Lil Jon is known to the hip-hop world as the King of Crunk, a hit-making rapper and producer. What they probably don’t know is that his musical journey began as a dancehall selector on the now disbanded Four Seasons sound system in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.
Now, the entertainer whose real name is Jonathan Smith, is coming full circle flirting with his love for Caribbean music by injecting his unique crunk flavour into this year’s festivities at Trinidad Carnival.
Lil Jon will not only be performing, but he will be promoting a soca rhythm for a collaboration between himself, Latin hip hop star Pitbull and soca artiste Machel Montano. The collaboration, Floor on Fire has paved the way for a full-fledged project which features a number of Caribbean entertainers including Kevin Lyttle and Mr Vegas.
Questioned about his renewed interest in soca music, Lil Jon in an interview recently, said “I kinda got back into it over the last few years. Not deejaying but just by listening to it and collecting the music, just in case i wanted to rock the hot stuff during a hot party. Machel brought it all the way back out of me after we did the Defense song with Pitbull. I saw the response at Cropover in Barbados, and it was amazing.”
Asked whether he had actually been involved in any of the carnival festivities, the rapper said, “I have been to New York City and Toronto but not to Trinidad carnival, and I hear it’s the biggest best and wildest carnival in the world.”
And what are his expectations for the Floor on Fire single? “We are going to take this song worldwide and show how amazing Trinidad Carnival is,” said Lil Jon.
The video for Floor on Fire will be shot during next week’s carnival celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago. It will be featured on his upcoming album, Crunk Rock, which will see its release later this year on Universal Republic Records.
Known for the hits Get Low, What U Gon Do, Lovers and Friends and Get Crunk, Lil Jon has in the past collaborated with Jamaican artistes Elephant Man and Don Yute.