Georgia-based rapper Lil Jon is perhaps best known as a member of Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz in the late 90’s. Signing with Mirror Image Records, the crew eventually made their debut in 1997 with the album, Get Crunk Who U Wit: Da Album. Over the next few years, they came out with a few additional titles including We Still Crunk!!, Put Yo Hood Up, Kings of Crunk, and Crunk Juice.
Born on January 17, 1971 in Atlanta, Georgia, Lil Jon (Real Name: Jonathan Smith) went to Frederick Douglass High School as a teen, where he first got into hip hop. Following his graduation, he worked as a DJ for local night clubs, before landing a position at So So Def Recordings. While working there, he got together with Wendell Maurice Neal and Sammie Dernard Norris to form a music group called Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz.
How Lil Jon Became Famous
After landing a record deal with Mirror Image Records, they released their debut album, Get Crunk, Who U Wit: Da Album in the fall of 1997. A crunk and hip hop project, it featured seventeen tracks including Giddy Up Let’s Ride, Shawty Freak a Lil’ Sumthin, Shake Your Booty, Bounce Dat Ass, and Y’all Don’t Feel Me. Produced by Lil Jon and DJ Tomp, one of its singles- Shawty Freak a Lil’ Sumtin eventually peaked at number 36 on the Hot Rap Singles chart and at number 65 on the Hot R&B Singles chart.
Three years later, the group dropped their second album, We Still Crunk!!. Produced entirely by the rapper himself, it featured several guest appearances including those from Jazze Pha, Too Short, Three 6 Mafia, Ludacris, Chyna Whyte, among several others. Shortly after being released, the album reached number 71 on the Top R&B and Hip Hop albums chart in the United States. A solid effort, We Still Crunk!! later gave rise to two charting singles, I Like Dem Girlz and Put Yo Hood Up, the first of which peaked at number three on the Hot Rap Singles chart.
Then on May 22, 2011, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz came out with their third album, Put Yo Hood Up. Released through TVT, the Southern hip hop record boasted 21 titles, most of which were collabs with other artists such as M.O.P., Sky Keeton, Oobie, Kilo Ali, Khujo Goodie, and Big Kap. Some highlights from the track list include Where Dem Girlz At (Feat. Sky Keeton), Go Shawty Go (Feat. Kilo Ali), Nasty Girl (Feat. Oobie), Who U Wit, and Let My Nuts Go (Feat. Too Short).
Noticeably more successful than their previous albums, it peaked at number 43 on the Billboard Top 200, number 1 on the Independent Albums and number 6 on the Top R&B Albums. Eventually selling over 500,000 copies in the US, Put Yo Hood Up became the crew’s first RIAA certified album with gold accreditation.
The following year, the group received a breakthrough with their next album, Kings of Crunk. Supported by two singles, it became their first project to receive multiple platinum certification from the RIAA. Written and produced almost entirely by Lil Jon, the album came with 21 tracks including Keep Yo Chullin Out the Streets, Rep Yo City, Knockin’ Heads Off, and BME Click; like their earlier works, it also included many guest appearances from artists such as Pastor Troy, Styles P, Bun B, Big Gipp, Ying Yang Twins, and Pitbull, among others.
On November 16, 2004, they released their fifth album, Crunk Juice. Boasting a number of collaborations, the album featured guest vocals from R.Kelly, Usher, Ice Cube, Ludacris, Pharrell, among others. Preceded by the single, What U Gon’ Do, the album gave rise to twenty new tracks including Real Nigga Roll Call (Feat. Ice Cube), White Meat (Feat. 8Ball and MJG), Chris Rock in da Club, and Stick Dat Thang Out (Skeezer). Generally well received with the occasional mixed review, it peaked at number three on the Billboard Top 200, making it the group’s most successful debut.
Elsewhere, Crunk Juice also peaked at number 52 in the UK and number 145 in France. As of 2017, more than two million copies have been sold in the United States.
Lil Jon’s Solo Music Album
Many years after their last release, Lil Jon released his first solo album titled, Crunk Rock on June 8, 2010. A mix of crunk and hip hop, it entered the Billboad Top 200 at number 49 with 8,900 copies sold by the end of the first week. Recorded over a period of five years, it came complete with fourteen titles- most of which were collaborations; among those featured in the album include LMFAO, Ying Yang Twins, R. Kelly, Pitbull, Stephen Marley, and Soulja Boy.
Despite the mixed reviews that it received, it managed to peak within the top 10 on both the US Rap Albums and R&B Albums charts.
Awards Received by Lil Jon
In 2005, Lil Jon received a Grammy Award (among three nominations) for his contributions to Ludacris’ hit song, Yeah!, which he helped to produce and write. A decade later, he received his fourth Grammy Award nomination for his single, Turn Down for What, a collaboration with DJ Snake.
For the same single, the rapper also received a MTV Video Music Award in 2014 (among four nominations).
Lil Jon’s Snapchat Name – liljonsnap
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Lil Jon’s Other Social Media Accounts
Lil Jon’s Facebook Account
Want to follow him on Facebook? You can do so by liking his official page at @LilJon. As expected from a popular artist, he already has over 5 million fans on the site!
Lil Jon’s Twitter Account
Looking for an easy way to stay connected with Lil Jon? Why not follow him on Twitter? You can find him on the site at @LilJon.
Lil Jon’s Instagram Account
Like most celebrities, you can also find him on Instagram- go ahead and add him at @liljon!
Lil Jon’s Youtube Account
You can view some of his music videos at his official Vevo Youtube channel- @LilJonVEVO.