Lil Jon Talks Miss USA, Marijuana, Celebrity Apprentice, and What Gary Busey is Really Like
Catch phrases are awesome.
Just imagine life without that burger-loving old lady's "Where's the beef?" or Tom Cruise's "Show me the money!" You drop those quotes anywhere in the world and there's a good chance people will get the reference.
But here's our personal favorite: "What? Okay!" Yep, we're talking about Lil Jon. He's a rapper, MC, DJ, and reality star. And lucky for us, we got to catch up with him during Irie Weekend, chatting about everything from his new album to the infamous Gary Busey.
Crossfade: Tell me about judging the Miss USA Pageant.
I thought it was going to be easy, but it was hard. Really hard, actually. All the women, especially the final four, were incredible women. I honestly changed my mind like four times. I even asked the other judges, "Who you got?"
Alyssa Campanella of California took the crown. Did the right lady win?
They're all winners to me.
That's a very Miss USA answer.
I learned well.
Well, we here at Crossfade support weed. So we back Alyssa's kinda-sorta support for medical marijuana, obviously.
She was politically correct. I would have answered the question the same way. Because you don't want to step into some crap. Miss California last year with the gay marriage question stepped in some crap. I can imagine she's still dealing with that today.
What's it like to have your son getting in the DJ game?
He's been DJing for almost two years. He actually DJed the golf tournament yesterday because DJ Irie invited him out. A lot of people got to see him. He started modeling and acting. Then one day, he just came home and was like, "I want to learn how to DJ." He actually interned at a radio station at 12. In two to three years, he might be one of the hottest DJs on the scene. He has the ear, the drive. He's making his own mash-ups, and he's only 13. I'm really proud.
Can we expect a new album from you Mr. Jon?
One day, I called my boy DJ Buddha and I was like, "I need you to help me make a record. I need some music because all of this TV just has me on people's minds." People are telling me how much they respect me and how well I did. I was just like, "I need some music while I'm hot." And three days later I had eight songs. I'm dropping a new song with LMFAO in a week or two. It's an amazing record.
Wait ... So you made an album in just a couple of months?
The album should be done in a month. I have never done an album in two months. Ever. It should be dropping in September or October. It will be done in no less than two months.
I love you, my older brother loves you, and my mom loves you. What it's like to have such mass appeal?
It's an honor. I have always just been myself. I got into this just wanting to make good music. I'm a DJ, so I just wanted to make good club music. All of this is just extra.
What do people call you? Are you always Lil Jon or do people ever drop Jonathan Mortimer Smith?
I put my name as Lil Jon in people's phone because that's my name, Lil Jon. You don't want to look me up as Mortimer.
Celebrity Apprentice ... Did you have fun?
It was a lot of fun, but it was really hard. And afterwards, I just saw a change in my appeal to the nation, which is great. It made me think that I need to do a lot more television. Which is what I'm looking into right now.
Gary Busey ... Is he as crazy as he seems?
Well ... I deal with artists. I deal with people that are crazy. Everyone has had a crazy girlfriend in their life. You learn to deal with people, period. And you just have to listen to them, try to understand them as best you can. Because even though they might be a little off, they might be telling you something valuable. You can't discount it.
Donald Trump for President ... Would you have voted for him?
That's another story. All I can say is he is a Republican and I'm a Democrat. I'll leave it at that.
-- Stacey Russell
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.