Lil Jon Introduces Listeners to "Calm Jon" With New Meditation Album (Seriously)

Chelsa Christensen
Chelsa Christensen

Rapper and artist Lil Jon is most often recognized by club bangers like "Get Low," "Snap Yo Fingers" and "Yeah" — songs that rarely leave the top of a hype playlist. His deep, raspy voice and high-octane performances coupled with distinctive ad libs are as infectious as they are iconic, as proven by this year's Super Bowl halftime show. But on Feb. 16, the rapper added a new genre to his discography with a guided meditation album.

"I think it's something that's definitely unexpected for me. But I can't be screaming and hollering all the time," he tells POPSUGAR, chuckling.

"I go through struggles in life like everybody else," the rapper goes on to admit. His latest project, "Total Meditation," is a representation of some of the tools and techniques he's learned to use in order to process more challenging times in his life.

"I found meditation as a way to create a calmness inside of me and give me more of a peace."

His recent separation from wife Nicole Smith represented a major emotional shift for the 52-year-old, for example. "You have anxiety, you have frustration, you have anger, you have all kinds of emotions when you're going through a big situation like that," Lil Jon says. Meditation helped center him to "release that stress and tension."

The rapper first turned to the practice 10 years ago, when someone close to him had a triple bypass surgery. "He was like, 10 years younger than me, and it kind of made me wake up," Lil Jon says. It prompted him to take a health audit of his own, and since then, he's been more on top of his health appointments, scheduling the necessary, but often dreaded, colonoscopy. He's cut out things like nitrates, processed sugars, and processed foods from his diet (which he credits for his fit appearance that rocked the internet after the Super Bowl halftime show).

He's also learned to nourish his mental health over the past decade — aiming to break generational curses past. "I think I was like most young Black men — we internalize issues and we tuck them away and lock them up, lock them in a closet, and never really deal with it," he says. But through meditation and perspective shifting, the rapper says he learned the power of acceptance.

"I found meditation as a way to create a calmness inside of me and give me more of a peace," he tells POPSUGAR. The rapper hopes to offer listeners the same opportunity with his latest album, recorded by "Calm Jon," a side of the artist most people don't see.

"I had to find my character," he tells POPSUGAR. And by the sound of things, you'll be seeing more of him in the future.

"It's just the start. This is going to be a series of albums," Lil Jon says. "We probably have about six albums worth of material already recorded. . . . And I want to continue doing it, because it's a part of my journey."