Three 6 Mafia / 3 - 6 Mafia / Three Six Mafia
Three 6 Mafia initially gained massive notoriety with their anthemic underground classic, "Tear Da Club Up." Not only that, their LP, The End, went on to sell over 80,000 units regionally and charged on to the national music charts. The group conquered the south largely through word-of-mouth and without the benefit of full-scale promotion and distribution.
Now, armed with Chpt. 2 World Domination and the benefit of full-scale promotion and distribution, the group hopes to conquer the world. Their lead-off single, "Tear Da Club Up 97," an updated version of the original, is the perfect introduction to those unfamiliar with Tennessee's hottest crew.
"Memphis already had that wild, buck-like music," Juicy J (aka Da Juice) explains. "Our music is just wild, crazy. Like at a rock concert, when they jump in a mosh pit, at our shows we have all of that going on. Instead of standing in one spot or walking around pointing our finger, we've always gotten buck wild."
Few rap outfits have been able to produce gritty music that people could dance to. But Three 6 Mafia does it time and time again. Their choruses are as captivating as they are catchy. Chanting along with these choruses is likely to excite even the most stoic listener.
Before they united to lay the foundation for Three 6 Mafia, Juicy J and DJ Paul each produced a number of underground tapes that took their region by storm. After meeting each other while working their cassettes, the two formed Hypnotize Minds, their own production company. When they decided to form a group, the duo enlisted the rappers they've featured on their tapes and knew from around the city.
"Gangsta Boo (aka Miss Lady) went to school with DJ Paul," says Juicy J. "She used to flow in school and around town. Paul put her on one of his underground tapes and she immediately got noticed. Everybody started saying, 'Man, that girl, she's got a hard flow.'"
The strong-voiced rhymestress adds a much-needed female perspective to the region's rap releases. Like a Mia X or Lil' Kim, she spits her rhymes with as much venom and with the same unflinching insight as her male peers.
Juicy J, DJ Paul and Lord Infamous were the original members of the group, but since Koopsta Knicca and Gangsta Boo rapped on Paul's tapes, they earned spots in the group, while Crunchy Black was known around the way for his dancing prowess.
Another key step to the success of Three 6 Mafia was Juicy J's and DJ Paul's work as deejays on the Memphis club circuit.
"We started out as club deejays, so we knew what it would take to get the people out on the dance floor or we wouldn't have a job," DJ Paul says.
Both J and Paul would mix key phrases over instrumentals during their sets. After noticing which sayings the crowd favored, they began incorporating them into their songs.
Then the process would repeat itself as the two would gauge the response their own records would receive.
"Even though Paul and I would produce underground tapes and deejay in clubs, we still always rapped," Juicy J says.
Juicy J used to back up DJ for Eightball & MJG, and like their well-known hometown friends, Three 6 Mafia made moves on the underground before breaking through nationwide. Now that they're backed by Relativity, the group's Chpt. 2 World Domination is imminent. You've been warned.