In the hidden rap dungeons located far away in the land of Memphis, came one of the most notorious, most evil sounding and sinister rap group of all time, first known as Triple 6 Mafia. The group was founded by Lord Infamous, Juicy J, and DJ Paul on a basis of creating ethereal rap that captured what a graveyard sounds like on Halloween, displaying the catacombs of rap that would influence thousands of rappers in an underground movement that went global.
Their debut record, Mystic Stylez, is a love letter to the harsh grindhouse movies of the 1970’s, the slashers and thrillers in the 1980’s, and the blood-soaked films of the Hammer Horror tropes, it is a graveyard lovers dream that combines the authenticity of hip-hop influence along with a sense of disconnection from the physical world. Prominence and shock value is something that was entirely at its height in the 1990’s, between N.W.A. to Geto Boys, there were hundreds of influential rap destroyers coming from all over America that brought new and ugly styles with each step of the way. Three 6 Mafia was much of the same as they were able to instantly light the competition ablaze with the wizard-esque production that felt almost medieval and torturous. With a brief introduction, Three 6 Mafia jumps into “Break Da Law ‘95’”, a rough skit of being mobbed on, which is then followed by DJ Paul beginning “Nigga recognize the Triple 6 shit, It’s so fucking thick. We gotta lay it down, we gotta spray, we gotta break ya bitch”. There is by no means any hope that comes from the Triple 6 in the first moments, Mystic Stylez presents itself as a standout assault on the lyrical output and with the annihilation through a cryptic, but stylish set of percussion and 808 clicks that have become so popular today.
Going from artists as Lil Ugly Mane or $uicideboy$, it is easy to understand where a large amount of their inspiration came from in the way the structure of the tracks are set and on the lyrical themes. It is cruel, but never becomes crude in anyway. Mystic Stylez is incredibly clean throughout the entire sixteen-track-record. It is also in the features where Triple 6 Mafia is able to balance a set of voices that incudes female vocalist, Gangsta Boo who shines on “In Da Game”, a later track that uses Boo as the set piece and catalyst of rough poetry, “Slip yo ass in a coffin bitch, because you run your fucking lip… Hoe you gotta go, listen deep this pimping really quick before I split your dome”. It is then when the other members of Three 6 Mafia creep in after her as Juicy J climbs onto the microphone, stating, “Everyday pushing plenty keys, nigga don’t know me. Cause I ain’t no phony, and I ain’t the nigga you can whoop and call me toby. Low key on his ass, waiting for the night to come, so I can kick down his door and make him give me some”. There are moments when the vulgarity is taken back behind the production of Juicy J and DJ Paul who handled every single track on Mystic Stylez. The incredible feat, along with making a unique style at the ages of nineteen and eighteen is immaculate.
There is a reason why Mystic Stylez continues to reign as one of the best hip-hop releases of the 1990’s. It stands out for the way it can create the graveyard and make for a serious illustration of the future of hip-hop that would crash like a storm to the present day. It was the trendsetters of Three 6 Mafia that introduced some of the modern favorites of today, giving them a rubric that is still to this day, being implemented.