Lil Jon Going Global With 'Crunk Rock'
Lil Jon is acutely aware that he has kept fans waiting five years for "Crunk Rock," the followup to his 2004 album, "Crunk Juice." But now that the release is finally close to seeing the light of day, he is promising to pull out all the stops.
"This album has all the Lil Jons you've ever heard," the rapper/producer tells Billboard.com. "From the crunk Lil Jon, to the Usher-like Lil Jon, to the electro Lil Jon who's hanging with LMFAO. I've got to touch all my fans."
"Crunk Rock" is slated for a Nov. 24 release on Universal Republic, and the first single, "Give It All U Got," leaked online last week. Produced by RedOne (Lady GaGa, Sean Kingston) and featuring newcomer Kee, the song finds the hyperkinetic rapper ordering "ladies to the dance floor" and telling everyone to "drink it up, full throttle/Fiesta like there's no tomorrow."
Though "Give It All U Got" is clearly geared towards the clubs -- like much of Lil Jon's repertoire -- the beat veers closer to the current electro-pop trend than the Southern crunk that he brought to the mainstream. But Lil Jon says he's still the same artist.
"'Lovers and Friends' [his 2004 R&B single featuring Usher and Ludacris], that was a stretch to people," he explains. "But when they really got into the record, they were like, 'This is a hot song -- it don't matter if Jon ain't screaming and hollering.' So I think people will accept this one without any problems."
Still, Lil Jon plans to release an urban single shortly after "Give It All U Got" hits radio to keep his hip-hop fanbase satisfied. The song he has in mind is a Drumma Boy-produced collaboration with R. Kelly that he promises will "hit so hard--it's gonna be major."
Lil Jon says "Crunk Rock" will have a total of 20 tracks, about half of which are still being completed. Among the other highlights are "G-Walk," a song featuring Soulja Boy Tell 'Em that he describes as "crunk and swag mixed together," a 3OH3! collaboration entitled "Hey!" and the Ying Yang Twins-assisted "Ride The D," which he says is a "classic, dirty South strip club anthem."
Though the concept for "Crunk Rock" has moved away from a literal mashup of crunk and rock, Lil Jon also says there will be some genre-mixing cuts on the album, including a song with indie Afro-punk band Whole Wheat Bread. In addition, "I got a nice, diverse community of producers," he says, from Dr. Luke and David Guetta to Shawty Redd, Danja and Benny Blanco.
"Crunk Rock" will also be Lil Jon's first release on Universal Republic since his tumultuous split with TVT Records, and among the perks of his new label relationship is a global marketing push. An alternate version of "Give It All U Got" has been recorded with the chart-topping U.K. rapper Tinchy Stryder, who is also shooting a second version of the music video with Lil Jon and Kee in Miami.
"I never really had the commercial success internationally that I had in the States," says Lil Jon. "This will help take me to another level where I deserve to be at. We're going to push the button, and it's going to be Lil Jon mania all over again."
Lil Jon's "Crunk Juice" has sold 2,505,000 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.