Interview: Three 6 Mafia
Thu, 17 Jul 2008 13:38:33
Oscar wins and reality shows take some of the stress out of pimping, but real players know haters are always just around the corner waiting for them to slip. There was some question as to whether Three 6 Mafia were going to stay on their grind after snagging their golden statue from the Academy and moving out to Hollywood under an MTV microscope. After all, they'd gone through yet another lineup shakeup, and it'd been three years since they dropped the platinum-selling Most Known Unknown with their new album enduring numerous release delays.
So with the group distilled down to core members, and main producers, DJ Paul and Juicy J, the two hit the studio as a duo and came back with their latest thug symphony, Last 2 Walk. Featuring guest turns from Akon, UGK and Project Pat among others, the album stays true to their Memphis roots with its bruising lyrics and towering beats. Interested to see how they walked the fine line between super stardom and hood fame, we sat down for an interview with DJ Paul. Along the way, he told us why you should never underestimate L.A., Soulja Boy or the power of lemonade.
What was it like having the cameras in your face 24 hours a day on your show [Adventures in Hollyhood]?
It was cool.
It wasn't too much for you?
No, I mean when you're making money, man, you don't really think about that. I've got certain friend's houses that I go to, and there will be cameras shining on me anyway. They're under surveillance.
When you watch it, do you feel like they captured who you really were?
In a clean way, yeah. They couldn't really show you who we really are. They would've gotten a call from the FCC or whoever.
It wouldn't have been a daytime show.
It would've had to be on Cinemax, after dark.
Whose got the bigger freaks, L.A. or Memphis?
Both. They're just different. Memphis has big girls. L.A. has thinner girls who work out and don't eat meat and stuff.
Out here in Hollywood, it's the land of actors and pretenders. Did you feel like you ran into some real hustlers, or was everyone out here faking?
I've got a lot of homies out there. They're real cool. If I met someone out there that was fake, I got away from them. L.A. got gangstas like hell.
We've been bumpin some of the new cuts off the album. The first time I heard "Loli Loli (Pop That Body)" in the club, the ladies went crazy, and that's all I needed to know.
Did you dance?
I was out there. No holding up the wall allowed.
Cool. Sweat it a little bit.
The album is fresh, but it still sounds like Three 6 Mafia. Some folks thought you were going to go Hollywood on us.
It was all about keeping the same sound—what the fans wanted to hear. That's what we were trying to do. Just keep the same sound.
With only two people in the studio for this record, was it tougher or easy getting the songs made?
For a majority of the records, we produced all the beats and mixed all the songs. It was easier this time, because we controlled everything in the studio.
Since you had less people to please, do you feel like you came out with a product that you were even happier with than before?
Hell yeah. It's easier with less people. Look at Michael Jackson vs. The Jackson 5.
You've got a lot of powerhouse collaborations on the album—Akon, Good Charlotte. How did you decide who you were going to work with?
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