Though he insists “crunk ain’t dead” on his June 8 Crunk Rock album, Lil Jon has stepped away from the sound that brought him to prominence and instead enlisted the help of the next generation of southern beat kings, Atlanta’s own Shawty Redd and Memphis’ Drumma Boy, to handle the southern Hip Hop elements of the genre-crossing Universal Republic project.
“The hood beats [on the album] were done by Shawty Redd and Drumma Boy. I respect Shawty and Drumma for what they do. They make high-energy, club beats but at a slower tempo. The stuff I did on the album was more up-tempo, but I’d listen to what they were doing and let them bring that energy out of me. They brought the crunkness out of me for this album,” said Lil Jon to HipHopDX last week.
The album, Crunk Rock has been about three years in the making and boasts an eclectic mix of Hip Hop, Crunk, Pop, Club, and Rock sounds meant to showcase the many musical sides of Lil Jon.
“I worked with a lot of different people for this album. The joints I rocked on the album aren’t exactly what you’d usually expect from Lil Jon, but we grow,” said the Eastside Boyz leader.
Lil Jon wanted fans to know that he hasn’t abandoned his roots but, instead allowed the talented producers to take some of the weight off of his shoulders during the creation of the album.
“I haven’t really done anything like that just ’cause I haven’t been feeling like that. I still can do those beats but I just haven’t done them lately ’cause I been working on this album.I wanted to start fresh with a new energy and take some of the pressure off my back. I normally do everything, so when I make albums it’s a high-pressure situation,” Lil Jon said. “It’s always like got to do all the songs, got to get the album done, has to be turned in on time. So to take away from that I said, “Okay, let me go fuck with Drumma Boy, let me go fuck with Shawty Redd.” I like the shit they did for this artist or that artist. They gave me some dope shit, and I don’t have to do them beats. I can just focus on laying the vocals down for those tracks and make them shits crazy. It was refreshing for me to be able to go do that cause I’m so used to doing everything,” he added.