Even when he's running on a couple of hours' sleep, Lil Jon is still bursting with energy. Sitting in an airport on his way to Canada on a May afternoon, the rapper/producer known for his crunk music-a fusion of hip-hop, rock and electro-raspy "Yeah!" and "OK!" adlibs and love of pimp cups, eagerly talks about his new project, "Crunk Rock." The album is due June 8 on Universal Republic, but exclusively here on Billboard.com you can hear previews of all of the songs before they are released.
It's been six years since Lil Jon has released an album --2004's "Crunk Juice," which has sold 2.5 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Although the album was well-received, a dispute with and the eventual closure of his label, TVT Records, led Lil Jon to take a hiatus.
"TVT and I were going through difficulties, and then TVT fell out and went under, but even before then I was burnt out and tired because I had done so many records back to back," says Lil Jon, who as a result tapped into his roots and began DJ'ing again, landing gigs all around the world and leading to the eclectic sound of his new set. "It was pretty much two years of me just touring and DJ'ing and just really going back to my essence. By doing that, it gave me a newfound energy."
Video Below: Lil Jon discusses the new album.
The album features production from Drumma Boy, DJ Chuckie, Dr. Luke and Lil Jon. Guest appearances include Soulja Boy Tell'Em, Stephen and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley, Ice Cube, Game, Elephant Man, R. Kelly, Mario, Pitbull, LMFAO and 3OH!3. Two singles have been released: "Outta Your Mind" reached No. 28 on Billboard's Rap Digital Songs chart, and "Ms. Chocolate" peaked at No. 77 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Additionally, he recently collaborated with Miley Cyrus and Christina Aguilera on tracks for their forthcoming albums.