Get Into His Mind

New Surrender resident DJ Lil Jon on stress relief, Barry Manilow and, of course, crunkness

Likely breaking all kinds of FAA rules, rapper, DJ and Surrender’s newest resident DJ Lil Jon (next appearing Dec. 29) dropped Vegas Seven a line from 36,000 feet.

Beyond merely “King of Crunk,” how would you define your role as Surrender’s newest monthly resident DJ?

[My job is] to give people memories, make people lose control and get outta their minds. Sometimes you need a stress reliever. I’m happy to help facilitate people’s getaway, and Vegas is one of the few places where people wanna party, wanna have a good time and wanna get crazy. You don’t have people just standin’ around, chillin’ and trying to be cool. They come just to get crazy. That’s the thing I like the most about Vegas.

Can we expect performances or strictly DJ sets?

I play my own records. I’m blessed my records are still hot in the club, so I will perform a little over my records. The whole time that I’m on the turntables I rock the mike; I turn the crowd up. A lot of DJs play Lil Jon a cappella and break-beats, but I am Lil Jon so it’s a whole different situation.

Do you need a certain kind of music to get crunk?

I could get crunk to Barry Manilow if I wanted to. I like any and all kinds of music. I grew up as a punk skater kid. In high school I was skatin’, [listening to] Bones Brigade, Mark Gonzales, Minor Threat, Ramones. That’s part of my music, too.

You’ve given the words “yeah,” “what,” and “OK” an unexpected popularity. Why and how and … why?

[Laughing] It’s been years and people are still yellin’. It just started off as ad-libs, hype-tracks that I’d put on songs. Dave Chappelle put it on television and pointed out that I say those words a lot, made everybody catch onto it and the rest is history. And I’m not super-ly over-the-top crunk all the time.

Well, when you are, you tell fans, “Get outta your mind.” How does one do that exactly?

1. Come prepared to party all night. Have an open mind and be ready, because in Vegas … anything goes. You better be ready to let loose, that’s the main thing. 2. You gotta be mentally ready. 3. Since we are in Vegas you’re probably gonna drink a lot, so I recommend everybody gets three balanced meals throughout the day so, you know, you hold your liquor. 4. A new product that we use when we drinkin’ called NoHo—No Hangover—helps you not to get a hangover. Do that and you’ll be just fine with a nice, wild night of drinking.

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