Beat blueprint: 808 kicks and claps, gang chants, shrill synths and whistles
Signature beat: YoungBloodz “Damn!” (2003)
Beat clones: Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz “Get Low” (2002), Bravehearts f/ Nas & Lil Jon “Quick To Back Down” (2003), Usher “Yeah!” (2004)
Lil Jon kicked around Atlanta for years, rocking crowds as a DJ and curating the So So Def Bass All-Stars compilations, before he became the screaming, pimp cup-brandishing mainstream face of crunk music. With crisp, hard-hitting beats, Lil Jon permanently made the 808 handclap the default snare drum of Southern rap music, while the rowdy shouts of the producer and his crew the Eastside Boyz created an air of chaos around his steady 16th note hi-hats.
After his iron grip on Atlanta rap slipped, Lil Jon diversified with forays into hyphy and EDM that showed he was capable of other sounds, but there remains no question of what a Lil Jon beat sounds like.