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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

What Happened To Lil Jon And Crunk Music?


Was Lil Jon the last of "Crunk Music?" This was a time in rap music that had a big and short impact on the community.

The Atlanta-based rap group that would become Lil Jon and The Eastside Boyz was originally formed in 1997. Lil Jon was the lead vocalist for the group Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz from 1997 to 2004.

The group signed to Atlanta’s Mirror Image Records, and in 1997, released their first album, distributed by Ichiban Records. A couple years later, Lil Jon & his Boyz started BME Recordings, and released their sophomore album.

Not long after, Bryan Leach heard from his street teams that Lil Jon was an artist to watch. He went to a show, and was immediately impressed. Comparing Lil Jon’s stage presence to the Beastie Boys, Leach immediately tried to sign the group to TVT Records. He succeeded, and in 2001 released Put Yo Hood Up.

The first single, “Bia’ Bia,” featured a few of the bigger names in rap at that time, including Ludacris and Chyna Whyte. Peaking at 97 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song led to the album going gold shortly after Lil Jon released his fourth album. Kings of Crunk, released in early 2002, had two singles come off it. The first, “I Don’t Give A…” peaked at #50 on Billboard’s R&B charts.

Ying Yang Twins brought Lil Jon into the national spotlight. “Get Low” became a nightclub favorite, and reached, just barely, the Billboard Top 10. Kings of Crunk went double platinum by the spring of 2003.

Crunk Juice went double platinum, just like Kings of Crunk before it. Lil Jon was at the peak of his game – which isn’t to say his game improved, but simply that the music industry was ready for what Lil Jon had been selling all along.


Crunk Rock, Lil Jon’s sixth album, was released on June 8, 2010. The album featured work from Soulja Boy, Waka Flocka Flame, and R. Kelly, but undersold even conservative estimates. Within a year, Lil Jon was being investigated by the IRS for unpaid taxes.

In 2011, when he released “Drink” with LMFAO. And then again in 2014 with DJ Snake and “Turn Down for What,” which debuted at #38 on Billboard’s Hot 100, eventually peaking at #4 and being 3x platinum certified.

When Lil Jon’s music started drifting toward more traditional club sounds, it really shouldn’t have surprised anyone. Lil Jon himself acknowledged in interviews that hip-hop was music by younger people, and even if you managed to produce sounds that stayed relevant, consumers would discount it simply based on the artist’s age.

What happened to the group? Did Lil Jon get to focused on his own image? Lets discuss this topic.

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