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Lil Jon from "The Celebrity Apprentice 2011" is one of the celebrity contestants competing in Season 4 of the NBC reality series.

For the last decade, Lil Jon has been one of the most prominent figures in music. Known best for his role in creating and popularizing the southern movement and lifestyle known as Crunk, he has become one of the most sought after artists and producers in hip-hop. Widely known for his platinum-selling production, he has crafted groundbreaking hits for a diverse array
Lil Jon in "The Celebrity Apprentice 2011"
Lil Jon The Celebrity Apprentice 2011
of artists, such as, Usher, Ciara, The Ying Yang Twins and E-40, to popular rock acts, Weezer and LMFAO. As an artist, he has sold millions of records as the frontman of Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, whose smash hits "Get Low" and "What U Goin' Do" have been among the biggest crossover hip-hop hits in recent times.

When Lil Jon commenced work on his highly anticipated solo album Crunk Rock, he made a surprising decision. He decided to work with other producers. "After a certain amount of time, it's hard to be the artist, producer and everything," he explains. "And, I wanted a new sound, to take it to another level! I wanted to have the best producers, the best of the best at whatever they do and let them do their thing. I just went to other people and it was dope because, for a change, I got a chance to just be an artist. It gave me a new energy and a new freshness."

That new energy and freshness is reflected throughout Crunk Rock, an innovative, genre-bending collection that features explosive new sounds and attitudes. Hitmakers Drumma Boy, LMFAO, DJ Chuckie and Kassiano are among the producers who join Lil Jon (who also produced several selections) to create Crunk Rock's searing soundscapes.

Just as Lil Jon popularized Crunk to the pop culture lexicon, he plans to do the same with Crunk Rock. "Crunk Rock is a lifestyle," he says. "It doesn't just mean Crunk and rock music. It means we live Crunk and party like rock stars! You live life to the fullest. You don't let nobody tell you, you can't do nothing. You're on 10. You're living life and you're doing your thing."

Crunk Rock boasts the spastic, confrontational "Get In Get Out" and the equally raucous radio smashes "Shots" and "Outta Your Mind." (The latter two feature and were produced by LMFAO.) "Outta Your Mind," in particular, serves as a sort of sonic energy source. "It's a record you can put on when you want to go work out and you need some energy, if you're going to a club and you're ready to get Crunk for the night, or if you need your energy up when you're going to work," Lil Jon says. "Whatever you're trying to do to get your energy level up and you're trying to have a good time, that's the song you want to hear."

The same could be said for the block-rocking "Throw It Up PT. 2," which reunites Lil Jon and Pastor Troy and also features rising rapper Waka Flocka Flame. Lil Jon then showcases an angst-riddled rock sound courtesy of punk band Whole Wheat Bread on "Killas," which features guest vocals from Ice Cube, The Game and Elephant Man. Things then take a decidedly gangster turn on "G Walk," which features Soulja Boy.

But Crunk Rock contains more than rowdy music for the clubs. "Like A Stripper," for instance, should make the ladies swoon, while "Ms. Chocolate" with R. Kelly and Mario gives an often-overlooked segment of the population a theme song. "I was in the studio eating some chocolate and was like, 'We need to make a song for the chocolate girls,'" Lil Jon recalls. "That's how that came about. It was that simple. The dark-skinned women have an anthem, finally. The light-skinned girls always get all the credit, but now the dark-skinned girls got their song!"

Always one to introduce new sounds to his fans, Lil Jon then teamed with Balie funk maestros Kassiano and Mr. Catra, as well as Baile funk dancer and Playboy model Mulher File, for the pulsating "Machuka." Jon was drawn to the pulsating sounds of Baile funk — a form of Brazilian music — while touring the world as a DJ in between albums. "Baile funk reminds me of Miami bass back in the late '80s and '90s," Lil Jon explains. "They've got the booty shake dancers. They even use old Miami bass records in Baile funk songs. The women love the songs. They dance to it like they're going crazy!"

Lil Jon himself was the one going crazy when he got to collaborate with reggae legends Stephen and Damian Marley on "On De Grind." A lifelong fan of reggae music, Lil Jon was particularly impressed by how the Marley's embraced him. "It was dope that the Marley's opened up their home in Miami to me," he says. "I came to their studio and recorded it. They don't do a lot of records with a lot of different people and for them to show me that much love was amazing. To work with those talented guys — both of them won Grammys before and their father is a legend — it was amazing just to work with them period."

Other artists surely say the same thing about Lil Jon. After delivering a string of regional hits with the East Side Boyz in the 1990s, Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz became a national force in 2001 thanks to the hits "Bia Bia" and "Put Yo Hood Up." Lil Jon's mesmerizing, club-ready production launched the Crunk movement, which introduced his patented high-energy music and guttural growls to a worldwide audience. Crunk became so popular that Lil Jon became a fixture on Chappelle's Show and artists not directly connected to him, such as Mary J. Blige, began using the word Crunk, in their own music.

Lil Jon's reach quickly expanded to endorsement deals with Oakley sunglasses and Crunk!!! Energy Drink — which recently introduced two new flavors, Grape and Peach Mango — among others. More recently, he has introduced Crunk!!! Energy Stix, a powder version of his energy drink. There's also his award-winning wine label, Little Jonathan Winery, which garnered tremendous press including a feature in People Magazine.

But for Lil Jon it always comes back to music. He is looking forward to producing for other artists again now that Crunk Rock is complete. "This album has definitely been fun because I'm doing stuff that I've never done before," he says. "I feel fresh and new again!"

The last time Lil Jon brought something this drastically new to the table, Crunk revolutionized the musical landscape. With Crunk Rock, he plans to continue his revolution.

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How tall is Lil Jon? How old is Lil Jon? Find out here.

Age: 45 years old
Birthday: January 17, 1971
Height: 5' 6"
Nickname: The King Of Crunk
Full Name / Real Name: Jonathon Smith
Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
Wife: (11/27/2004)

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