Man Like Namsung sent me this bit from Scratch (the magazine of hip hop production) from a Lil Jon interview:
“At some point in the late 90's, Jon was introduced to the Novation synth module, a piece of equipment that would prove indispensable to his current success. He recalls his revelation, "I went to a strip club that played nothing but house music and that synth sound was on every track. It fucked me up, so I took some shit that was straight rave/dance music and put it on hip-hop and it changed the whole shit."
This shiny tone, when coupled with a thumping drum program, injected the ATL club scene with an energy previously only felt at raves and techno functions. "I use a lot of those dance sounds because those sounds have that energy. The synth on [Youngblood's] "Damn" and [Usher's] "Yeah" have
that dance energy. It's pop, but it's super ghetto at the same time, which is like, impossible to do."
I spose it's obvious really, that synth sound HAD to come direct from chees-E (in a good way natch) techno and house. (The topic is further discussed on this ILM thread)
From a sex-pol angle, it’s interesting that Lil Jon first encounters and assimilates house music (hitherto regarded as gay in the hip hop imagination, and not without reason) in such a stronghold of heterosexism and armored male selfhood as the strip club.
Come to think of it, when doing the B-Boys on E relick for Muzik way back when, I interviewed Armand Van Helden and he claimed that strip clubs were a primary conduit for Ecstasy into the hip hop community. The owners apparently routinely give the girls pills so they have loads of dance energy and project the right “positive” friendly attitude.
Kinda depressing, for those of us who once thought of E as--if not quite sacrament of a spiritual revolution--then at least an androgynising and postsexual/we-become-angels force, to see it end up being used in such a polarized-gender-roles-reinforcing, fallen context.
Can it be true, the story I read somewhere that Lil Jon’s parents are brain surgeons? I mean, both of them!?!