Speaking with HipHopDX last week, Three 6 Mafia‘s [click to read] Juicy J reflected on the Memphis group’s pioneering role on mixtape marketing. “I feel like that anybody that knows Three 6 Mafia, they know how we started. I feel great. I feel like we had a big influence in it. When we was comin’ up, that’s all we knew. We never thought of being major, we was just puttin’ out our own music. Put music out. Throw music out there. Give it away – just like they do now.

As early as 1994, the camp began releasing acclaimed street albums including Smoked Up, Loc’d Out. Fifteen years later, Juicy says, “Back then, it was different – it was cassette tapes. We’d sell the cassette tapes out the trunk of the car and give a few away in the streets. We’d sell ’em out of the trunk of the car. Now it’s the CDs, mix CDs and e-mail blasts. It’s the same thing, just a different swag.

With Laws Of Power less than four months away, Three 6 Mafia still releases both mixtapes and independent albums. “I just dropped a mixtape today with DJ Drama called Play Me Some Pimpin’ Mane, Part 2. It’s jammin’. It’s like an appetizer to the Three 6 Mafia album.” Juicy also noted his Hustle Till I Die and DJ Paul‘s Scale-A-Ton, both self-released in 2009, as similar vehicles. “We’re just trying to keep our ear to the streets. These days, you’ve got to give away free music to get the fans involved.” Having ascended to Academy Award-winning ranks and major label deals, Juicy J strategizes, “Before the fans buy your album, you’ve got to give them an album.”

With initial plans for a fall/winter release, Juicy J also told HipHopDX the logic in delaying the anticipated release until 2010. “We want to make sure the album is solid, man. That’s what happened to our last album, Last 2 Walk [click to read], we pushed it back to the next year. The album is solid. These days, you’ve got to really, really pay attention and concentrate and make sure the album is solid. You can’t just put anything out there, especially Three 6 Mafia since we’ve been around so long. People expect us to do this and expect us to do that. Me and Paul both agree that when the album is ready, we’ll release it. Right now it’s ready to be released. Next year it’ll be better. It gives us time to shoot the ‘Shots After Shots’ video. We just shot a video in Vegas – [with Sean Kingston and Flo Rida]. We’re shootin’ others. I want to make sure that the streets and the Internet get enough music. We’ll get ’em hyped up. Advertise up. Then boom, January 26, Three 6 Mafia Laws Of Power.”

Lastly, Juicy J updated HipHopDX on a story he broke with us in spring, regarding a potential Three 6 Mafia cooking show. “We in negotiations right now with MTV and Vh1. Nothing will ever be in stone till it’s in stone. They’re interested in the show. That’s a blessing. The last time we spoke, I was talkin’ about the show. They said their interest kicked in.

To download Play Me Some Pimpin’ Mane, Part 2 [click here].