It's been five long years since Lil Jon released his club epic Crunk Juice, but the producer extraordinaire and "Yeah!" shouter is back in some capacity thanks to two free mixtapes courtesy of Jon and DJ Spider. Dubbed Rockbox Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, the discs are pretty much just a megamix of rock classics (Vol. 1) and new-wave favorites (Vol. 2) with Lil Jon sporadically shouting his trademark "What?!" or other hype jargon every three songs or so. Does this count as a real Lil Jon release? Probably not, but it serves as a decent segue aesthetically for that Crunk Rock album that's supposed to come out at some point this year. Download the mixes over at Feel the Fusion.
In addition to the mixes, Lil Jon has launched a video channel at Kyte.tv, where you can watch an hour of Diplo and Jon in the studio (we're not joking — video above), Lil Jon snowboarding (still not kidding!) and other assorted madness. Now, back to the mixes. Volume 1 is a run of songs by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd in a random, non-cohesive playlist with no semblance of remixing. Essentially, it's a commercial-free classic rock radio station. Thankfully, Rockbox Vol. 2 is more entertaining.
Lil Jon and DJ Spider aren't exactly digging up any Fischer-Z, Trees, early-OMD or any other great overlooked '80s band, but instead focus on what's most likely to be played a neighborhood bar on New Wave Night. The juxtaposition of tracks is interesting, especially on the Cure block near the end of the mix, and it's kind of funny hearing Lil Jon credit "Bela Lugosi's Dead" to Love & Rockets instead of Bauhaus ("Had to take you way back on this one, little Love & Rockets. Some of you don't know this motherfucking song," Jon says. Daniel Ash and David J were in both bands, but Lil Jon should fact-check next time.) But Girl Talk this is not. However, Jon announces at the end of Vol. 2, "Crunk Rock coming sooooooon," so that's good news.