Photo Credit: Arturo Serrano
Photo Credit: Arturo Serrano
Three 6 Mafia, “Tear Da Club Up ‘97”:
Dating back to 1995, “Tear Da Club Up” was a local hit for DJ Paul and Three 6 Mafia in Memphis before its label repackaged it for the 1997 album, “Chapter 2: World Domination.” Three 6 Mafia was hesitant to re-release it, but the raucous nightclub anthem turned out to be a game changer. It became the group’s first national hit and ignited fights on dancefloors across the country before allegedly being banned In 17 states.
Three 6 Mafia Featuring UGK and Project Pat, “Sippin’ on Some Syrup”:
“Tear Da Club Up 97’” broke Three 6 Mafia nationally; “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” made the group stars. The record impacted in the spring of 2000 — just as UGK was on the rise due to the duo’s appearance on Jay-Z’s smash, “Big Pimpin’.” Featuring the all-star lineup of DJ Paul, Juicy J, Pimp C and Bun B, the song elevated the collective’s fourth album, “When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6 Sixty 1,” to platinum status.
Three 6 Mafia Featuring Kanye West and Project Pat, “Side 2 Side”:
While the Kanye West version was never released as a single, “Side 2 Side” enjoyed favor as a minor hit via a remixed version featuring Bow Wow. Almost 15 years later, it was remade for a new generation by Rae Sremmurd (“Power Glide”) and became a double-platinum smash.
Three 6 Mafia Featuring Eightball, MJG and Young Buck, “Stay Fly”:
Three 6 Mafia proved it had staying power 10 years into its career. An ode to the group’s home state of Tennessee, this infectious single features fellow Volunteers Eightball, MJG and G-Unit member Young Buck. The green-colored skull t-shirt Juicy J wears in the video will live on forever.
Three 6 Mafia Featuring Lil Flip, “Ridin’ Spinners”:
Remember when spinning rims on automobiles were the coolest things in the world? Three 6 Mafia made the unofficial soundtrack for the trend. “Ridin’ Spinners” got so hot, it pushed the group’s sixth album, “Da Unbreakables,” to the top spot on the charts.
Three 6 Mafia, “Where’s Da Bud”:
A smoker’s anthem from the early days that appeals to multiple generations and retains a cult following.
Gangsta Boo Featuring DJ Paul and Juicy J, “Where Dem Dollas At”:
Gangsta Boo was the first lady of Three 6 Mafia. She dropped her first solo album, “Enquiring Minds,” produced by DJ Paul and Juicy J, in ‘98. The duo also appears on the record’s first single, “Where Dem Dollas At.”
Three 6 Mafia, “Who Run It”:
In 2018, Chicago rapper G Herbo went viral for doing a radio freestyle over the instrumental for Three 6 Mafia’s Y2K single, “Who Run It.” Bouncing his shoulders from side to side as he rapped, G Herbo inspired countless rappers to do the same. The “Who Run It” freestyle challenge was born, and became a viral phenomenon thanks to additional freestyles by Lil Uzi Vert, A$AP Rocky, 21 Savage and more.
Three 6 Mafia Featuring Project Pat, “Poppin’ My Collar”:
Another Billboard Top 40 hit and platinum single. At the time (2005), the group, which had become a trio, could not miss. Three 6 Mafia possessed the platinum touch and inspired millions to playfully pop the collars on their shirts.
Tear Da Club Up Thugz, Three 6 Mafia Featuring Cash Money Millionaires, “Hypnotize Cash Money”:
When Hypnotize Minds and Cash Money Records joined forces in 1999 on “Hypnotize Cash Money” from Tear Da Club Up Thugz’ only album, we knew it was gonna be an event. Three 6 Mafia was already somewhat established, and the Hot Boys and Big Tymers were starting to break through. The track served as a warning shot that the South was about to take over the rap world.
Three 6 Mafia, “Late Nite Tip”:
A regional hit from Three 6 Mafia’s first nationally distributed album, “Chapter 1: The End,” this slow-rolling scorcher could be heard rattling car trunks throughout the South and Midwest on any given summer night. It was such a standout that it also ended up on the group’s follow-up album, “Chapter 2: World Domination.”
Three 6 Mafia, “Live by Yo Rep”:
The first time I heard Three 6 Mafia came courtesy of “Live by Yo Rep” — a.k.a. “B.O.N.E. Dis.” In 1995, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was one of the world’s hottest rap groups. Out to make a name for itself, Three 6 Mafia accused the Cleveland collective of jacking its style, flow and subject matter. The two factions would eventually squash their beef and become amicable, but not before verbally sparring across several records.
Drake Featuring Jay-Z, “Talk Up”:
DJ Paul and Juicy J are among the most influential producers in hip-hop history. So when Drake called DJ Paul for beats in 2018, DJ Paul was prepared. The result? Two of rap greats jumping on vintage-sounding DJ Paul production.
Andrew Barber is the owner/creator of Fake Shore Drive, a Chicago-based media, management and events company founded in 2007. Andrew is also a playlist curator, published music journalist, artist manager, brand and record label consultant and media personality. Andrew currently sits as Governor of The Recording Academy’s Grammy board. His radio show, The Drive on Shade 45, airs weekly on SiriusXM, and has been on air for over six years. He has also hosted programming on MTV and one of Chicago’s top radio stations, 107.5 WGCI-FM. As a journalist, Andrew has been published in publications such as VICE, Complex, Fader, XXL, Mass Appeal and more. Andrew’s company, Fake Shore Drive, has been instrumental in the rise of Chicago’s hip-hop scene, having helped cultivate the careers of Chance the Rapper, Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Vic Mensa and the many other gold- and platinum-selling artists.