Frayser Boy Says Winning an Oscar With Three 6 Mafia is Still Surreal
Common and John Legend’s Academy Award victory for Best Original Song last Sunday (Feb. 22) was a big moment in hip-hop history. But it wasn’t the first time hip-hop got a nod on Hollywood’s biggest night. The socially conscious collab “Glory,” written for the Oprah Winfrey-produced Civil Rights film Selma, is only the third hip-hop song to win an Academy Award in the ceremony’s 87-year history. The first was, famously, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” in 2002 followed by Three 6 Mafia’s surprise win for “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” in 2006.
When Three 6 Mafia won their hardware in for their contribution to Hustle & Flow, however, nobody in the room was more shocked than the men themselves. The Memphis-bred Mafia, then only consisting of MCs Juicy J and DJ Paul, practically ran onstage for their surprise win, flashing grills and grins for the assembled celebrity elite. But while Crunchy Black and Project Pat were also on stage and on hand for the historic victory, only three Oscars were handed out for the song: to Juicy, Paul and Frayser Boy, the Memphis rapper who was signed to Three 6's Hypnotize Minds imprint and co-wrote the song.
Now, as another rapper joins the exclusive Oscar-winning club nine years after the Mafia’s big win, XXL caught up with former Hypnotize Minds member Frayser Boy to hear what’s its like to live in the winner’s circle and get his take on how hip-hop culture is changing Hollywood for the better. —Sidney Madden
XXL: What was it like for you when you and Three 6 Mafia won your Oscar for Best Original Song in 2006?
Frayser Boy: It was just... Really, I still pinch myself from day to day to make sure it happened. Sometimes I have to look at the old footage and be like, "You know what? That did happen." When it happened it was just a very surreal moment. It didn’t feel real, like it was make believe. It felt like a fairy tale or something. But I got the hardware to prove it. But like I said, I still press my chest from day to day to make sure it is reality.
Where is your Oscar in your house?
It's on my mantle above the fireplace in my glass case. Not too many people come to my house, but if somebody is lucky enough come in, it's there for them to see.
So what do you think of Common and John Legend’s big win on Sunday?
Wow. I mean, I just love the whole thing around it. What the song represented. Like, when I went I talked to a lot of the people that choose the songs, they nominated it. And the song was just so perfect for the movie, perfectly described what the movie was about. I loved their acceptance speeches and everything. And I’m just very proud of them and very happy for them. It's a good look.
What do you think about the relationship between hip-hop and the Oscars? This is very recent history that hip-hop songs have started to win.
I think hip-hop came a long way from where it started and has become more of a worldwide, household thing. Now hip-hop is a part of country, it's a part of R&B, it's a part of blues now. Like, I just worked on this movie called Take Me To The River, a documentary about Memphis and it's about the Stax musicians and the newer generation hip-hop artists out of Memphis, and we just collaborated and made new music. But that’s just letting you know how far hip-hop has come as a genre in music. I think it's alive and well and it's gonna stay here for a minute.
What's your relationship with Juicy, DJ Paul now?
Well, I’m no longer with their label now. I got my own label, Bar Muzik. But, I mean, we still friends and there’s no bad blood in between us. I wish both of them the best. I see Juicy doing his thing. I see DJ Paul doing his thing and I’m still doing my thing. I mean, all we can do is just keep moving forward. But as of right now I have my own label. My label, Bark Music, and another artist I worked with prior to Hypnotize Minds was Lil Wyte, his label Wyte Music. I just dropped an album in October of last year called Not No Moe. It's in stores and online now. So I’m just pushing my product. But between me and Juicy, we good. And everybody’s still making news out here.
What's new for you on the horizon for 2015?
I just did this movie, Take Me To The River. The soundtrack is in stores now. And it was something new for me, working with a live band and I got to do a couple songs with Bobby Rush. I don’t know if you know who that is... He’s a legendary blues artist from down South. And there’s a lot of people who's a part of this movie. There’s Yo Gotti, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Otis Clay, Al Kapone. Its a very monumental film. Over the last couple weeks over All-Star Weekend, we performed at the Apollo Theater. And we actually did some songs off the movie at the Apollo Theater last month.