Living the life of fame and fortune might seem great, but there is far more to it than we might think. Every celebrity has gone through so much in their lives, to reach the point they are on right now. We might think that it was easy for them to become so popular and loved, but the truth is much different.
In today’s text we are going to talk about a famous American rapper Lil Jon, who made a he impact on the American, but also world, rap scene. His contribution to the rap scene and influence he made is definitely one of the greatest, so in today’s text we are going to learn more about his early life, his career and biography in general.
Born January 19 in 1971, his real name Lil John Jonathan Smith is the founder of the Crunk style on the international scene. DJ, radio host and producer of rapper Too Short, Lil Jon founded his collective Rap in 1996: The Eastside Boyz. Lil Jon was born in Atlanta in Georgia and this is where he spent most of his childhood years.
His family was considered a middle class family, since his father was an engineer and mother worked in Armay Reserves. During his school years, he meet Robert McDowell, Vince Philips and Dwayne Searcy who later became his oldest and most loyal friends.
The three of them started a skateboarding culture and started working at the Skate Escape in Piedmont Park. When he was only 15 years old, Lil Jon started practicing DJ-in and started performing in the basement of his home. His parents weren’t too happy about the idea of him doing that, but they allowed him anyway.
Their opinion was, that it was better for him to do that, than to be on the streets wandering. After he decided that he gained enough confidence, he started performing as a DJ in dance clubs. He continued working as a DJ for several more years, and through the DJ-ing scene, he met many famous and influential people.
With his first album (Put yo hood up), he quickly became the reference of Southern Rap. In 2002, he returns with the excellent King of Crunk, which comes to celebrate its major influence on this style of Hip Hop now widespread and characterized by powerful beats and catchy choruses. The disc is Platinum certified. He then returns to production. The Usher Yeah he produced makes Crunk famous all over the world. Then come Crunk Juice (2004) and Crunk Rock (2007), who exploit the vein without ever ceasing to renew themselves.
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr spent his childhood in the poor neighborhoods of Hollygrove. Impregnated with Hip Hop culture, he performed in the street with his neighborhood acolytes. This is how he meets Lil Slim who puts him in touch with the label Cash Money Records. Lil ‘Wayne, then aged 12, becomes the youngest artist on the label.
1994 is a dramatic year for Dwayne Michael Carter Jr who, after the death of his father, shot himself in the chest by accident. His father-in-law, the gun owner, arrested and imprisoned for possession of unregistered weapon. On leaving prison, he is murdered.
In 1997, four rappers of Cash Money Records formed Hot Boys. The young group, composed of Lil ‘Wayne, Turk, Juvenile and B.G, released an album entitled “Get it how you live”. In 1999, released the second album of the group “Guerrilla Warfare”. The training continues the recording sessions but the other three members of the group decide to leave Cash Money Records. The youngest Hot Boys turns to a solo career.
2005 is decisive for Lil’Wayne, he multiplies the mixtapes and joins the tube of Destiny’s Child “Soldier”. He is then appointed head of Cash Money Records. It is in this context that he released his fifth album, “Tha Carter II”, in November 2005. The conclusion of the album is “until I disappear, I am the greatest rapper alive”
The years 2006 and 2007 aim to confirm this status with a new album, “Like father like Son”, a project duo with Birdman, “Lollipop”, from the album “Tha Carter 3”, receives a triumphal welcome and more than 1 million copies in the week of release. Also in 2009, Lil ‘Wayne, having postponed several times the release of his album, reveals “The Rebirth”. It contains the songs called “Prom Queen”, “Drop The World” and “On Fire”, in duet with Eminem.
The dream ends in 2010, when he is sentenced to one year in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. He is released in September 2010, after eight months of incarceration. His tenth album, “I Am Not a Human Being”, is released in the fall of 2010. He then unveils several singles from an upcoming album, “The Carter 4”, which he rewrote after leaving prison. Among them, “6 Foot 7 Foot”, “We Back Soon” (which will not finally land on the album), “John”, with Rick Ross, or “How to Love”. “Tha Carter IV” finally released in August 2011. It ranks number 1 on the Billboard 200
Rumors then circulate about possible consequences to “I Am Not A Human Being” and “Rebirth”. It is finally the sequel of “Like Father, Like Son” which is announced, in January 2012. In November 2012, Lil Wayne announced that “Tha Carter V” will be his last album because he wants to focus on his private life and his four children.
