LIL JON LIFE BIOGRAPHY:
Jonathan Smith, better known by his stage name Lil Jon, was born 1970, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He is best known as a pioneer of the sub-genre of hip hop known as "krunk", 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. He is one of only a few rappers who have been able to obtain street cred without the usual street, ghetto, or "hard-knock" life that many rappers have (or claim to have). According to an article on Lil Jon in XXL magazine, he often threw parties in his parents' six-story mansion.
Lil Jon graduated in 1988 from Atlanta's Douglass High School. He was working as a club D.J. 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 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 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 and, within a couple of years, the entire hip-hop club scene in the South. This song, which featured booming bass, synthesiser riffs, and loud vocal chants, became a pivotal track in the development of crunk. DJ Smurf 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 U.S., 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 Fuck" 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 five in a composite worldwide R&B; chart (compiled from U.S., German, French, U.K., and Australian R&B; charts) in 2003 and Internet download charts. It also went into the top forty in markets such as Germany and Australia in 2004. Based on the success of "Get Low", Kings of Crunk reached the top twenty of the U.S. 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, and U.S. R&B; charts, World Adult, Australian, Norwegian, and Swiss charts, and reached number two in Canada. The song also led Dave Chappelle to parody Lil Jon on his Chappelle's Show. His depiction of the rapper featured him speaking only three words: "What?", "Yeah!", and "Okay!". Occasionally, Chappelle's Lil Jon would slip into a British accent and speak using sophisticated language (perhaps a reference to Lil Jon's rich upper middle-class background in Atlanta), only to slip back into the regular impression. Chappelle also featured Lil Jon in a sketch on the show, where the real rapper and his impersonator have a conversation.
In 2004 Lil Jon released his most successful album to date, Crunk Juice, which features contributions from proteges Lil Scrappy and BoHagon, mega-producer Rick Rubin, R. Kelly, Ice Cube, Timbaland, Usher, and Ludacris, and one of Lil Jon's punk heroes, The Bad Brains. 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 Ko?n for a track on their next album for release later in 2005.
In June 2005, Ashton Kutcher failed to "punk" Lil Jon. He was boarding a plane headed for Las Vegas, but Kutcher used actors to play as customs agents to tell him that he was actually headed for Ecuador. Lil Jon quickly identified members of the "customs agents" from previous episodes of the program, and asked for Kutcher to reveal himself. Lil Jon is currently one of four celebrities to not be punk'd.
Lil Jon is currently finishing up forthcoming records for several artists off of his BME Recordings including: Trillville (October 2005), Lil Scrappy, E-40, and BoHagon.
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