one for whom video games are everything. I am the fulcrum of everything.
From here to the Internet, the step was short: just as they are used in the world of journalism suffixes that arise for one topic and then are used for dozens of others (such as Tangentopoli, Parentopoli, Rimbopoli and then Watergate, Clintongate and so on), in the same way on social networks the suffix -core is used to categorize everything that has to do with something. And so there are videos and posts characterized by the hashtag cottagecore (over 12 billion views on TikTok) to group those concerning cottages and country life, frogcore for those who talk about frogs and then goblincores, cluttercore, foodcore to many others. If you are interested in a topic, search for it followed by -core and you will find endlessly.
And so corecore what is it? What is the focus of? The idea was born to make fun of this way of doing, typical of the boomers and not tolerated by the younger ones: it is the juice of the juice, the parody of the trend of trends, it is a content born to be viral by exploiting other viral content.
tumblr: one of the first corecore in history
How to do a corecore done right
Corecore videos are all more or less the same: not very long (even 20-30 seconds, never more than a minute), made up of clips that come from elsewhere, i.e. from film clips, interviews, video games or of any life of any person, edited together and accompanied by sad and melancholy music.
This is another important point, because corecore videos rely heavily on the communicative power of the melody, which more than images is able to arouse emotions, involve, cause a change in mood. It’s here the music is usually anything but upbeat: Often annoying, but in a way that is strangely comforting. According to those who appreciate them, watching a corecore video in the middle of the night, at 2 in the morning, illuminated only by the light of the smartphone, is both unpleasant and pleasant. IS the comfort zone of the misfits, of the outcasts, of those who once called themselves emo, of those who struggle to fit into society. A bit like today’s twenty-somethings, as stated in some comments: “I don’t have a precise explanation (why I look at them, ed) but it’s like the feeling of feeling invisible and useless to society” and also these videos express “loneliness, depression and that sort of thing.”
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youtube: is corecore already dying?
The risk of leaving the niche
As you (maybe) understand, corecore videos rarely have meaning and they rarely carry a message. More than anything else they stir up something, even if they had a meaning at the beginning but are slowly losing it. The first expressions of what for many would be a kind of art form of Gen Z, made of tight edits and carefully chosen music, and which can be described as a kind of apotheosis of memes, often spoke of climate changeenvironmental protection, work, of policyof modern society and the relationship with technology.
Now, 2-3 months after arriving on TikTok, this is rarely the case. Because? Because what happens to every trend on social media has happened: everyone wants to be part of it, everyone wants a piece of it, everyone wants to have some notoriety. And so everyone starts making corecore videos, probably without understanding that to make them it’s not enough to choose 3-4 clips, attach them one in a row and accompany them with a poignant melody played on the violin. Just looking at the aesthetics (#aesthetic is another huge trend on TikTok, with almost 200 billion views) more than the content. More than the heart, in short.
Obviously, those who watch this content also have their faults: if in a corecore clip where they see themselves a very short scene of Blade Runner 2049 you read many comments from those who ask for the title of the film and once you find out you read others who say that “I started watching it some time ago, but I dropped it at around 40 minutes because it seemed really slow”, a little discouragement comes. But maybe it’s just my fault, that I don’t understand because I haven’t been twenty for over twenty years.