Rapper Lil Jon Reveals How Meditation Changed His Life


He’s best known for his raspy voice, commanding stage presence and hype-man energy, but “Turn Down for What” rapper Lil Jon is tuning in to his more mellow side. In May, the 52-year-old released a new album of guided meditations called Manifest Abundance (following the February release of his first meditation album, Total Meditations). He adopted the practice about three years ago, when “I wasn’t in a great mental place,” says the star (real name: Jonathan Smith), who announced his separation from his wife of nearly 20 years in February. (They share son Nathan, 26.) “I started to meditate every day, and eventually my life changed. I have a clearer mind, and I’m more spiritually elevated.” Here, the Grammy Award winner talks to In Touch’s Lindsay Hoffman about his spiritual evolution and fatherhood.

What drew you to meditation?

LJ: Turning 50, you just reflect on your life, where you’ve been, where you’re going, where you are. I had some health issues that came up, and I had issues in my marriage. In my meditation, I started to say affirmations, and I started to manifest a better life.

What are your go-to affirmations?

LJ: The three I would say continuously every single day were, “I am happy, I am healthy, I am at peace.” That’s literally what everybody wants out of life.

What have you manifested?

LJ: I got the call in September to do Super Bowl LVIII. That also made me say I want to be in the best shape of my life. So, I was in the best shape of my life for the Super Bowl. And then going through a divorce, I became more at peace, because I faced my issues.

How have you grown?

LJ: I’ve learned to have acceptance of what God and the universe give me. And that’s made me feel that no matter what situation I’m in, it’s going to be alright. I’ve grown immensely. I’m happier and more thankful.

What do your fans think?

LJ: So many people have come to me and said they never meditated before, and they got into meditation because of the projects. Many told me they were dealing with anxiety and grief, and the [albums] helped them deal with those issues.

What does your son think?

LJ: He’s seen his father go into a different spiritual place, and I think it’s important to show your children that you can grow and evolve.

You recently teamed up with wellness brand Natural Vitality to promote their mission to create a more accessible approach to mental well-being. Why?

LJ: I use their magnesium to help lower stress, and it helps ease tension and calm my mind. So it’s a perfect fit. We’re both giving the public things to help them be in a better mental state.

What do you tell people who are learning about meditation and affirmations?

LJ: Don’t expect it to happen overnight. I think Jim Carrey said he used to drive to the Hollywood Hills and look out and say, “I’m going to have this view one day.” He manifested that because he believed it. Don’t lose hope. You’re already headed to where you want to go.



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