Lil Jon swaps crunk for calm with new album

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Rapper Lil Jon starts his day by saying three affirmations to himself: “I am happy. I am healthy. I am at peace.” The practice is not just a habit, but a transformative moment in the rapper’s life.

“I would say those affirmations every day,” he said. “Throughout the day before I go to sleep, if I’m closing my eyes, that’s the time to meditate, too, when you drift off. And those affirmations help. And the meditation helped me to get into a more positive mindset,” he said.

In a surprising pivot from his signature Southern “crunk” style, the rapper, DJ, and producer recently released a new album titled “Total Meditation.” The album, featuring guided meditations and mantras voiced by Lil Jon himself, aims to offer listeners a journey toward serenity and peace, a stark contrast to his energetic party anthems. 

The 52-year-old’s goal is to lead listeners to a place of serenity and tranquility and offer mediations for “every aspect” of someone’s life. The shift toward meditation and introspection came a few years ago after Lil Jon encountered a health scare that led him to reassess his lifestyle and stop drinking.

“I felt like I started to come out of a fog and I had clarity,” said Lil Jon.

In creating “Total Meditation,” he was determined to ensure his voice would convey the necessary calmness and clarity for effective meditation, a significant departure from the high-energy vocal style he’s known for. 

“You can’t scream all the time,” he said. “For every song I do, I have the find the right voice for that track. So it took me a moment to find the right voice. I really wanted to make sure my voice was soothing and it helps to relax you and I said the words properly and clearly. It took me a moment in the studio to figure it out.”

Lil Jon said the response to “Total Meditation” has been overwhelmingly positive. 

“I’ve gotten so many friends of mine, regular people to hit me and say, ‘Wow, I’ve never meditated before, I tried your album out, I actually went to sleep, I actually felt better, it helped me deal with some grief in my life,'” he said. “People are really loving it. People are hitting me saying they listen to these meditations every single day. They are meant to be played everyday if you need it.”

Now, Lil Jon’s daily life includes meditation beneath a copper pyramid complemented by ginger tea and his affirmations. As he has matured, he recognized the profound peace that comes from acceptance of life’s events.

“If you have acceptance with whatever happens in your life, you won’t ever be stressed, because you know it’s going to be okay,” he said.

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