dj paul by Isaiah Travis September 27, 2017
12 years ago today, Three 6 Mafia dropped a crunk classic in Most Known Unknown.
The group formerly known as “Triple 6 Mafia” released their 8th album on September 27th, 2005 and never really looked back.
Southern rap music was getting more love than ever and Three 6 Mafia really put on for Memphis and Tennessee.
This album contained some of the group’s most famous hits with “Stay Fly” and “Poppin My Collar.” At the same time, the album ended up propelling them from an OG underground rap group, to American Rap Icons.
In typical 2000s fashion, the album went gold in a week and with the combined success of the film Hustle & Flow, which came out earlier the same year, it continued to do numbers.
DJ Paul and Juicy J properly laced every track on the album and in addition to Crunchy Black’s raw staple verses, they recruited some prime features of the era including 8Ball & MJG, Mike Jones, Paul Wall, and even Remy Ma on “Pussy Got You Hooked.”
It’s almost ironic how the intro of the album, “Most Known Unknown Hits,” starts with DJ Paul explaining the title of the project; how Three 6 were recognized by the streets but not by “the press or the industry.”
Cut to less than a year later, Juicy and Paul (along with Frayser Boy) became the first hip-hop group to win an Oscar for Best Original Song at the 78th Academy Awards and Most Known Unknown was certified Platinum.
After Crunchy Black split from the group in 2006, the duo continued riding out their new found wave appearing on Justin Timberlake’s album FutureSex/LoveSounds and starring in a reality show on MTV the following year.
After more than 10 years, Juicy has kept his ear to the streets. All while continuing to produce hits. Whether self-released or while working with Wiz Khalifa as a partner and A&R of Taylor Gang, J has consistently put out his sound of music.
Needless to say Three 6 Mafia are certified legends in the game and basically opened the door for the mainstream southern gangster rap.
Their hardcore anthems and repetitive style continues to influence the culture and a lot of the new rappers in the game. Most Known Unknown serves as the perfect nostalgic reminder of their breakout era.
Nowadays producers and rappers are sampling and flipping the same double time flows, and drug referencing catchy hooks over hi-hat driven, deep bass beats we loved in ’05.
The A$AP Fergs, Migos, Denzel Currys, and countless other artists have no choice but to pay their proper dues and respect to the OGs that paved the way.