Following Rolling Stone’s report on how artists received federally funded Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Lil Jon explained why he — like so many artists who were forced to stop touring due to COVID-19 — needed financial assistance from the government’s recently enacted $2 trillion CARES act.
“Touring is a main source of income, and since COVID has become a part of our lives, I’ve been off the road for months and likely will be for at least the rest of the year,” the rapper tells Rolling Stone. “Like many other artists, I got a team, and these are folks that help support me/my career … so I’m doin’ what I can to support them during all this.”
Lil Jon Touring, which planned upwards of 70 gigs in 2020, received a PPP loan of between $150,000 and $350,000, according to the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department. The rapper claimed 11 employees on his PPP application, plus an additional person hired after the pandemic began to help lead his digital team.
“With everythin goin’ on, I decided that every Saturday night I’m doin’ live DJ sets from my house – which in order to put together – I had to not only completely dive-in and learn a new skill set [with the streaming technology], but it costs money,” Lil Jon says. “To do these streams right every week, there’s a lot of production and equipment involved, that I’ve actually had to acquire a new employee that does my video content and tech aspects.”
The producer continued, “It’s been important to me that fans are able to view my DJ sets while gettin’ the best experience they can watching from home, so with that comes the expenses and labor.”
The Eagles, Pearl Jam, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Tool, Wilco and Weezer — all of whom had 2020 tours canceled or postponed by the coronavirus — were among the dozens of artists to file, and receive, PPP loans.
My Chemical Romance, who also received a loan from the CARES Act, told Rolling Stone, “Like most tours that were happening this year, My Chemical Romance’s world tour was cancelled. MCR received PPP money to ensure their crew is funded in these times of uncertainty until we are able to be out on the road again. We are so grateful to these skilled, dedicated people – some of them are parents, others caretakers, still others who simply have rent to pay – and this money helps them take care of themselves and their families.”