Like Snoop Dogg sings on “Sensual Seduction,” Lil Jon’s motto is “I’m gonna take my time.”
The King of Crunk hasn’t put out an album in four years. So many things have changed since then, like his recording home TVT going from having money to burn to being on the verge of folding (Jon had no comment on the label’s status), but the Atlanta native insisted that he’s in no rush to put anything out.
“Of course you’re gonna miss being on that stage, having that record out,” said Jon, who has been keeping busy DJing in clubs. “But I’m on the Pitbull record [’The Anthem’], which is all over the clubs crazy. I’m on the Felli Fel record [’Buck in Here’], which is crazy all over the clubs. If you go in any club, you’re gonna hear my old records. Plus [DJs] take samples of my voice and put it on all them mash-ups. I really ain’t never went nowhere.”
Jon’s next album, Crunk Rock, has taken him a lot longer than he originally planned (his legal issues with TVT over money didn’t help speed up his process any), but he said he never thought of giving up the ambitious concept of the project: bringing crunk and rock and roll together for one project.
“I wanted to just give them what I set out to,” he said. “People are expecting one thing from me, and I don’t want to change the perception of what they are expecting. I didn’t want to come out with no regular sh–, because my last two albums did 2.5 million copies. I wanna still bust them in the head and give them something incredible. Music now … it’s just not fresh. I want my sh– to be fresh like in the ’80s, when you was waiting on that new Nice & Smooth album. Or that new De La Soul album. I wanna have people hear these songs and be like, ’This is not that same old bullsh–. It’s not just two singles, and the rest is trash.’ ”
Aside from Crunk Rock, Jon has been getting calls to work with Flo Rida and Pharrell Williams, and he just finished producing E-40’s new album. E’s street single, “Turf Drop,” just hit the Net.
“It’s gonna be another record to just totally showcase the Bay Area, the culture,” Jon described of 40’s new music. “We expect it to be #1. You have to always take care of your core fans. When it gets out there and people see the video, people are gonna be like, ’Oh, sh–, this is some other sh– again. This is another part of what they told us in “Tell Me When to Go.” ’ We take care of the core market, then you’ll see another single a couple months after that.”
E-40, of course, is a staple of Jon’s BME Click, which includes Trillville, Lil’ Scrappy and new Asian artist Min. The charismatic beatman has also opened his arms to extreme athletes: Pro surfer Travis Mellem, skateboard gurus Greg Lutzka and Ryan Sheckler and snowboarders Danny Kass and Dingo are all down with Jon now.
“Me and the guys, some of us been cool for three or five years,” Jon said. “We would see each other at different events. … I used to skate in the late ’80s. I always wanted to surf. I always wanted to get into skating.
“I just think that it feels better if we were all together,” he added. “I don’t want anything to be segregated. We all do our own thing but have one common goal to have fun in life and be happy. We got one common goal, we should be one crew. That’s why we decided to bring all of us together. All my cats are top athletes, but they my homeboys too. We all support each other and really hang out. They are a part of the BME Click, and we have apparel that’s hitting the market. We have a snowboarding glove that’s hitting the market. We have the T-shirts and sweatshirts coming out. It’s a lifestyle. Whatever you do, it’s about having fun.”
There is still no release date for Crunk Rock. E-40’s album will be out later this year.