Lil Jon Offers Novel Defense Over Pandemic Loan Criticism
(AllHipHop News) Rapper and producer Lil Jon has defended taking a loan from the U.S. federal government amid the coronavirus pandemic, insisting he's had to shell out a lot of cash to ensure his at-home DJ sets are up to par.
The 49-year-old musician was among the big names to accept a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan from the government because of COVID-19 making it impossible for him to get out on tour.
But while some artists have been at the center of backlash for their acceptance of the loan, Jon - real name Jonathan Smith - has told Rolling Stone that he had no other choice.
"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,” he said. “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.
"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."
According to the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department, Lil Jon Touring received between $150,000 and $350,000 in its loan, with the rapper naming 11 employees on his application, as well as the new worker he's hired since the pandemic.
The Eagles, Kanye West, Pearl Jam, Guns N’ Roses, and Green Day are among the other artists who have taken out PPP loans during the pandemic.