Three 6 Mafia hit the ground running with the release of their debut LP, Mystic Stylez in 1995.
Originally known as “Backyard Posse,” the trio consisted of DJ Paul, Juicy J, and Lord Infamous. The 16-track collection was recorded in their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. As Juicy J recalled, “We went in the studio and just made records, man. Go in there, got high, drank, and just made records. That’s all I remember doing. I can’t remember ‘I came up with… Who did…’ We just made the beats. We all just came in and contributed, and the shit came out hard.”
While recording, the group was influenced by the likes of N.W.A., Geto Boys, Willie Hutch, KRS-One and Isaac Hayes. The standout record, “Live By Yo Rep (B.O.N.E. Dis)” accused Bone Thugs-n-Harmony of jocking their style. “It wasn’t a real beef,” DJ Paul says. “It was more of a misunderstanding because we was rapping about triple six, devil shit, and tongue twisting over slow beats. We had been doing that since 1989 and then all of a sudden when Bone came out—I think it was 1993… We didn’t know the Faces Of Death album because it was their underground stuff. Just like they probably didn’t know our underground stuff.”
The album led the way for a subset of Memphis rap and influenced hardcore Southern rap for decades to come. It was regarded as “one of the essential southern hip-hop albums.”
Although it was considered more of an underground album, Three 6 Mafia’s debut aged gracefully and is cited as precursors for Crunk and Trap music.