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Atlanta and the surrounding area had always been a hotbed for party rap and bass music throughout the ’90s, and more than anyone else, Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz took these styles to the masses with a cutting-edge Dirty South attitude perfect for the burgeoning club scene of the time. The Atlanta-based rapper/producer began as a club DJ before Jermaine Dupri invited him in 1993 to come work for So So Def Records, where Jon served as the executive vice president of AR. In the meantime, Jon hosted a radio show at V103 and began producing and remixing tracks for such major Atlanta-area artists as Too Short, Xscape, Total, and Usher. After making a name for himself, Jon then debuted his Eastside Boyz (Big Sam and Lil Bo) on Get Crunk, Who U Wit: Da Album (1996) and scored a club anthem, “Who You Wit?” For the next five years, Jon remained an underground phenomenon, mainly confined to regional success, until he broke into the national market with “Bia’, Bia’,” his second massive hit, this one featuring Ludacris, Too Short, and Chyna Whyte and from Put Yo Hood Up (2001). Jon the Eastside Boyz returned quickly with another album, Kings of Crunk (2002), and with it “I Don’t Give A…,” yet another huge hit. That wasn’t all, though. By mid-2003, Jon had become a certified hitmaker, responsible for a number of national hits, chief among them “Get Low” (a Top Five hit featuring the Ying Yang Twins) and “Damn!” (a Top Ten hit featuring YoungBloodz). By the end of 2004, Lil Jon’s favorite expressions “Yeaaahh?!” and “Whaat!?” became fodder for numerous comedians. As Dave Chappelle’s hilarious impression of the producer was becoming as popular as his Rick James impression, Lil Jon himself gathered his East Side Boyz and a slew of guest artists for his next album. Everyone from Ice Cube to Bad Brains appeared on Lil Jon’s Crunk Juice, released by TVT at the end of 2004. Cashing in on two exploding trends, the Ichiban label commissioned some remixes of old tracks and issued Reggaeton Remix in 2005 without Lil’ Jon’s approval or involvement. Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide
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