The East Side Boyz conducted by Hugo Lunny  

The East Side Boyz Interview

November 2004

A few years ago, "crunk" was a buzz word. Nobody really understood it. Now it's a widely used term in urban music partially due to Lil' Jon, a former So So Def A&R who hooked up with Big Sam and Lil' Bo to form Lil' Jon & The East Side Boyz. Several years later, the trio are richer than anyone could have envisioned, dominating the DJ's collection in clubs.

On November 16th, with a slew of guests (ranging from Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg to T.I. and Eightball and MJG to even Nas), the trio will release their next endeavour "Crunk Juice."

MVRemix: How did you form as a group back in the day?

Big Sam: We formed through a mutual friend of me and Lil' Bo's. He was on So So Def and Lil' Jon was his A&R (at So So Def). So we would go to the record company with him, and that's how we got to meet Lil' Jon. We always used to go out to the clubs together too. One time we would be on the road with him and Lil' Jon would be on the road too, so after a while we started to get to know each other like that. In the club one night, we was in Atlanta at a club called "The Gate." We was like East Side Boyz Interviewthirty deep; a whole bunch of us there. I started shouting this chant "Who You Wit" and got down wit "Who You Wit." Then everybody around us started doing it and doing it. Lil' Jon was lookin' at it like "God damn! You full to the sides. Hey man, we gotta do that song." I was like "Whatever man, whatever." So he called me two days later; he had the beat done. Then me and him wrote the song over the phone. In about two mo' days, me, him and Bo was in the studio. While we was in the studio, we were tryin' to come up with a name for me and Bo and whatever. They was like "Well, y'all from the East Side" and everybody else was from the West Side. So we was the only two people that hung with us that was from the East Side. So they actually gave us the name the East Side Boyz.

MVRemix: Who did and who do you look up to musically?

Big Sam: Musically, I look up to anybody that's doing something...

Lil' Bo: [interrupting] Positive.

Big Sam: Anybody that's doing something positive, no matter what your lyrics say. Just if you doing something positive as a person, like tryin' to help the community out. Like what Puffy doing with tryin' to get everybody out to vote. I look up to people like that.

MVRemix: Now Lil' Jon is quoted as saying "We're not really considering ourselves as rappers, so we got the best rappers in the game to get on tracks." What do you consider yourselves as, if you don't consider yourselves as rappers?

Lil' Bo: Crunk artists.

MVRemix: Okay...

Lil' Bo: We make party music, you know what I'm saying. You could state us as "crunk artists."

MVRemix: What's your creative process? How do you assemble your hooks and chants and such?

Big Sam: It's really only listening to the beat and how you feel. We might have been in the club and a situation might have came up and you might hear the beat then think about that situation. Then you form it into some words there about what you wrote in your verse.

MVRemix: So tell me official East Side Boyz definitions for "Crunk" and "Skeet."

Lil' Bo: "Crunk," I'd say is like a big ball of energy. Slam dancing and stuff like that.

Big Sam: "Skeet," I'd like to say the definition is - it's a word in itself; "Skeet!" [chuckles]

Lil' Bo: You could skeet some water on somebody or...

Big Sam: You could cum on somebody. We'll put it in political terms, like Jon say; "Skeet means to project a liquid substance." [chuckles]

MVRemix: So tell me about "Crunk Juice," both the album and the beverage.

Big Sam: The album is "Crunk Juice," but the beverage is "Crunk Energy Drink." If you put a little Hennessey with it or...

Lil' Bo: Grey Goose...

Big Sam: Then you got "Crunk Juice." Basically, the album itself is like the "Crunk Energy Drink" 'cause with the beats, you got the crunk beats. Then you take all the artists we got on the album and put it together then you got the "Crunk Juice." We like the Hennessey or the Grey Goose mixing with the beats.

Lil' Bo: Right.

MVRemix: What do you listen to to relax?

