Southern hip-hop producers who changed the game

By Jared Boyd

Lil' Jon

Origin: Atlanta, Georiga

If ever there was a mascot for supremacy as a producer in hip-hop, Lil' Jon would be the most eligible candidate. At his height, an outlandish and flamboyant figure, Lil' Jon was a commercial darling during the mid-aught. This ubiquitous success came with a fair amount of ire from purists who didn't relate to Jon's bombastic styled club music, which often had little regard for crafty verse-work. However, all-star guests from all coasts helped legitimize Jon's singles and albums alike. 

With early underground hits like "Bia, Bia" and "Put Yo Hood Up", Jon found his footing. With tracks like "Get Low" and Usher's "Yeah!", he became a legend. But, most impressively, he got his start as a humble understudy at Jermaine Dupri's SoSo Def Records. Before he was the "King of Crunk" who ushered in artists like Lil' Scrappy and Ying Yang Twins, he was the A&R responsible for curating the label's "So So Def Bass All-Stars" series which garnered the smash hit and recent meme sensation, "My Boo" by the Ghost Town DJs.

Having now transitioned into marrying EDM stylings with Southern rap, Lil' Jon is a staple DJ for nightclub scenes. He also pioneered Atlanta's snap movement, along with Mr. Collipark.