Three 6 Mafia, formed by Memphis legends Juicy J and DJ Paul, released their Lo-Fi drugged-up original debut album, ‘Mystic Stylez’ back in 1995. Since then, some members have gone on to have successful solo careers, as well as see members Koopsta Knicka and Lord Infamous pass away. However, their sound on this album inspired many current rappers as well as brought drug culture to the front of Hip-Hop.
The album is entirely produced by J and Paul, creating dark and malicious instrumentals that see all members of Three 6 Mafia spit tongue-twisting, extremely hyped-up Hip-Hop records that would go onto influencing artists and producers such as Migos, Gucci Mane, TM88 and Yelawolf. The first song that stands out for both its instrumental as well as smooth verses from the Mafia on “Da Summa”. Over melodic keys, quick paced drums and one of my favourite samples and loops used on a chorus. The standout verse on this track however is Koopsta Knicka’s whose flow and high-pitched codeine-screwed pronunciation and style he uses just stands out more than any of his peers.
Another track that stands out is the Horror-Movie theme-sounding “In Da Game”. Gangsta Boo and Juicy J open up the track with two ridiculously hard verses about their drug-dealing past and the toll it can have on a Black community. Yet, alike “Da Summa”, while Juicy J and DJ Paul are the star acts, Lord Infamous steals the verse on this track with a Tommy-Gun flow that undoubtedly influenced the ‘C U L T U R E’.
Other tracks that stand out for their Lo-Fi production and themes of drug abuse, Satanism, crime and drug-dealing are the Gangsta Boo and Lord Infamous “Now I’m Hi Pt.3”, the heavily synthed and funky Jazz bassline on “Long Nite” and the especially smooth but sex-themed ending track “Porno Movie”.
Overall, the album was the beginning of a new era of rappers, Hip-Hop and the beginning of Trap music. Juicy J and DJ Pauls influence instrumentally and vocally on the album is present today. While it’s not necessarily, the best lyrically, the overall sound and themes projected throughout this record were groundbreaking at this point in Southern Hip-Hop.