Big Sam: Actually, I don't listen to nothin' really. I just sit back and smoke me a fat ass blunt! And tell my god damned kids "Can y'all be quiet for a minute?" [hearty laugh]

MVRemix: What are your thoughts on the T.I. vs Lil' Flip beef?

Lil' Bo: Man, they need to squash it man! 'Cause it ain't even worth it man. Just keep makin' music man, and forget about it. It ain't that serious man.

MVRemix: What about Guerilla Black, what do you think of him?

Big Sam: Oh, Guerilla Black?

Lil' Bo: [whispering] He a new artist.

Big Sam: Oh, I know where you goin' but it's just a man makin' music. You know? He just sound like someone else, that shouldn't take away from it.

MVRemix: A la "Fight Club," "If you could fight any celebrity, who would you fight"?

Big Sam: Any celebrity. Whoa. [ponders]

Lil' Bo: [whistles] Somebody in a straight up fight?

Big Sam: If I was to fight somebody. Damn! I'm tryin' to find somebody tough man.

Lil' Bo: I don't know, I guess I'd fight god damned Vin Diesel.

MVRemix: Recently Petey Pablo signed to Death Row, do you have any thoughts on that decision?

Big Sam: Really I just found that out yesterday.

Lil' Bo: At The Source Awards [chuckles]

Big Sam: And I mean...

Lil' Bo: You gotta do what you gotta do sometimes man.

MVRemix: Do you see it as a positive or maybe a sinster thing? Any further thoughts on that?

Big Sam: I think anything has got to be positive. A lot of people are just going off the reputation that Death Row had. But I look at it like a lot of that stuff that was going on might have been word of mouth. I don't know it personally.

Lil' Bo: We don't know what actually happened.

Big Sam: I don't know it personally, but at the same time, that man signed with Death Row because he felt like they gave him a good deal. So he felt like that's where he wanted to be at the time. I'm not mad at that. And shit, Suge, holler at me!

MVRemix: Will you be voting in the upcoming election?

Big Sam: Ah man, I cannot say.

MVRemix: Describe your rowdiest audience and what happened there.

Lil' Bo: The rowdiest audience I'd say was Houston, Texas. We was doin' our music in Houston. We got it crunk. This one dude got knocked down in the middle of the floor - out! People was stompin'.

Big Sam: Security was stompin' him!

Lil' Bo: You know what I'm sayin'?

Big Sam: Security knocked him out!

Lil' Bo: I'd say two or three minutes into the little fight or whatever, everybody went back to party like ain't nothin' happened or nothin'. Oh and buddy got hit with a barstool.

Big Sam: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh you talkin' about the night, whoo, oh word.

Lil' Bo: It's crazy how they jumped on the man then everybody formed back around him like right back.

Big Sam: Security pulled him out off the floor, then everybody came back like nothin' happened. We was still performing.

MVRemix: Sounds like a good night!

Big Sam: Yeah! Haha.

MVRemix: Are there any plans to release a follow up to the "American Sex" DVD?

Big Sam: Yeah, we're supposed to. I'm thinkin' about doin' my own porno. I think I'm gonna go out fuckin' in there. Just me and about six other girls. I might call it "A Day In The Life Of A Damned Fool."

MVRemix: Are there any guest appearances aside from the album that we can look forward to from you?

Big Sam: Not right now.

Lil' Bo: There might be something to come out with the East Side Boyz with this guy named Mac Villain with Cool Million Records. It's a hot song, but we gotta get the right person to work it.

MVRemix: Any last words?

Lil' Bo: We appreciate 'em buyin' our album.

Big Sam: Right.

Lil' Bo: We appreciate 'em supportin' us.

Big Sam: Right.

Lil' Bo: And as long as Lil' Jon & The East Side Boyz is out we gon' always do our best to give 'em what they need to get out of a CD from Lil' Jon & The East Side Boyz.

Big Sam: Right. And we wanna let them know that no matter who you meet, we want them to go back and say "Lil' Jon & The East Side Boyz, they the most down to earth people I ever met!"

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