Music News

Crunk Candy

Page 3 of 3

"What's sexy to you?" New Times asks as the producer leaves the room.

"Girls on top of girls," Jon answers distractedly, watching the producer walk away. "I'm just sayin' my star is gone," he yells after him. "My star is gone, and you can't bring him back. I just want to make sure we right."

Lil Jon might not be after bling-bling, but he's not taking any chances with sex appeal. "Everybody wants to see exotic, beautiful women," he explains. "It's definitely a different kind of woman that's working on making the video than that's in the video," he says, staring at New Times. He takes his arm, which has been resting on New Times' shoulder, back to himself. "What you gotta do is what you gotta do," he says. "If you're hired to be a pretty face and a pretty body, you can't overstep your boundary. I just wanna make sure I got a hot finished product."

Assistant director Matsoukas, herself a beautiful woman wearing jeans and a cut-off Ethiopian soccer jersey and carrying a Frida Kahlo bag, doesn't much like questions about the difference between women in front of and behind the camera either. Her job mostly seems to be delivering the right kind of girl for each scene. ("Get the black girl; she was good," Watanabe-Batton tells her, and back Matsoukas comes with Genie, a lean, long-haired, long-limbed Slip-N-Slide video favorite who dances at the Liberty City club Foxy Ladies. An aspiring actress, Genie says, "I'm doing videos cuz that's how you get discovered.")

"I'd rather not comment," Matsoukas says, looking away. But she can't help herself. "My politics are different. But I look at it as I'm getting a lot of filmmaking experience." She stops and starts again. "I think hip-hop is really powerful, and young people get their ideas from music videos. But I'd rather not say any more." She does. "I'm not in the director's chair. When I direct, it will be different." But maybe it won't be. "A lot of it is that the artist knows what he wants to do," she says, more to herself than anyone else, "and if the director doesn't do that, you're not the director anymore."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Celeste Fraser Delgado