His name is practically synonymous with getting low and turning up, so who better to ignite a secret South American beach party than Lil Jon. The rapper, producer, DJ, and ad-lib revolutionary is at the center of a new Bud Light 'Up for Whatever' commercial (dropping nationwide next week) which features him spinning, performing and unspooling energy for two unsuspecting travelers.
Fresh off performing at Asia Ultra, Lil Jon took some time to chat about the commercial shoot, the pressures of being the life of the party, and how he plans to close out the year.
You just returned from performing in Asia how was that?
It was pretty good man. I've performed at Ultra in Miami numerous times but it was my first time actually getting to DJ at Ultra festival. So it was pretty crazy.
Do you find that doing DJ sets and doing rap sets make for a different performance experience?
Everything is a little different. A DJ set [consists of me] DJing and I do perform my songs here and there. When I'm doing a set as an artist I'm right in front of the stage the entire time, interacting with the crowd. The DJ set's a little different but they both are great and high energy for the crowd.
Do you find the crowd different at all? Do you find the reception or the vibe different?
EDM is a totally different energy cause at EDM festivals [people] rage so it's more super crazy the entire set. With hip hop, it's a little bit more laid back.
What was the party like for this Bud Light commercial?
It was 500 people on the beach in Uruguay and we were surprising two people. They had no idea. It starts off as a quiet beach and then all of these things start to happen. It was pretty cool. I've never really DJ'd on the beach like that for one and then the way the stage transformed from a lifeguard tower to the stage... It was fun, different and really crazy.
So those things are really surprises?
Yeah. I talked to the winners after we were done shooting and they were just like, "Wow, we had no idea. We looked up and we saw you." Yeah they had no idea at all. When you see those commercials, those people are definitely, genuinely surprised and have no idea that those things are going to happen. One of the girls said that they called her at work and were like, "Can you get to the airport in two hours?" And she didn't know what she was going to do or where she was going. It's amazing that they can pull these things off.
What was filming the whole thing like?
It was something really different for me. We worked with the Uruguayan military and I had to be in a military helicopter. I got to meet some soldiers that were driving the helicopter. It was fun, doing the maneuvers that we did in the commercials. Just seeing the faces of the people on the beach partying and then just to see how surprised these winners were. It was a great feeling.
What's the craziest thing you've seen at any party?
I can't remember, man. I do so many parties [Laughs] I have no idea. I can't even think of anything right now.
Does it ever tire you out, being the Crunk, "Turn Down For What" guy? Doing all those parties, is it exhausting at all?
Uh yeah. Everybody's gonna get tired. Sometimes I don't want to have to be the guy that gets the party going. For as long as I can remember, I've been that person. When I worked with Jermaine Dupri for his label, he would have So So Def parties and he'd tell me, 'Yo, go on get this thing started.' I had to go get on the mic and get people turnt up. I mean, I don't want to be that turnt up guy all the time. It's part of my job so I do what I gotta do.
Is it tough? I imagine a lot of people come at you with energy and you're not always in that mood or that mode, right?
Sometimes, [when I'm] in the airport and I'm trying to be low key or I'm tired. Sometimes I just got off of an international flight and people are like running up, screaming and hollering, and want to take pictures. They don't really understand like, "Dude, I'm tired. Just say hello. Keep it moving."
So what's next for you?
Continuing to put out music and working on some television stuff. Just keeping it open. I just put out a new single with myself, T-Pain, Problem and Snoop Dogg called "Cutie Pie." The record I did with Bud Light is called "Get Loose." The official song will probably drop in the next couple weeks. People will hear it the first time in the commercial. When I did it, I kind of changed it up for Bud Light.
I'm trying to put out about 10 singles throughout the year, so I think about five have dropped between me and different artists. I still got a lot more work to do.