Three 6 Mafia is a hip-hop group that enjoyed considerable success in the 1990s and 2000s. It started as an underground hip-hop group that specialized in horrorcore. Later, it softened when it broke into the mainstream but never abandoned its origins altogether. This hip-hop group hasn’t released new music in a long time. Still, Three 6 Mafia’s discography speaks for itself.
Here is our opinion of the ten best Three 6 Mafia songs ever released:
10. “Side 2 Side”
Some artists stick to the same subject. As a result, their music might evolve, but their consistency can seem monotonous. Three 6 Mafia can’t be counted among their number. For proof, look no further than “Side 2 Side,” best described as a dance song from 2006. Something that one might not expect from a group that got its start in horrorcore.
9. “Spill My Blood”
Speaking of which, “Spill My Blood” is one of the songs from Chapter 2: World Domination. The latter was notable for being the group’s first studio album to become gold-certified. Furthermore, it marked a clear transition point in the group’s career from its darker origins to a more mainstream sound. This song is also an excellent reminder of Lord Infamous’s influence on Three 6 Mafia’s music.
8. “Mystic Stylez”
“Mystic Stylez” was the title track of the studio album of the same name. For context, the latter came out in 1995, meaning it preceded Chapter 2: World Domination in 1997 by quite some time. As such, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that “Mystic Stylez” is much more reflective of the group’s fascination with violence, the occult, and the macabre. Regardless, the song went on to prove enormously influential, meaning it has more than earned its position on this list.
7. “Way Freak”
“Way Freak” is another demonstration of Three 6 Mafia’s versatility. This song from the early 2000s has a comedic tone while remaining perfectly recognizable as the group’s output.
6. “Late Night Tip”
“Late Night Tip” was a song in Chapter 1: The End in 1996. That means it came out on a studio album that had clearly evolved from its predecessor but had yet to make the notable move to the mainstream that started with Chapter 2: World Domination. This song is more or less what one would expect with that kind of context, which is to say, filled with a sense of menace but more subtle than some of Three 6 Mafia’s other songs from the group’s earliest period. Both Lord Infamous and Gangsta Boo got the chance to show their skills on “Late Night Tip.”
5. “Smoked Out, Loced Out”
Technically, this is a Prophet Posse song. However, it still counts. After all, the Prophet Posse was kind of an expanded version of Three 6 Mafia, as shown by how it included every member of the hip-hop group plus those signed to its record label at the time, Prophet Entertainment. This song is widely considered one of the most influential ever released by the hip-hop group. Even now, signs of its style can be found in the songs of the genre.
4. “Sippin’ On Some Syrup”
Those unfamiliar should know the syrup in this song refers to a recreational drug beverage made by mixing cold syrup containing codeine and promethazine with a soft drink. This concoction has several nicknames. For example, it is sometimes called “syrup” or “oil.” Similarly, “purple drank” is another popular nickname because cold syrup containing codeine and promethazine often looks purple. Unsurprisingly, “Sippin’ On Some Syrup” is about drugs, so interested individuals should have no problem guessing how it is remembered.
3. “Stay Fly”
“Stay Fly” came out on Most Known Unknown in 2005. It is an excellent reminder that Three 6 Mafia was going strong at that time. That is because “Stay Fly” reached the number 13 position on the Billboard Hot 100. Furthermore, it sold more than two million copies in the United States, meaning it went double-platinum. In other words, “Stay Fly” is one of Three 6 Mafia’s most successful songs ever released.
Amusingly, there was something of a fuss about the song containing lyrics praising the Devil. It didn’t. However, that rumor was a bit more reasonable than its counterparts, seeing as how Three 6 Mafia’s origins in horrorcore meant that the group has rapped about the subject in earlier songs.
2. “Tear Da Club Up ’97”
“Tear Da Club” was the first single from Mystic Stylez. At the time, it peaked at the number 70 position on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. As such, it did well but not spectacularly well. Despite this, “Tear Da Club” was a pivotal moment in Three 6 Mafia’s career. People often point to it as the moment when the hip-hop group started shifting away from horrorcore. Moreover, it is sometimes considered a forerunner to the crunk that would break into the mainstream about a decade later in the mid-2000s. “Tear Da Club Up ’97” is a rework of the original song that came out in Chapter 2: World Domination.
1. “Hard Out Here For a Pimp”
Strictly speaking, it is impossible to point out a single moment when Three 6 Mafia became mainstream. Even the fastest examples of such processes are drawn-out, meaning pointing out a single moment is almost always overstating its impact in the grand scheme of things. Still, if people are asked when they realized that Three 6 Mafia had become mainstream, chances are decent that they will name the moment the hip-hop group won the Oscar for Best Original Song with “Hard Out Here For a Pimp” in 2005. No one expected that outcome. Even the hip-hop group members themselves had no such expectation going in. Despite that, they came out as Oscar winners, which made it clearer than ever that they could be counted among the greats of the American music industry.
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