Lil Jon reveals the origins of his new HGTV design show (exclusive)


Lil Jon goes from producing popular hip-hop songs to something closer to home: renovating houses! The rapper recently sat down with ET’s Rachel Smith to share the situation that led to his love of design and how his new HGTV show, Lil Jon wants to do what?, came about.

According to Lil Jon, a personal project led him down the organic path to HGTV.

“It was about four or five years ago and my house in Atlanta was flooded for almost a week. We had to empty the house,” he explained. “[I] I hired three contractors and started designing my house.”

The rapper revealed that having previously seen expert designer and builder Anitra Mecadon on HGTV, he decided to reach out and help her on his project.

“I really liked his style and his way of doing things,” Lil Jon said. “We’ve been friends ever since and we’ve done an amazing job with my house.”

Naturally, the two took their friendship to the next level – working together to help redesign the houses for their HGTV series!

Alongside the seasoned designer, Lil Jon will help skeptical homeowners who feel trapped in a boring home find their wild design side.

“Anitra has the vision of a trained designer and knows all the terminology,” Lil Jon explained of the duo’s dynamic, adding that they “push the envelope” on many home designs. “She has this formal design background and I just have the side of crazy ideas. So we both throw ideas out there and see which ones we land on or which ones we incorporate together and ball them up.”

The GRAMMY-nominated producer admitted that the hardest part of the renovations for others was making sure they “give them everything they ask for”, but also shared that the designers wanted to make sure that they were giving them “something that isn’t the everyday cookie-cutter house.”

And like all good home improvement shows, Lil Jon admitted that budgeting was often a “major point of contention” for the crew.

“Sometimes I want crazy big things and Anitra is always on top of the budget so I always stress her out,” he said. “But we try to call as many favors as possible and get people to pay attention and I think at the end of the day we always succeed.”

“For me, it always comes back to where we started and how terrible some of these places look before we go in and do our thing,” he said when asked. asked what he liked most about the experience. “Just looking at their faces and feeling their energy, their joy and their excitement, it makes me feel so good that we’re giving them something that will be a place where they can make memories with their family.”

He added: “It’s the absolute joy, to see how happy they are when they see these spaces because they have no idea how these spaces are going to turn. We present a design, but you don’t don’t know until you see it, until you go through it and then special things show up in the design because we like custom things so custom things happen which they aren’t even not aware. [it’s great] see them surprised at everything [as] they walk around and they’re like, ‘oh my god, oh my god.'”

“It just gets better with every episode and every version is totally different,” he said.

Lil Jon wants to do what? premieres on HGTV and Discovery+ Monday, May 2 at 10/9c.

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