The two metro Atlanta representatives on “Celebrity Apprentice” this year were a study in contrasts. NeNe Leakes manufactured drama with half the cast, revealing her deep insecurities at every turn. She lost both challenges in which she was project manager. He charity got nada. Then she quit.
Lil Jon, the rap star, showed maturity, intelligence and teamwork. Sure, he got sick of Gary Busey but who didn’t? On the show, when he made the final four, he was honest to a fault when asked whether he should win the competition (John Rich or Marlee Matlin, not him). Donald Trump “fired” him.
But winning two challenges as project manager, he won $80,000 for the United Methodist Children’s Home in Decatur, which has helped foster kids for 140 years. The home feted him under a tent Tuesday morning with his family and DeKalb County politicians on the dais. His brother Chris wore an oversized face mask of Lil Jon and entered first to cheers while one of Lil Jon’s hit songs “Yeah,” played. Lil Jon himself sat with his wife Nicole and 13-year-old son Nathan, who resembled him with the sunglasses and dreads.
During a press conference, Lil Jon noted how tiring the competition was, how it was the most difficult thing he’s ever done. Yet he was proud that he was able to dispel rapper stereotypes. He is thrilled that folks who might have been scared of him a few months ago now come up to him in airports and restaurants to say how much they liked him.
And unknown to most, Lil Jon has known winner John Rich for many years. They met at an awards show years ago, connected and have recorded music together and hung out together. They decided to hide their prior friendship while on “Apprentice” to keep others from being wary of the alliance. He’d love to do a reality show with Rich, an unusual hip-hop and country combo.
A Thrashers fan, he did say any rumors of him trying to buy the team were false. He doesn’t have the spare millions.
Here’s a quick interview I did with him after the presentation where he laments the loss of the Thrashers, has no regrets over what he told past winners why he didn’t think he deserved to win and says a reality show with him and John Rich is still in the early planning stages.