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Lil Jon looks back on his career in ‘Origins of Hip Hop’

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By Lisa Respers France, CNN

Lil Jon isn’t used to reminiscing.

“I’m always pushing forward and not really thinking about everything I’ve done in my career and … the span of it,” he told CNN in a recent interview.

But now the producer and artist behind hits such as “Get Low,” “Turn Down For What” and “Yeah!” (which won him, Usher and Ludacris a best rap/sung performance Grammy), is the subject of the latest episode of A&E’s “Origins of Hip Hop.”

“We go all the way back to where I started in elementary school, where I started to have a love for music,” Lil Jon said of the docuseries.

Narrated by award winning rapper Nas, the show features celebrated hip-hop artists as they reflect on the “experiences that molded them.”

Lil Jon said he understands wanting to unpack the genre and those behind it because of its influence.

“Hip hop is making money. It’s one of the top-grossing fields of music,” he said. “Hip-hop culture has influenced and continues to influence the entire world, right? No matter what genre of music people do, they dress and look like hip-hop artists and have swag like us.”

Lil Jon said participating in the program reminded him of what he’s done – and continues to do – in the music industry.

And he’s not stopping.

“I just believe I’ve been given this gift and I’m supposed to use it,” he said. “I’m continuously putting out music. It might not all be hip hop, but I’m putting out music that is making people move.”

He’s also expanding his creativity beyond music with his HGTV home renovation show, “Lil Jon Wants to Do What?”

“I always wanted to transition,” he said. “Most guys want do movies, but I always wanted to do television. So transitioning into television now with my show on HGTV is amazing.” (HGTV and CNN are both part of Warner Bros. Discovery.)

“Origins of Hip Hop” airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.

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