Three 6 Mafia is an Academy-award winning, American rap group originating from Memphis, Tennessee. Formed in 1991 as Triple Six Mafia by brothers DJ Paul and Lord Infamous, the group at its most featured six members including, Crunchy Black, Gangsta Boo and Koopsta Knicca. The group has collaborated with many rappers on their own label, Hypnotize Minds, where they have kick started the careers for many Memphis rappers, such as Frayser Boy, Gangsta Blac, Lil Wyte and Indo G. The group frequently collaborates with Project Pat (Juicy J's older brother).
The group released their debut album “Mystic Stylez” in 1995 through Prophet Entertainment, an independent record label previously controlled by Three 6 Mafia. Produced completely by founding members DJ Paul and Juicy J, the album has been described as a defining example of horrorcore-style rap. The album peaked at #59 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.
They followed in 1996 with “Chapter 1: The End” which entered the Billboard 200 Albums chart at #126 and peaked at #42 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. The album's best known track was "Where's Da Bud."
“Chapter 2: World Domination” was released in 1997 and incorporated reprises of four hits previously released on “Mystic Stylez” and “Chapter 1: The End” including "Tear Da Club Up," "Late Nite Tip," "Body Parts" and "N 2 Deep." The album peaked at #40 on the Billboard 200 and #18 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart.
Their 2000 album, “When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1” was their first platinum certified release. The album peaked at #6 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. The album’s success game largely due to the single, "Sippin' on Some Syrup" which featured UGK and Project Pat.
“Choices: The Album” was released in 2001 as the soundtrack for the direct-to-video movie, “Choices: The Movie.” They released “Da Unbreakables” in 2003 which peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. It marked the beginning of the general trajectory of Three 6 Mafia's career, moving them further away from their horrorcore beginnings toward the hardcore rap mainstream. Another direct-to-video movie soundtrack, “Choices II: The Setup” was released in 2005.
Their eighth full length studio album as well as the second platinum album “Most Known Unknown” was released in 2005. This album is known for having some of Three 6 Mafia's biggest hits, including "Stay Fly" featuring Young Buck and 8Ball & MJG, "Poppin' My Collar" featuring Project Pat and "Side 2 Side" featuring Bow Wow and Project Pat. The album went to #1 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart and peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200.
Their 2005 song "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp," written for the film “Hustle & Flow,” won Best Original Song at the 78th Academy Awards. The song was performed in the film by stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Three 6 Mafia included their own version of the song with vocalist Paula Campbell on a 2006 special edition reissue of “Most Known Unknown.” Three 6 Mafia became the first hip hop group to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song and the first hip hop artists to perform at the ceremony.
The group has also had numerous lineup changes, and now consists only of original members Juicy J and DJ Paul. “Last to Walk” featuring Juicy J and DJ Paul was released in 2008. It peaked at #5 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums chart. The hit single from the album was "Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body)." The song featured Project Pat, Young D and Superpower and peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. Guest featured on the album included Akon, Good Charlotte, Lyfe Jennings and UGK among others.