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Three 6 Mafia - Most Unknown Known SEPTEMBER 27

Much has changed in the lives of DJ Paul, Juicy J, Crunchy Black and Lord Infamous since their humble days of hawking TDK mix tapes on the streets of Memphis' world-renowned chit'lin circuit. It's been more than a decade since the group dropped its first indie album, Mystic Stylez, and Three 6 Mafia has gone from being known as a local phenomenon to creating one of the most consistent catalogs in hip-hop history.

Year after year, this dynamic super group continues outdoing itself with chart-topping albums and club-smashing singles without ever missing a beat: Chapter 2: World Domination (released November 1997, RIAA Gold); When The Smoke Clears Sixty 6, Sixty 1 (released June 2000; RIAA Gold and Platinum); Da Unbreakables (released June 2003; RIAA Gold). While a mantle-piece of RIAA gold and platinum plaques has earned Three 6 Mafia more cred in the rap game than a zebra has stripes, the group has yet to receive major mainstream attention. Hence the name of the fourth Three 6 Mafia major label release, Most Known Unknown.

The album's release date is preceded by the history-making lead single, "Stay Fly," whichfeatures the Three 6 henchmen riding a soulful yet energetic mid-tempo track beside G-Unit guerilla Youngbuck and fellow southern trailblazers Eightball and MJG--all of whom call Tennessee home.
"A lot of people know or heard of us but don't know everything that we actually did. We had a bunch of platinum and gold albums. We even got some underground albums that went gold, still independent," says DJ Paul AKA King of Memphis. "A lot of people don't know that cause you don't really see Three 6 Mafia. We are real successful, but we never had the cover of no national magazine. We're known in the hood, but then again it's a lot of people that don't know about us."

Known around the M-town as Backyard Posse back in the day when the clique first hit the scene with the underground debut Smoked Out, Loced Out, Three 6 was formed by cross town rivals DJ Paul and Juicy J. Both had their respective sides of town on lock with volumes of mix tapes, but when they joined forces in the early 90s, nobody could touch 'em.

After adopting the name Three 6 Mafia, the group dropped its regionally distributed debut, Mystic Stylez, in 1995. The album sold a whopping 80,000 units, an impressive number for a local release. The group's subsequent full-length effort, Da End, more than doubled those numbers with an astonishing 200,000 units, prompting Relativity Records to sign Paul and Juice to a major label deal giving Three 6 its own Hypnotize Minds imprint.

And Three 6 has yet to let up as the group generates hit after hard-hitting hit. While battle anthems like "Who Run It," "Tear Da Club Up" and "Ridin' Spinners" will forever cause dance riots in da clubs, label owners Paul and Juicy J (AKA Juice Man) have also loaned their frenzied production skills to such musically diverse artists as Mike Jones, Remy Martin, Ludacris and Ying Yang Twins. But despite all the cred and collegial props and consistent hit-making, the gentlemen in Three 6 Mafia are still the most under-appreciated pioneers in southern rap today.

"A lot of times we'll do songs like 'Sippin' On Syrup' or 'Who Run It' at shows and people are like 'I didn't know y'all sung that,'" Paul says. "A lot of other people probably got the credit for the songs that we did because they didn't know whose song it was.

He continues, "When you're drunk in the club, you be getting buck. When the song is over, you ain't gone walk to the DJ booth and ask whose song that was."

Most Known Unknown will undoubtedly add new tunes to Three 6's long list of club bangers with cuts like the braggadocios "Don't You Get Mad," the pimped-out groove "Poppin' My Collar," featuring Houston hard hitter Lil Flip, and the angst-filled "Run Into Your Ass" featuring headlining label signee Project Pat, who was recently released from prison on probation violation charges.

Whether or not Three 6 Mafia is ever recognized as one of the most consistent and prolific groups to arise from the south, the Three 6 legacy will continue to speak for itself. Real will always be recognized amongst the real.

"We ain't gone say we started it, but we are a part of the down south movement," says Juicy. "Even if you don't see it on TV or hear about it, we're still selling." With that, Three 6 Mafia's moving ahead full-blast letting the world know that the Most Known Unknown is for real and for keeps.

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Langston Sessoms
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email: langston@icedmedia.com
phone: (212) 461-2186

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