Lil' Jon and the East Side Boys - AKA the Kings of Crunk - are an Atlanta, Georgia based hip hop group that emerged in the late 1990's and have become one of the most recognized mainstream acts in the crunk subgenre, alongside Three 6 Mafia and the Ying Yang Twins. Crunk - derived from a slang combination of "crazy" and "drunk" - is a genre of hip hop music incorporating elements of disco, dance, and Miami bass music. Crunk tends to be loud, bass and chorus heavy, high energy music with danceable club appeal.The group's most famous member, Lil' Jon, is often credited as one of the founders of crunk - he worked as a music producer for Jermaine Dupri's So So Def records in the 1990's, which is where he began dabbling in the genre. Along with his two friends Big Sam and Lil' Bo (the East Side Boys), Lil' Jon independently released his first album Get Crunk, Who U Wit: Da Album in 1997. The album was a regional success (as was his second album, 2000's We Still Crunk!!) in the Georgia club scene, but failed to make it onto the mainstream radar. The group's third release - 2001's Put Yo Hood Up, on powerful label TVT Records - put the group on the radar, no doubt to the mainstream popularity crunk was receiving via hits like Bone Crusher's "Never Scared". Put Yo Hood Up sold over 500,000 copies, paving the way for their next album Kings Of Crunk. Their biggest hit to date, 2002's Kings of Crunk earned a double platinum certification from the RIAA and spawned wildly popular singles "I Don't Give A Fuck" and "Get Low". During this time Lil' Jon emerged as one of the most visible figures in crunk, becoming a pop culture icon due to his idiosyncratic image (shaggy dreadlocks, sunglasses, gold teeth) and exaggerated catchphases of Whaaat? And Okaaaay! Lil Jon became a reoccurring sketch on the popular but short lived television comedy Chappelle's Show in 2003, further increasing his popularity. Lil Jon and the East Side boys released their fourth album Crunk Juice in 2004. Featuring a more experimental slant than their earlier albums (with some tracks having dynamic, guitar-driven beats not usually associated with crunk) and the popular singles "Real Nigga Roll Call" and "What U Gon' Do" featuring Lil' Scrappy, Crunk Juice sold over 2 million copies, reaffirming the group's success. Lil' Jon plans to release a fifth album, Crunk Rock, sometime in 2008. In addition to his musical career Lil' Jon has also launched a line of energy drinks, called CRUNK!, and a line of sunglasses under the Oakley banner.
Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz are a crunk rap group from Atlanta, Georgia formed in 1995 by Lil Jon and fellow rappers Sam "Big Sam" Norris and Wendell "Lil Bo" Neal. They are best known for their hit single Get Low which featured fellow Atlanta group the Ying Yang Twins, reached #1 on the Billboard 100 and was a breakthrough single for the crunk genre. They released their debut album Get Crunk, Who U Wit: Da Album in 1997 and have since released 2000's We Get Crunk, 2001's Put Yo Hood Up, 2002's Kings of Crunk and 2004's Crunk Juice.
The group signed to the Atlanta-based Mirror Image Records and were distributed by Ichiban Records. In 1997, Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz debuted with Get Crunk, Who U Wit: Da Album. It included singles "Who U Wit?" and "Shawty Freak a Lil' Sumthin'", the latter of which came out in 1998. Lil Jon said that in order to really appreciate these songs you would have to dumb yourself down a 4th grade levels, as he made music for people who could not read, write, or understand anything with more subject matter than that. Both singles charted on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at #70 and #62 respectively. Under BME Recordings, the group followed in 2000 with We Still Crunk aka The Death Of Real Hip Hop, and scored a hit with "I Like Dem Girlz", which reached #55 on the R&B chart and #3 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz signed to TVT Records in 2001 and debuted there with Put Yo Hood Up, which combined previously released tracks with new ones. The group's first nationally played single was "Bia' Bia'", a song written about and dedicated to Lil Jon's girlfriend at the time. It featured rappers Ludacris, Too Short, Big Kapp, and Chyna Whyte. "Bia' Bia'" peaked at #97 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #47 on the Billboard R&B chart.
In 2002, the group released Kings of Crunk. "I Don't Give A..." was its first single; it featured Mystikal and Krayzie Bone and peaked at #50 on the R&B chart. The group's next single, a collaboration with fellow Atlanta hip hop group Ying Yang Twins titled "Get Low", became popular in nightclubs nationwide and reached the top ten of the Hot 100.Crunk Juice followed in 2004, led by "What U Gon' Do" featuring Lil Scrappy. "What U Gon' Do" peaked at #22 on the Hot 100, #13 on the R&B chart, and #5 on the rap chart; its follow-up, "Lovers & Friends" featuring Usher and Ludacris, peaked at #3 (Hot 100), #2 (R&B), and #1 (rap). He also graduated college at Ohio State in 1993 and then later moved back to Atlanta to perform his 1st hit song.
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Jonathan Smith (born January 27, 1971), better known by his stage name Lil Jon, is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and international DJ who was a member of the group Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz. Lil Jon formed the group in 1997, and the group released several albums between then and 2004. He then went solo and released a new album in 2010 called Crunk Rock.