Could we soon be calling the King of Crunk the King of Rock? We just might be, once Lil Jon gets done with his new record, Crunk Rock.
"I'mma take it back to the first Run-DMC [album]," Lil Jon said Wednesday afternoon from Los Angeles, "[when] n---as was like, 'I'm the King of Rock.' Not the King of Rap, the King of Rock. It was hard hip-hop beats, but hard guitars [too]. I'mma take [Crunk Rock] to that."
Jon's rock jones has been in the works for a couple of years — see "Lil Jon Bangs Head, Creates 'Crunk-Rock' " — and he said several songs on the new LP will follow the blueprint of his 2004 joint with Trick Daddy, "Let's Go," which includes a sample of an Ozzy Osbourne song. "Half the album is going to be like that," Jon said, "the other half is going to be like 'Get Low' and 'I Don't Give a F---' and 'What U Gon' Do.' It's going to be something new and go way further than any other thing I did on the last album. By me collaborating with cats in the studio, it's gonna come on some whole other sh--."
Jon's stay in L.A. is temporary — he's packing up his crunk juice, gold rope chain and beat machine and moving to Las Vegas, where he'll also be recording Crunk Rock.
"Every city I record in gives me certain energy," he explained. "I'm starting this album in Vegas. ... Vegas' energy is wild ... Vegas is really rock and roll. It's perfect for me to start the record out there. We was originally gonna do it in L.A., but then the house we was getting, the people flaked out because they didn't want us recording in the house."
Jon said he realized Vegas would be the perfect place to record after learning that hometown heroes the Killers were working on their next album there (see "Killers' Next LP Will Show Strong Influence Of ... Bruce Springsteen!?"). Rappers don't exactly have a reputation for making tracks in Sin City, plus, Jon says, he loves the atmosphere out West.
"The reason I want to be on the West Coast's 'cause all the rock cats are in California," he explained. "I wanted to be close to them and say, 'Yo, come by the spot.' Even Vegas is close to L.A., it's 30 minutes on the plane."
Jon says he doesn't know what rockers he'll invite to participate on his project because he's been so busy producing albums by his artists: E-40, Trillville and Lil Scrappy. But he's going to use the next few days to load his favorite rock songs into his iPod and figure out which artists' sounds best complement his.
In the meantime, Jon's made a colorful video for "Snap Yo Fingers," a song that has been bubbling in clubs and the underground circuit for months. He says the song's success is pressuring him to deliver the album quickly.
"I'm under the gun," he laughed. "Most rappers do two records before their album drops. I'll have another single soon, [so] it's definitely a lot of pressure to get it done, 'cause I ain't started [the album] yet and 'Snap Yo Fingers' is going crazy."
Jon's album should be out in the late summer or early fall. He hopes to tour with his whole BME label clique before then.