Three 6 Mafia
Straight To The Bank
Three 6 Mafia was the first hip-hop group to ever win an Oscar for Best Song [“It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” off the Hustle & Flow Soundtrack] at the 2006 Academy Awards. Now, DJ Paul and Juicy J will be the first hip-hop group to have their own reality show on MTV — Three 6 Mafia’s Adventures In Hollyhood. The series premiers tonight on MTV at 10 PM ET/PT and is the creation of executive producers DJ Paul, Juicy J and Ashton Kutcher (of Punk’d fame). The show finds J, Paul and their entourage moving from their hometown of Memphis, TN, to the bright lights of Hollywood, CA. The cameras follow the group as they assimilate into the California culture, party with movie stars and record their new album, Last 2 Walk. As expected, the series is filled with laughs as Three 6 and their crew tries to bring the ‘hood into Hollywood. But with all of their newfound money and fame, is Three 6 Mafia selling out by doing a reality show? Can the Kings of Memphis keep a level head while splurging in the Hollywood limelight? XXLMag.com talks with DJ Paul and Juicy J about staying true to their roots, their new reality show and upcoming album.
You guys have dabbled in film [Choices, Choices II: The Set Up], so was television a natural progression for you?
Juicy J: We originally started doing [movies] just to sit back, drink and trip off ourselves. So we always liked doing that sort of thing. But now, I like reality shows more than I like sitcoms. So we were like, “Let’s do one of those. Let’s see life through the eyes of Three 6 Mafia for 30 minutes a day.” [This show] is [like] Three’s Company and Sanford and Son put together with a little Memphis style on the side.
Is it weird getting all this attention and having people jump on the bandwagon after winning your Oscar?
DJ Paul: Of course we’ve gotten more attention after the award, but doing this show was something we’ve been talking about before with our label [Columbia/Sony BMG]. There were different ideas, but we didn’t know which one we wanted to go with. Actually, in the past, we’ve had a few people come to us about doing a reality show. So there were always different ideas, but this was the one we needed to [go with]. We wanted it to be funny, entertaining and educational at the same time.
Juicy J: Oh man, the whole show is educational. Each episode we have a lesson — how to cook, how to get a nice Hollywood woman, how to record an album and present it to a label. We have everything on there. We even have a workout session. You’ll be a different person after you watch this show. It’s gonna turn you into a “new you.” When the show comes out, you can [also] go online and we’ll be doing stuff like a cooking session where we give recipes on how to make some good ol’ fashion southern food.
DJ Paul: That’s why it took so long to come up with the show, [because] we wanted to cover all the aspects — to educate, be funny and entertain. It’s edutainment! We like to kick it and hangout, but at the end of the day, we’re still doing business. I guarantee you don’t want to miss an episode. It’s not like one of those shows where if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all — ya know, [people] running around, farting and whatnot. We’ll be doing that too, but it’s got a lot of content. Every episode is completely different.
Tell us about the episode where you throw a party but only one person shows up.
Juicy J: We call that the “Shit Happens” episode. That’s when we first moved into the neighborhood. People didn’t know who we were, so they were a little nervous, but it’s all good now.
Did MTV limit what you guys could do on the show?
Juicy J: No, because we’re executive producers along with our manager and Ashton [Kutcher]. So we could do whatever the hell we wanted to do. We were in the editing room and everything, trying to make sure that it’s the best show possible.
How do you respond to critics who feel you’ve sold out or swayed too far from the Three 6 Mafia mold?
DJ Paul: Our music is still the same. It hasn’t changed at all.
Juicy J: We’re still the same. It’s still gangsta through the music. Some of our fans may think we’re selling out, but they’re gonna love our show. We’re just kicking it, partying and doing our thang. Our fans are gonna be like, “We love those niggas,” because we’re on there having a nice time. This is probably the easiest money I’ve ever made. We’re getting drunk, hanging out with woman and recording [our] new album. I could do [this] for the rest of my life.
Do you hope this show will introduce you to even more audiences than before?
Juicy J: Yeah, because we have our fan base just like MTV does. Hell, I’m one of those [fans]. Sometimes I just keep my TV on MTV and watch everything that comes on. I just sit down, laugh and whatever. So they have their fan base but the show is going to put both of them together. We’re going to help each other out. We’re going to bring MTV a new following of viewers that probably wouldn’t sit down and watch because they’re out in the streets hustling, saying, “I don’t have time.” Well, they’re gonna sit down and watch our show to see what we’re doing.
Did you guys ever imagine your career’s getting this big?
DJ Paul: Never. We never thought we would get any success off anything. We’ve been blessed. But when it [does] happen, you have to [be] aggressive.
XXL ranked your upcoming album, Last 2 Walk, as the fifth most anticipated album of the year. What can fans expect from it?
DJ Paul: We got Paul Wall, Lil Jon, 8Ball and MJG [on the album]. We have some local rappers from Memphis [on there], like, Al Capone and Spanish Fly. We have a few regulars on there, like, Project Pat and Lil Wayne. But we also did a song with Good Charlotte.
How did that come about?
DJ Paul: We’re into their music. We met on TRL and I was like, ‘We gotta do something together.’ So when they came back to California from touring, we hooked up.
How do you balance keeping it “real” and doing a song with Good Charlotte?
Juicy J: You just do that. You just keep it real. There ain’t no formula to it. You can’t let all the different things or changes going on in your life make you a different person. You have to stay focused and keep it true to the homies. I can’t tell you how to do it. It’s just something that you have to do on your own.
Are there any plans for a second season of the show?
Juicy J: We don’t know if there will be another season until this one comes out and does well. We gotta make sure people watch it and the ratings go up.