Lil Jon Talks Celebrity Apprentice, Donald Trump Presidency

Lil Jon is best known for his energetic party productions, his catchy ad-libs and a slew of hit songs, including “Get Low” and “Yeah,” the latter which he produced for Usher. But in recent weeks, the rapper/producer has been showcasing another side of his business smarts on the Donald Trump-helmed reality show Celebrity Apprentice.

In fact, this week’s episode saw the Crunk-rocker, who was a project manager for a second time, beat out fellow Atlanta native Nene Leakes again (he beat her once before), and raise $80,000 for his charity of choice, United Methodist Children’s Home; they provide foster care and adoptive services in Decatur.

The secret to his success? Jon tells its quite simple: “not acting like these girls. It’s funny, I watched season two of the show before I came in at the suggestion of my publicist [Tamar Juda], and that’s the one thing I told my teammates when I got here. Our strategy is to win, win, win and that’s the way to stay out of the boardroom,” he says. “But for the women, they don’t know each other, we’re all working 14-hour days so when you put some pressure on the pipes that motherfucka will burst. People in general will get on your nerves if you don’t take your time to know what they’re about.”

Not only that, but Jon admits that, while we still haven’t seen the last of him on the show (the season finale is in two weeks and rumors have it he stays for at least two more episodes), he had a secret partnership with one of his cast members (probably either musicians Meatloaf or John Rich, who are still on the show with him) although he wouldn’t reveal who, but adds that the alliance is exposed at the end.

“Me and one of the guys, as the season goes further, you’ll see something not expected,” he says. “Me and someone from the cast gamed someone from the beginning. We didn’t tell anyone. Me and that person now are in the works to put a business together based on some of the stuff we did on the show.”

Some critics have expressed surprise to seeing the dreaded, sunglass-wearing artist on the series this long, but Jon isn’t offended by the lack of confidence. Instead, he says he is equally as shocked at his performance.

“A lot of people thought I was going to be gone the first or second week, but I stepped up and showed and proved,” he says. “I learned that I can do more than I actually thought I could do. You think you’ve pushed yourself to the limit, but you’re being put in situations on the show in which you just have to figure out quickly how to survive. I thought doing albums was hard, but executing these tasks under time restraints, mental stress and all the other factors was a whole other beast.”


Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • Terri Rozaieski

    I absolutely fell in love with Lil Jon on Celebrity Apprentice. I didn’t know a thing about him prior, and his music isn’t a genre to which I generally listen, so I’m sure I was one of those people predisposed to think he would fail because, at first, I didn’t look past his “dreaded, sunglass-wearing” appearance. Boy, would it have been a huge mistake had I never moved past that!

    This guy is smart, creative, enthusiastic, hard working, modest, honest and genuine. He may be one of the last remaining true tell-it-like-it-is people. And that’s saying something when, in the celebrity culture, most people tend to sound like a marketing brochure, far too often saying what they think people want–rather than what they need–to hear.

    I so appreciate that he doesn’t waste words; doesn’t just talk to hear himself talk. When he does speak, it’s because he actually has something to say and something worth listening to. Further, his performance on Celebrity Apprentice showed a man who could lead or follow; he was an exceptional team member from either perspective.

    I was so impressed that he didn’t let his ego get in the way at any time. That’s so refreshing to see in a celebrity. Even those of questionable celebrity status (Real Housewives??? Puh-leeze.) often seemed to struggle under the weight of a task, largely due to the fact that they were already carrying a great deal in the form of a giant chip on their shoulders.

    Lastly, what sealed the deal for me is Lil Jon’s insight on his fellow contestants. I have no problem believing that he handled these individuals in the same manner with which he handles those with whom he has personal or professional dealings on a daily basis. That would be with a great deal of respect, patience, and a genuine appreciation for what they bring to the table. I have two little girls–ages seven and nine–and I found myself more and more pointing out Lil Jon as a positive role model–one who treats others as he himself wants to be treated.

    I wish Lil Jon all the success he so richly deserves on all of his future endeavors. I’m so glad for this opportunity to get to “know” him, and I look forward to seeing and hearing what his future holds.

    • Lesley

      I agree totally, I had never heard of him but found him to be relaxed, smart, funny, intelligent and very secure. I don’t know his music, but when ever he got in front of an audience, he really knew how to work them and with great humor, a very engaging guy.

    • fresnogma

      Well said…

  • Marie

    The world learned how uneducated he is, most of the time he just sat there not talking. It was sad to watch.

  • Jonna

    I only knew of Lil Jon from the Cappelle show. I love his laugh and was totally impressed with his kindness, patience and good sense. He was by far the most fun to pull for. I am a fan!!!

  • http://cnn redcatlove

    i’m a fan now that the show has show what kinda guy he really is he’s better than his image being a rapper and that he’s a smart man

  • Dee

    Lil Jon is one brilliant guy who thinks on his feet. I am totally impressed with him week after week. You made people see rappers in a whole new light. Keep on doing it!!

  • Spin

    I’m from the old school, so Lil Jon was part of the new school “garbage” that I hear every 30 seconds. But after watching him on Apprentice, I’ve put that aside and can see the business side and more personal side of Lil Jon. Yes it is a show and most of these shows are out together quickly, but this is outside of the usual element of being on stage in a club with loud music…but being in a bored room making decisions. Although I know he does this anyways with record deals and other music related business, but to see it in actions with challenges that are not music or hip hop related, and to see him defeat the other team with a well executed plan…that’s something anyone anywhere could learn from.


    I think a lot of people think Lil Jon is stupid just based on his music. And I was one of the people. I saw him at a hip hop summit in detroit and that changed my mind though. He is a really smart guy when you actually hear him speak about business. Master P was also someone there I gained a lot of respect for. They might dumb down their music, but they are just playing people with that. They are great businessmen!

  • Walter

    i have watched the Celebrity Apprentice for some time now and
    I must say lil Jon you have a done a great job congrats !

  • tm

    Black people should not support Lil Jon. He is not a role model, he is just as ignorant as the Joker. He did not come out and support the Black community when the Joker made his asinine comments about the President. Shame on you and Star and NeNe. These people are not a reflection of the Black community.

  • Max

    Lil Jon is not uneducated he went to college and got a PHD. His Bussiness smarts are genious and his music is brilliant.

  • Ginger bread

    lil john is a embarassment to hip hop…

  • Gusto

    Lil’ Jon was the man before Celebrity Apprentice and he’s the man right now. He rocked that show and was really fun to watch. I think the level of character, humbleness and smarts he displayed on the show should be applauded. Lil’ Jon is not your average celebrity with a big ol’ head and ego to match.

    When’s that Crunk Rock album dropping Jon??



  • sen29

    i like lil john hes done some nice tracks in the past / but DONALD CHUMP IS A IGNORANT RACIST !