Crunk Lil Jon


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Now that he’s established the “Crunk” subgenre of Southern Hip Hop, Lil Jon has shared the source of his energy.

In an interview with Popcast that was released on Wednesday, March 27, the 53-year-old rapper discussed leading the subculture and examined its historical sources of inspiration on  “Crunk”

He explained that the Black students at his high school in Northwest Atlanta would frequently make fun of him for wearing combat boots, army jackets with the anarchy symbol, and his “Pee-wee Herman kind of little swoop” hairstyle. “I was going to punk clubs in the 80s, I was a skater in the 80s before it was cool,” he said.

He went on, “Skateboarding really opened my mind to other cultures and other music.” Because Atlanta is somewhat segregated—Black people remain over here, Mexicans stay over here, and White people stay over here—it helped me be able to be in a room with individuals of all nationalities and be able to relate to them.

“Kids of all ages skateboard, and we do it all day long. We’re hanging out together and then go to the skate competition all around the city, where they’re playing Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, and [The] Faction. As they perform, I think, “All these bands are in the skate videos because we bought the VHS copies of the skate videos.”

The rapper and DJ went on to talk about how he first became involved in the scene by going to concerts. He specifically mentioned the Metroplex, calling it “the realest punk club in Atlanta” in the past.

“All of this is just to say that I understand the energy of that because I’ve been in actual punk clubs, mosh pits, and punk bands. My energy from being in those punk clubs is being incorporated into the music as when you compose music, your spirit is captured in the tunes.