MIAMI — At the bar, Lil Jon's recipe for crunk juice is a potent mixture of Hennessy cognac combined with his very own triple-exclamation-point energy drink, Crunk!!!
The recipe for his upcoming album titled Crunk Juice, however, is even stronger, and may have something to do with his flair for special-guest ingredients.
In the past, the undisputed champ of Southern-flavored dancehall rowdiness has mixed it up with T.I., Ice Cube, Bad Brains, Suga Free, Nate Dogg, Trillville, Jazze Pha, R. Kelly, Ludacris, and fellow boardsmen Scott Storch and the Neptunes.
Now Jon wants to make sure his upcoming album with his own East Side Boyz is just as successful as his freelance production gigs for such clients as the Ying Yang Twins, Lil Scrappy and Petey Pablo.
"Its hard for me, 'cause I been on all these records with people," he said late last month. "When the fans get Crunk Juice, they want to know the album is going to be better or just as good as all the other records that's been going on. I'm critical anyway, so we going to work hard to make sure it's even crazier. We're just trying to give them everything they've seen from Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz in the last couple of years, and put that on the album."
According to his label, TVT, the first official single from the project will be "What You Gon' Do," with Lil Scrappy. "Roll Call" with Ice Cube has also been released to a few mixtape DJs, but Jon said the album will feature a remix of the song with the original members of Washington, D.C., reggae-punk legends Bad Brains.
Jon is also waiting for R. Kelly to finish his part of a collaborative track with Ludacris. "The joint with R. Kelly and Luda is called 'In the Club,' " Jon explained. "We're always in the club. It talks about what the fellas and the ladies do there."
Jon's lending his hit-making skills to other performers in the interim. A production for the young singer Mario is on its way, he's halfway through albums for Lil Scrappy and Trillville, and Mobb Deep's "Real Gangstas" is heating up on radio as Ciara's "Goodies" continues to explode.
So how did Lil Jon deliver the "Goodies"?
"It was crazy," he recalls of the remix featuring Joe, Remy Ma, Eminem and Mase. "It's actually my second version of the song. I sent the first to Joe and he was like, 'That's too crazy. I'mma keep this beat for my own album. Why don't you take the original record and freak it?' I was like, 'Ah, man, the original version is too hot!' But I went in the crib and messed with it for about two days. We hammered it out and came up with the track." Good enough.