On this day, October 8, in hip-hop history…
2002: For Southern rap fans, no artist helped push the subgenre of crunk music further into the mainstream than Lil Jon. The Atlanta rapper/producer and his cohorts in the East Side Boyz blazed a trail for crunk’s high-tempo, heavy bassline, club-banging stomp to be accepted into American households with a combination of Jon’s limitless energy, catchy hooks and outlandish persona. After years of winning Southern rap fans over by going show to show, trunk to trunk with his infectious brand of music, Lil Jon won the mainstream over in 2002 with the release of Kings Of Crunk.
For many fans, Kings Of Crunk is quite possibly the most important crunk album of all time. The album was Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz’ fourth LP in their careers and the album that transformed Lil Jon from niche regional rap artist to one of hip-hop’s biggest stars. “Get Low,” Lil Jon’s breakthrough single with fellow crunk artists The Ying Yang Twins, resonated with a diverse set of fans in ways Southern rap had not previously attained. The song was not only a huge hit in the club but became a staple of keggers and frat parties in the 2000s, winning over new fans with its infectious call-and-response chanting and high-tempo beats that were made for dancing. The song would eventually land at No. 2 on the Billboard charts and be certified platinum. Songs like “I Don’t Give A Fuck” and “Play No Games” were hits for the album, as well.
Since the album’s release 11 years ago, Kings Of Crunk has become a tremendous commercial hit, selling over two million copies before being certified double platinum by the RIAA. However, the album’s true legacy was the crossing over of crunk music..