Three 6 Mafia Biography
Three 6 Mafia Biography
Three 6 Mafia (formerly Triple 6 Mafia) is an American rap group originating from Memphis, Tennessee. Formed in 1991 by DJ Paul, Lord Infamous, and Juicy J, they shortly thereafter recruited fellow Memphian rappers Koopsta Knicca, Gangsta Boo, and Crunchy Black. The group also frequently collaborates with Project Pat (the brother of Juicy J) to the extent that he is often considered a group member. Their 2005 song, "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp", won Best Original Song at the 78th Academy Awards. The group released their horrorcore debut album Mystic Stylez in 1995 through Prophet Entertainment, a record label they created but have since relinquished control over. Their musical style—which initially featured dark beats with equally gritty lyrics—has since moved to a more mainstream sound. They are currently working on Last 2 Walk, their eighth studio album scheduled for release in 2008.
The group started in 1991 in Memphis with three members: DJ Paul (Paul Beauregard), Juicy J (Jordan Houston), and Lord Infamous (Ricky Dunigan). The original name for the hip hop group was "Backyard Posse", followed shortly after by "Triple Six Mafia". The group formed through release of many EPs from their own record company with Nick Scarfo, Prophet Entertainment, later launching their own label, Hypnotize Minds Records; during their early career, they also propelled the careers of several other rappers. At this point in the group's evolution, having signed to a major label and having scored an admirable hit single, group leaders DJ Paul and Juicy J began extending their brand. They started by releasing group member solo albums (Gangsta Boo, Koopsta Knicca), non-group member solo albums (Project Pat, The Kaze) and also compilation-styled albums (Tear Da Club Up Thugs, Hypnotize Camp Posse, Da Headbussaz, and Prophet Posse). Around this time, they also released collections of tracks from earlier years (Underground Vol. 1: (1991-1994), Underground Vol. 2: Club Memphis, Underground Vol. 3: Kings of Memphis).In 2000, the official Three 6 Mafia follow-up to the Chapter 2 album, When the Smoke Clears, was released. With the success of the lead single, "Sippin’ on Some Sizzurp" in a few non-Southern markets, the album debuted at number six on the Billboard 200. It received little MTV airplay and little national radio rotation. This era also saw the departure of two members. In 2000, Koopsta Knicca left due to a monetary dispute; In 2001, Gangsta "Lady" Boo left to pursue a solo career, citing religious differences. The group later began work on the direct-to-video film, Choices: The Movie, and affiliated solo albums. Choices and its accompanying soundtrack (Choices: The Album) were released in 2001. In 2002, there were two solo releases from the group's two producers. One from DJ Paul called Underground Vol. 16: For Da Summa and one called Chronicles of the Juice Man by Juicy J. In 2003, Three 6 Mafia released the album Da Unbreakables, which features collaborations with Lil' Flip, Pimp C (from UGK), Lil Wyte, Frayser Boy and Project Pat. The album produced the hit "Ridin' Spinners," which featured Lil' Flip. Videos for "Ridin' Spinners" and "Ghetto Chick" were also made. In 2005, the group released their follow up direct-to-video, Choices II: The Set Up, and their highly-anticipated album, Most Known Unknown. It was notable that Lord Infamous was missing from this album. The generally accepted reason was that he had been incarcerated; however, Three 6 Mafia claimed he was "on vacation." The album includes the hit "Stay Fly", featuring Young Buck and 8 Ball & MJG. They also worked on the movie Hustle & Flow, which would lead them to an award and released a greatest hits album, Most Known Hits.
On March 5, 2006, Three 6 Mafia made history as they became the first black music group to win an Academy Award for Best Song and also became the first hip-hop artists to ever perform at the ceremony. The group was nominated for the song "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp" from the Hustle & Flow soundtrack. This marked the second time a rap act has won an Academy Award, following Eminem in 2002. Three 6 Mafia were credited by their real names, Jordan Houston (Juicy J) and Paul Beauregard (DJ Paul), along with Cedric Duane Coleman (Frayser Boy), although host Jon Stewart did refer to them as "Three 6 Mafia" after their victory, saying "To recap, Three 6 Mafia: 1. Martin Scorsese: 0." Scorsese won the next year.