NEW YORK — “I’m going to make everyone famous!” Lil Jon hollered Tuesday from a stage decorated with two human-sized Crunk Juice cans and a matching oversized pimp chalice.
Tossing his Crunk Juice energy drink into the crowd, Atlanta’s party rapper and his East Side Boyz took over Manhattan, with Webster Hall playing host.
With special guests Crime Mob, Trillville, Ying Yang Twins, Jackie O, Lil Scrappy, Brooke Valentine, Pitbull, Bohagon and the legendary Bun B, Jon’s BME label family kept the palpable energy thumping throughout the show. The crowd bounced to hits like “Bia’ Bia’ ” and “I Don’t Give a F—.”
If the packed venue was any indication, Jon and the Boyz may, in fact, be paving a road to stardom for their many disciples. His younger Atlanta-based counterparts, Crime Mob, whose ages range from 16 to 19, have already surpassed expectations with the single “Knuck if You Buck.”
“I didn’t think it was going to blow like that,” 18-year-old Princess said, “but ’Knuck if You Buck’ was catchy and we got a [label] deal off our first single.”
The three-member Trillville — who made their debut on The King of Crunk & BME Recordings Present: Trillville — are riding high with their hit single, “Some Cut.” Their follow-up album, Trillville Reloaded, along with its first single, “Let’s Go,” is due in May.
“It’s bedroom crunk,” the tress-twisted Don P said of “Let’s Go.”
While their pals are scoring success, Lil Jon and the Boyz intend to diversify their fanbase and spread the crunk with a spot on this summer’s Anger Management Tour. Crime Mob and Trillville will perform spot dates on the tour starring Eminem and 50 Cent.
“That’s a real big blessing,” the Boyz’s Big Sam said. “We’ve been trying to get on [the Anger Management Tour] since we came out. We knew we had the skills and songs, but they finally recognized [us].”
The group hopes this summer’s exposure will elevate their double-platinum Crunk Juice to triple-platinum status.
“We’re going to use that tour as a major stepping stone because Southern artists don’t get to be in those arenas and have that type of fanbase,” Jon said. “There will be people from all walks of life in those arenas, so we will really be able to touch some people.”
In the meantime, Lil Jon is augmenting his producing roots as well. He’s creating a track for Whitney Houston’s upcoming album and is also looking forward to working on Usher’s next project — even though their shared radio single with Ludacris, “Lovers and Friends,” never received a video (see ” Lil Jon, Usher, Luda … How ’Bout Another Video?” ). Apparently, the song was tied up in label red tape.
“The record companies couldn’t work out the ish,” Jon quipped. “Ish happens.”
Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz’s next single is “Get Crunk” and features new BME artist Bohagon. The Boyz will join the straight-to-DVD business with their upcoming “Atlanta Comedy Explosion: Crunk TV” and might join the world of celebrity-inspired video games as well.
Branching out in so many different directions, there’s a strong chance Lil Jon and his crunk energy may well make himself, along with everyone he knows, very famous.
For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.