Three 6 Mafia
About Three 6 Mafia
It’s hard to imagine what music would sound like today without Three 6 Mafia. Their blood-curdling, progressive proto-trap and machine-gun flows have soaked into and defined the contemporary consciousness of hip-hop and pop. Their story as a collective traces back to 1991, when Memphis-based brothers DJ Paul and Lord Infamous formed the Backyard Posse with Juicy J. But like supervillains, each of the six Mafia members has an origin story worth its own book. The throughline among them? A dedication to the art and science of rap music. Even before the Backyard Posse linked up with Koopsta Knicca, Gangsta Boo, and Crunchy Black, they all were already dynamic MCs, producers, and DJs with a deep catalog of locally distributed cassettes. As the group entered the new millennium, the murky, horror-inspired sound that began with their 1995 underground classic, Mystic Stylez, would reach a global audience. They became progenitors of hip-hop’s blinged-out crunk phase, defined by the trunk-rattling When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1. A string of party-starting, genre-defining singles would follow, as well as arguably their biggest legacy: the rise of trap music, which would spread from the Deep South across the country. “Hard Out Here For a Pimp” earned them an Academy Award (!!!) for Best Original Song in 2006, as the world woke up to their impact.