Crunk definitely isn't dead, according to Universal Republic.

The company announced today they signed Lil Jon to to a label deal that will see the rowdy producer deliver solo albums, in addition to serving as an A&R for the company as well.

"Lil Jon is a larger than life figure who casts a giant shadow over every facet of the entertainment business," Universal Republic CEO Monte Lipman said in a statement. "His name is synonymous with brand-building and we want him plugged into multiple Universal Republic platforms for maximum results. I view him as our Urban Music Czar!"

Jon's long-delayed follow-up to 2005's Crunk Juice is set for an early 2009 release.

Lil Jon was previously signed to TVT Records where he delivered a number of albums, including Kings of Crunk and Put Yo Hood Up. The rapper became a free agent when TVT filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year.---Anthony Thomas