Meanwhile, he multiplies the outputs: “I Am Not a Human Being II” is unveiled in March 2013, and the mixtape “Dedicaton 5” comes out in September. His album hits the charts, and he goes on tour with 2 Chainz and T.I., and his mixtape is the cream of the moment, including The Weeknd and Chance The Rapper.
The buzz around “Tha Carter V” continues, especially as once again, the album is announced, then postponed several times, especially because of conflicts with his label. A first single, “Belive Me”, duet with Drake, is released in May 2014. Then come “Krazy”, “Grindin”, again with Drake, and “Start a Fire”, with Christina Millan.
It’s finally a mixtape that comes first. “Sorry 4 the Wait 2” is unveiled in January 2015. In July 2015 released the “Free Weezy Album” on TIDAL, then in 2016 a single recorded with Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Logic, Ty Dolla $ ign or X Ambassadors for the movie “Suicide Squad”, called “Sucker for Pain” “. He also rapped on Charlie Puth’s Nothing But Trouble hit in 2015, and especially Ariana Grande’s Let Me Love You, whose clip was nominated for the MTV VMA in 2016.
In 2017, “Tha Carter V” is still out, but announced later this year. Several other projects announced in recent years are also outstanding, such as “I Can not Feel My Face”, “He Raps, He Sings “in collaboration with T-Pain, or” Devol “and” Funeral “, announced in November 2016. In another register, he released on October 11, 2016 a book on his stay in prison, “Gone ‘Til November: A Journal of Rikers Island.
Lil Wayne, on the other hand, still has great success as a duo. “Changed It” with Nicki Minaj, and “No Frauds”, with Drake and the rapper, come out in 2017 and hit all over the world. Lil Wayne’s health problems are delaying the release of his album. The rapper, who suffers from dehydration and migraine, announces that he will retire after the release of “Tha Carter V”. The long awaited album is finally released in September 2018, featuring stars like Nicky Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, 2 Chainz, XXX Tentacion or Snoop Dogg. He is certified platinum a few months later. For 2019, Lil Wayne participates in Kanye West’s new album, “Yandhi”.
Lil Jon’s net worth is estimated at around 28$ million. This music mogul mostly made his money producing songs, rapping and it has made him one of the richest celebrities out there. Even though he earns a lot of money, still, he likes helping others and knows that money is not important in life as many might think.
Lil Jon has been happily married to his wife and the couple has a son Nathan. His wife Nicole and he became parents in 1998, and Jon often says that his greatest joy is seeing his son performing as a DJ since he was 11. This made him think of his own beginnings.
Jon is a big fan of sports teams, and one of his favorites is the Vegas Golden Knights. The University of Tennessee Volunteers took his song “Turn down for what” as their song. He visited the tam back in 2014, and encouraged them against the University of Florida Gators.
Another one of his passions is helping others in need. He has helped numerous times, especially children in under developed countries, to get education and basic health needs. He funded two schools in Ghana and opened a kindergarten in 2017.
In 2018, together with rappers T.I. and Killer Mike, he helped a marching band to get to the annual Mardy Gras parade, after they reached out to Killer Mike for help. This was a nice gesture, and it certainly made a memorable moment in lives of these young students.
Lil Jon had the “privilege” to grow up in a happy family, surrounded by people who love and support him. This gave him an incredible wind in the back to pursue his music career. While many of his fellow artists didn’t have this kind of privilege, he was definitely one of the lucky ones.
In 2003 we were able to listen to his voice as the Jang Ryang in a film called Volcano High. The film was showed on MTV. He appeared many times on the Comedy Central on the Chappelle’s Show. Besides his talent for music, he seems to have talent for impersonation and for acting as well.
He also appeared in All Star Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelorette, Hell’s Kitchen and Tiny House Nation. Lil Jon’s biggest influences growing up were artists like Sir Mix-A-Lot, N.W.A, Geto Boys and many more. Some of their songs can even be heard in his music, since he sometimes samples his favorite rappers and performers.
We don’t know if Lil Jon will continue to work on his music some more, or if he is going to devote his time and career to music production. Either way, his greatest hits have definitely made a huge impact of the rap and hip hop scene, with a unique mix of strong beats and rap lyrics.
His unusual style of dressing and performing, has been a large inspiration for many younger rappers and will definitely continue to live on, long after he steps of the rap scene once and for all.
Full name: Jonathan Smith
Date of birth: January 17th 1971
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia
Profession: Rapper, Singer, Producer, DJ
Weight: 80 kg
Net Worth: 28$ million