The grunge music genre broke into mainstream radio in 1991 with the release of Nirvana’s single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and their album, Nevermind. The movement’s unprecedented popularity exposed a community of young musicians in Seattle, Washington whose music became cast as the “voice” of Generation X’s frustrations. Grunge lyrics centered on feelings of angry, angst, and apathy, displaying a unique level of transparency and authenticity in discussing struggles with mental health and addiction. This comparative study analyzes the lyrics of multiple bands to argue that grunge developed a plural musical and urban identity informed by Seattle’s underground youth culture. Furthermore, male artists utilized a contradictive rhetorical style of apathy and aggression to engage in politics concerning trauma and sexual violence, and used postmodern lyrical construction to articulate mental health issues. Ultimately, grunge artists convey authentic representations of physical and emotional pain, presenting an alternative to the narrative of progressive, linear healing. This research takes an interdisciplinary approach in analyzing the grunge counterculture scene, arguing that fluidity of lyrics, musicality, and persona allowed for a new version of masculinity that challenged traditional gender roles and emphasized transparency of mental health. Grunge lyrics are characterized by a postmodern construction that include word manipulation and contradiction, word repetition, and narratives focused on internal struggle. Artists used abject imagery to describe the corporeal effects of addiction and depression in an effort to create authentic representations. This essay uses feminist theory, poststructuralism, and affect theory to analyze memoirs, interviews, music videos, and lyrics.