Earlier this month, DJ Paul confirmed his plans to nearly reunite the full lineup of Three 6 Mafia. Without Juicy J’s involvement, Da Mafia 6ix, as they will be known, features Crunchy Black, Koopsta Knicca, Lord Infamous, Gangsta Boo and La’Chat—along with Paul on the boards. After cementing the news with HipHopDX, Paul spoke about the significance of Three 6, especially their earlier and independent releases on the contemporary sound in Hip Hop prodution.
DJ Paul On Three 6 Mafia’s Mystic Stylez Relevance To Newer Emcees
Given that a good portion of the current crop of young emcees grew up listening to Three 6 Mafia, it is no surprise that the group’s sound has been praised as influential by artists like SpaceGhostPurrp. When asked about the continuous relevance and influence of their 1995 Prophet Records debut Mystic Stylez and other music on younger rappers, Paul responded graciously, “Aw man, it feels good. But, I figured it would happen because, you know, Three 6 Mafia, we sampled or based ideas off of earlier Rap artists or earlier Soul, R&B and Rock albums that we were fans of, so of course you got some of these guys that grew up as fans of Three 6 Mafia.” Paul recently chronicled his own “5 Favorite Hip Hop Albums” for HipHopDX. Continuing, he said, “Of course [newer artists] kind of dibble and dabble with the sound of Three 6 Mafia in their own music or in their own way. So it’s a lovely thing, you know, I did it, they’re going to do it too. I was a big fan of LL Cool J—still is—Public Enemy, Geto Boys, N.W.A., 2 Live Crew, man, we could go on for days, Eric B. & Rakim. And when you listen to my music you would hear some of those guys in my music a little bit.”
DJ Paul On His Voracious Work Schedule And Plans For Longevity
While DJ Paul is obviously most renown for his major label work alongside Juicy J, he has also carved out a continuously expanding role in a variety of business ventures from real estate to Memphis, Tennessee-reminiscent cuisine. “I try to have my hands in a little of everything, sometimes I actually shoot myself in the foot with it because I bite off more than I can chew and, you know, my manager always tell me to stop doing that. I try to do so much stuff, you know I only get like three hours of sleep a day. So I go to bed at like seven in the morning and wake up at like 10 or whatever. And go right back in it. During the daytime I’m doing all my paperwork, I got a real estate company, I’m doing my stuff with my real estate company, I’m doing my stuff with my barbeque company, I’m doing my stuff with the Sizzurp liquor company and I’m doing my stuff with the clothing line, Dangerus Skandulus, I’m doing my stuff with my own little line of stores that I have that sell other people’s stuff. Man, all kinds of stuff.” Paul adds that he has to split his time between musical ventures and the other enterprises. “Rhen, soon as like five or six o’clock comes that’s when my night job starts and that’s when I go to the studio and I write the songs, make the music and do all that stuff ‘til like three or four in the morning, then I go home, watch a couple of my favorite TV shows that I DVR for a couple hours, go to sleep, wake back up and do the same thing. [Laughs] It’s a lot to do but I like to do it because I don’t like not one minute of my day to go by and I’m sitting up not doing something—even if I’m sitting there not physically doing something, I wanna be thinking of doing something that I want to be doing within that next five minutes. I always gotta be doing something because I feel like if I’m not working, then I’m losing and I’m not really giving my life what I should be giving, you know what I’m saying? I feel like I’m letting it sit up and lie awake.”
Paul went onto describe the family source for his approach to work in describing the life of his grandfather. “My grandad, rest his soul, he lived out in the country for the longest. And he would walk like a quarter or half a mile from this sort of shack-style house that they lived in in the outskirts of Memphis. Way, way out in this area called Collierville, Tennessee and they lived on a farm owned by this White family that let them live [there] for free as long as they worked on the farm. And he would walk that half a mile everyday and milk the cows, do all this, he was probably like 80 years old, so he walked out like that everyday. And once he retired, they moved away from there and move into Memphis into an area called East Memphis—at that time it was good it’s bad as hell there now—but they moved to East Memphis to the suburbs and [my grandad] still thought he was in the country: he put this big ol’ gate with the old-school barbed wire top and had chickens in the backyard and dogs and shit all over the place. [Laughs] But it turned from him walking like a half a mile [everyday] to him walking maybe like nine feet to get the chickens and all that shit, and within a year and a half he died. And I guess I always believed, like they always say, when you ain’t working your body and you start to sit up and your body’s used to working it’ll kill you off, you know what I’m saying? I always heard that and I was like, ‘I don’t wanna be no fucking couch potato and just sit up here and enjoy the money I’ve made and all this shit,’ I’d rather just keep it coming. I don’t want to even touch the money I’ve made, I wanna spend this other money. [Laughs].It’s not even about the money too, like I said, it’s about being motivated. And then I like doing everything I do, I like all my jobs like Dangerus Skandulus, the t-shirt company, I like sitting up and drawing up ideas for t-shirts and putting them out and people buying them. I like sitting up, you know, over the weekend, making a barbeque sauce or a hot sauce and inviting my friends over and barbecuing and seeing if they gon’ spit it out or if they like it. And shit like that, I like making music obviously, sitting up in my studio. And I like deejaying, I just got a couple radio shows I’m gonna start doing in Memphis and Mississippi, so, everything I’m doing I like to do, it’s fun. It ain’t no problem to me, if I had a job that I didn’t like to do, then that would be a different subject.”
Last October, DJ Paul released his third studio solo LP, Person Of Interest. The Scale-A-Ton Entertainment release featured Gucci Mane, Lil Wyte and DJ Kay Slay.