Three 6 Mafia are a rap group originally from Memphis, Tennessee, signed to Sony Music Entertainment under the Columbia Records imprint. Formed in 1991 as Backyard Posse then later Triple 6 Mafia, by DJ Paul, Lord Infamous, Juicy J and Koopsta Knicca, the group later included two more members including; Crunchy Black and Gangsta Boo (who were both added shortly before the release of their debut album Mystic Stylez). The group has also 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). Their 2005 song "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from the film Hustle and Flow won Best Original Song at the 78th Academy Awards.
The group released their debut underground album Mystic Stylez in 1995 through Prophet Entertainment, a record label they created but have since relinquished control of. Their musical style--which initially featured dark, menacing beats with equally gritty lyrics--has since moved to a more mainstream sound. The group has also had numerous lineup changes, and now consists of original members Juicy J and DJ Paul. Nonetheless, they have cultivated a sizable and diverse cult following that has only increased since their Oscar win. They have released two RIAA rated platinum albums; When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1 and Most Known Unknown, the latter featured their well known single "Stay Fly", which is said to be the kick start of their rise to fame and the mainstream. The group's worldwide album sales stand at 5.5 million.
The group started in 1991 in Memphis with DJ Paul (Paul Beauregard), Juicy J (Jordan Houston) and Lord Infamous (Ricky Dunigan). The original name for the dark hip hop group was "Backyard Posse". The group formed through the release of numerous EPs from their own record company with Nick Scarfo, Prophet Entertainment, which were sold around Memphis and the Mid-West. Later DJ Paul and Juicy J formed their own label, Hypnotize Minds Records. During their early career, they also propelled the careers of several other rappers. Eventually added before the release of Mystic Stylez were rappers Koopsta Knicca (Robert Cooper), Gangsta Boo (Lola Mitchell), Crunchy Black (Darnell Carlton), and the groups most discreet member, They left the label due to money disputes.
The group expanded and help start the careers of notable Mafia affiliates such as Project Pat, Al Kapone, La Chat, Lil Wyte, T-Rock, Killa Klan Kaze, Playa Fly and Indo G. The production acumen of Juicy and Paul also brought about a number of side projects such as Tear da Club Up Thugs, Hypnotize Camp Posse and Da Headbussaz as well as independent label ventures.
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 solo albums by Gangsta Boo and Koopsta Knicca, solo albums by their affiliates and compilation-styled albums such as collections of tracks from earlier years (Underground Vol. 1: (1991-1994), Underground Vol. 2: Club Memphis, Underground Vol. 3: Kings of Memphis). Three Six Mafia also originally coined the term "Crunk" as a description of their Southern type sound.
Events after Academy Award win edit:
On June 7, 2006, Sony officially acknowledged the departure of original Triple Six Mafia member Crunchy Black. He stated his reason for departure was to make a solo album that DJ Paul and Juicy J had allegedly put off for years, with most of the material being used for Most Known Unknown. Thereafter Triple Six Mafia consisted just of remaining members DJ Paul and Juicy J.
The two producers of the group had their own reality show, Adventures in Hollyhood, on MTV. The show focused on what it's like to be a member of the Triple Six Mafia, balancing the increased fame after their Oscar win while attempting to stay true to their loyal fans. The show premiered on April 5, 2007 at 10 p.m. Eastern time on MTV. The show was a success. Three Six Mafia are featured on Justin Timberlake's "Chop Me Up" from his album FutureSex/LoveSounds, along with record producer/singer/rapper Timbaland.
DJ Paul and Juicy J appeared in the May 9, 2008 episode of the CBS television series Numb3rs, which revolves around the murder of a rapper. The group also performed "Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body)" on the show.
As of early 2009, Lord Infamous was featured on DJ Paul's new solo album Scale-A-Ton, which was released on May 5, 2009. Lord Infamous was featured on 8 tracks. Juicy J's Hustle Till I Die album was released on June 16. Juicy J's album featured his brother Project Pat and other rappers such as V-Slash,Gucci Mane,Webbie and Gorilla Zoe.
The group now has their own Youtube pages, DJ Paul's being "djpaulkomtv" and Juicy J's being "juicyjcomic". The group regularly posts information about their new albums on the pages and they have posted many videos of their tour in Germany where they have been to places such as; Mainz, Nuremberg, Passau, Weinheim, Wildeshausen, Stuttgart, Japan, and Gollhofen. The two members now also both have Twitter pages, Juicy J's being "therealjuicyj" and DJ Paul's being "djpaulkom".
The group's tenth album, entitled; Laws of Power will be released at some point... It has spawned four singles so far. "Shake My" (which features R&B signer Kalenna and rapper Pitbull) was released September 8, 2009. Three Six Mafia then released the single "Lil' Freak (Ugh Ugh Ugh)", which features Louisiana rapper Webbie on September 25, 2009. Three Six Mafia's third single from the album, "Feel It", was a completely different style of music to the usual type the duo release; the single was nominated for 2010 International Dance Music Awards Best Hip Hop Dance Track. The latest single to be released from the album features Tech N9ne, entitled "Shots After Shots", and features production from Dr. Luke.
June 10, 2011 Three 6 Mafia became part of the VH1 reality show, "Famous Food," where Dj Paul got into a controversial fight with Ashley Dupre from the Elliot Spitzer scandal.
Around 2011 Juicy J confirmed affiliations with Wiz Khalifa's "Taylor Gang" leaving triple six for a while. In the mixtape "Blue Dream & Lean" he changed his rap topics from everyday hood deals to "trippy" music, containing topics about lean, trippy, drugs, clubs, etc. He seemed to have changed his flow to a more relaxed style, very different from his past flow which included hard lyrics and heavy breathing. His strip club anthem "Bandz A Make Her Dance" featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz has charted at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100. His third studio album will release in early 2013.