‘It’s literally from one extreme to another,’ Atlanta producer/MC says of sound of upcoming album.
By Hillary Crosley
Lil Jon has announced his long-delayed album Crunk Rock will hit shelves June 8. The album’s release was hampered by a split with his former label TVT Records and the label’s subsequent shuttering. However, the veteran producer/rapper and King of Crunk is back on track through a record deal with Universal Republic.
Lil Jon told MTV News that over the last four years of starts and stops, he’s worked with a bevy of artists and during the course of production, his album’s theme began to change.
“When I started out doing Crunk Rock I went in [the studio] with lots of different musicians, producers and artists and we did some good things,” he explained. “But as time went on and I started to DJ again and be in the clubs, Crunk Rock took on a different meaning — this is a lifestyle. It’s not all about rock. ‘Crunk rock’ means having a lot of energy, live your life to the fullest, party like a rock star, you not gonna let nobody tell you you can’t do nothing — that’s what ‘crunk rock’ means. On the album you have all kinds of songs representing that [idea] — we have songs with rock guitars but it’s not all about rock music, it’s living the crunk-rock life.”
Now artists like The Game, Pitbull, Soulja Boy Tell’em, Ying Yang Twins, R. Kelly, LMFAO, Elephant Man, David Guetta and 3OH!3 are featured on the album. The list of collaborators may look relatively disparate, but to Lil Jon it’s perfect.
“There’s so many different kinds of records on [Crunk Rock],” Lil Jon said. “It’s really fun to try to take care of all those types of different audiences. After I started DJing again and being in the clubs and traveling the world, I learned to appreciate my fanbase more and my reach. Putting an album together you can make everybody happy and give everybody something.”
The Atlanta native said he intends to release several multi-genre singles simultaneously, including perhaps his collaboration with R. Kelly, “Miss Chocolate,” to follow the unofficial first single “Give It All U Got” that leaked late last year.
“I’ve got a bunch of different types of records, so we’re going to release a couple at a time so I can touch different people and the records aren’t overlapping each other,” he explained. “It [will be] like I released three singles at once as a first single.”
Ultimately, the purveyor of crunk is just excited to finally release his work.
“I really can’t wait until the world gets to hear the album in its entirety, digest it and say, ‘Wow, this is the first hip-hop artist I’ve heard to really do some different sh–,” Lil Jon said. “To go from ghetto southwest Atlanta to f—ing Paris, France, to do some sh– with David Guetta, it’s literally from one extreme to another.”