FME 2013 Mixtape MVP-Three 6 Mafia
Even the most hardcore Rawkus Records loving East Coaster respected Three 6 Mafia from afar. From the birthplace of hip hop all the gold grill crunk seemed silly and most times got looked down upon but Three 6 was independent, hardcore and uncompromising. No one ever purchased a Three 6 Mafia record expecting something they didn’t get and that means something.
This year more than any in recent memory it became obvious how important they are. Part of it was Gucci Mane releasing a ferocious diss song against everyone important and mentioning that Project Pat is still his favorite rapper. Part of it was Space Ghost Purp calling out A$AP Rocky for coping his style when both styles are a business casual version of the Three 6 sound. If you were looking to get away from their sonic influence this year it was tough. While popular artists were borrowing from that sound (Trap, Drill) and acting like they created it Tennessee stomped forward with artists like Starlito and Don Trip dropping fun lyrical barbs on songs(Stepbrothers Two) that felt like first generation Three 6 relatives. Juicy J signed to Taylor Gang and took over the world with oozing earworm single Bandz A Make Her Dance.
They didn’t luck into this spotlight. Hip hop borrowed so much from them that the spotlight came back. The proper comparison would be in the 60’s when British rockers like the Rolling Stones popularized old blues songs and those musicians (like B.B. King) felt a justified resurgence based on the influence their music had. This is the justified second act of what I would call the Southern Wu-Tang Clan; a deep roster of artists that represent a signature sound, a musical identity that is not only theirs but undoubtedly a face of rap music in general.
In terms of output my case for mixtape MVP is hard to challenge. Project Pat released two of the very best mixtapes this year in his Cheez N Dope series which are just as offensive as they are listenable. While Gucci Mane pumped out tape after tape sounding worn down and lost, Pat was hitting every hook out of the park while getting away with saying terrible things. On Cheez N Dope 2 he has a song called Dick Eating Dog about women and another song about smoking weed (with Wiz Khalifa of course) called Chiefin where he makes unflattering Native American sounds. Each Cheez N Dope tape is 26 tracks with nothing you need to skip(even the skits which are just Pat talking crazy). They are the most hardcore mixtapes of 2013 bar none.
Pat dominated and Juicy J blew the doors of 2013 with great guest verses and an underrated album, but that’s only the beginning. Gangsta Boo dropped a great project called It’s Game Involved with Young Buck, 8 Ball, Maino, and Don Trip all getting as nasty as the narrator with Drumma Boy providing a superb scrunchy faced Memphis hardcore backdrop. If you want an example see our Ride 4 My Boo song review.
DJ Paul released a great EP with Yelawolf you can read up on as well. Beyond that DJ Paul put out his own project (with Drumma Boy) called Clash of The Titans which is straight up fight music. On top of that he orchestrated the Three 6 Mafia mixtape which is one of the coolest event tapes of the year. It features Lil Whyte, Bizzy Bone, Crunchy Black, Koopsta Knicca, Gangsta Boo, 8 Ball & MJG, Space Ghost Purp, Yelawolf, The Outlawz and masterful production by DJ Paul. Paul seems to have RZA-like control over the teams signature sound and be acutely aware of how dependant the game is on it. While listening to Da Mafia 6ix-6ix Commandments you can feel Paul ratcheting up the snarling musical aggression at the right times; he planted his feet in the mixtape game this year and announced that regardless of whether or not you think he can rap he knows that the sound everyone is fiending for…call it trap…call it drill…call it whatever you want, its his sound and he’s taking it back.
It is also Drumma Boy’s sound. Drumma Boy was absolutely instrumental in just about every project from Pat to Boo to Paul and he never faltered. His production is amongst the most reliable in the game. The backdrop he provides doesn’t just seethe with aggression it moves at a pace that keeps the beat understated but fun. If anyone could win the title of being the Southern Alchemist it would be him(that sounds like blasphemy to me but its really not).
You can go back and pop in Most Known Unknown from 2005 or When The Smoke Clears from 2000 and you’ll hear that ferocious menace of a bounce that everyone loves in Chief Keef and you know what…you’ll find better lyrics. Because everyone in the clique is super lyrical; being lyrical is not a function of “dropping knowledge” it’s being able to count on well constructed verses and dope songs. In 2013 no one did that as much or as well as Three 6 Mafia and for that they are the 2013 Mixtape MVP.
Stream or Download DJ Paul/Drumma Boy Clash Of The Titans below:
Stream or Download Project Pat Cheez N Dope below:
Stream or Download Project Pat Cheez N Dope 2 below:
Stream or Download Gangsta Boo Its Game Involved below:
Stream or Download Da Mafia 6ix-6ix Commandments below:
Stream or Download Yelawolf/DJ Paul The Black Fall EP below: