Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about the American rap producer. For the Robin Hood character, see Little John.
Lil Jon (born Jonathan Smith in 1970 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an African-American hip hop performer and record producer. He is best known as a pioneer of the subgenre of hip hop known as "crunk", a combination of elements of Southern hip hop and bass music. His group, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz, is one of the subgenre's most notable acts.
Lil Jon graduated in 1988 from Atlanta's Douglass High School. He was working as a club DJ when Jermaine Dupri discovered him and invited him to work as an A&R man for So So Def. Lil Jon also hosted a radio show on V103. He also started doing remixes for artists Usher, Too Short, Xscape, and Total. He worked for So So Def between 1993 and 2000.
In 1996, Lil Jon linked up with the Big Sam and Lil Bo, collectively known as The East Side Boyz, to produce the album Get Crunk, Who U Wit: Da Album. This contained the song "Who You Wit" which became a club anthem in Atlanta. This song, which featured booming bass, synthesiser riffs, and loud vocal chants, would be a pivotal track in the development of crunk. DJ Smurf of the Ying Yang Twins has said of his contribution, "Anything you say about crunk has to start with Lil Jon."
Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz returned in 2001 with Put Your Hood Up. "Bia Bia" the single from the album featuring Ludacris, Too Short, and Chyna Whyte became a hit in clubs throughout the US and also made the top twenty downloads on MP3.com.
In 2002, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz released their breakthrough album Kings of Crunk. The first single, "I Don't Give a ****" featuring Mystikal and Krayzie Bone, became another dancefloor filler. However, it was "Get Low" with the Ying Yang Twins and its catchy hook "from the window to the wall" that became a breakout hit. It reached the top 5 in a composite worldwide r&b chart (compiled from U.S., German, French, UK, and Australian r&b charts) in 2003 and internet download charts. It also went into the top 40 in markets such as Germany and Australia in 2004. Based on the success of "Get Low", Kings of Crunk would make the top twenty of the US album chart in September 2003. Lil Jon put out a compilation CD and DVD in 2003 called Part II featuring remixes of "Get Low" featuring Busta Rhymes and Elephant Man as well as the Ying Yang Twins. Jon also produced the hit single "Salt Shaker" for the Ying Yang Twins.
In late 2003, Usher asked Lil Jon to produce and appear on "Yeah" the lead single from his Confessions album. The track was one of the biggest hits of 2004, topping the Billboard Hot 100, European, World, US and World R&B charts, World Adult, Australian, Norwegian, and Swiss charts and reached number 2 in Canada.
Lil Jon has recently released his new album called Crunk Juice, which features contributions from Rick Rubin, R. Kelly, Ice Cube, Timbaland, Usher, and Ludacris. The Double-CD Crunk Juice includes remixes of Daddy Yankee's Reggaeton hit "Gasolina," as well as skits from comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock. He will also be working with Korn for a track on their next album for release later in 2005.
- Put Yo Hood Up (2001)
- Kings of Crunk (2002)
- Part II (2003 CD and DVD combination)
- Crunk Juice (2004)
- 2004 "Yeah!" (Usher feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris) #1 US, #1 UK
- 2004 "Let's Go" (Trick Daddy feat. Lil Jon and Twista) #7 US
- 2004 "Lovers and Friends" (feat. Usher and Ludacris) #3 US
- 2005 "What U Gon' Do" #22 US, #38 UK (double A-side with Roll Call in the UK)
- 2005 "Real Nigga Roll Call" (listed above)
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