Chapt.2 “World Domination”
Before Lil’ John and the Eastside Boys, Pastor Troy, Ying Yang Twins, and others from the Atlanta music scene, there was Triple Six Mafia, aka Three 6 Mafia. Before Crunk music from the ATL swept through the national hip hop landscape in the late 90s/early 2000s, there was Buck music from the unforgiving streets of Memphis, TN.
Buck music, which shares some traits with Crunk music, can be characterized by a mid-tempo beat with 808 high hat drums, deep bass lines, and a synth melody. The subject matter of Buck music is a little more dark & dismal than its Crunk music counterpart. Buck music lyrics are mainly about gang life, the drug game, and other topics about ‘hood life.’ The hooks are usually some type of repetitive chant that whips the listener into a trance-like state.
Triple Six Mafia was one of the first groups to expose nationally what was going on in the Memphis hip-hop scene in the mid 90s.
I was introduced to Three Six Mafia during my middle school years, when they were making underground mixtapes. The devil worshipper shtick, and the groups’ dark, brooding music were intriguing and somewhat humorous to me as a rebellious pre-teen. I was instantly a fan.
The album in their early discography that stands out to me is Chapter 2: World Domination. Low key, I consider this album to be in the top 10 southern hip-hop albums—seriously. This album practically made the blueprint to what Southern Hip Hop would become over the half-decade following its’ release. Twenty-two tracks long, Chapter 2 gives you a little over an hour of horror-laden tales about comin’ up in the M-town.
The intro takes an excerpt from the movie ‘Children of the Corn’ to set the mood for what is to come. Early on, Triple Six Mafia does not waste time in letting you know who they are and what they are about. The song ‘Will Blast,’ at 1:30 is more of an intro type of song. Flipping an ill sample from the M*A*S*H* television show theme song, each member of the Mafia spits about four bars letting the world know their name and what they do.
Its not Shakespeare, or Lupe Fiasco for that matter—but their straight-to-the-point lyrics and tightly produced beats kept my head nodding. Staying true to their label’s name, Triple Six Mafia indeed had the ability to ‘Hypnotize Minds’ through their music.
Years before Ludacris hit you with such gems as ‘Throw them Bows” and “Move B!tC#,” Three 6 Mafia made one of the greatest club fight songs called “Hit A Muthaf***a.” The chorus is a standard chant, daring the listener to hit or push somebody. Violent, totally random, but somehow pleasing to the ear.
Hit a muthaf*cka
Before you guys label me a Southern sympathizer (which I am anyway), allow me to say that I enjoy ‘enlightened’ hip-hop as much as the next backpacker. But Louisville, KY is a city that does not owe allegiance to any particular geographic region’s form of hip-hop.
“Tear da Club Up ‘97” is a classic club riot anthem that they’ve remade several times throughout the years. The song is anchored by an interpolation of LL Cool J’s “I’m Bad” (which happened to use an interpolation from the theme of the television show “S.W.A.T.”). If you were coming of age in the South during this era and haven’t heard this song, smack yourself.
Tear da Club Up ’97
Its classic—‘nuff said. “Late Night Tip,” which was also on the Chapter 1 album, features an ill R&B sample from Lisa Fischer, “How Can I Ease the Pain.” Not many people realize it, but Three 6 Mafia are masters at taking samples and flipping them, giving their song a totally different feel from the original song.
Chapter 2: World Domination is an all-encompassing Hip-Hop album. It runs the gamut with songs about fighting in the club, the drug game, scandalous hood rats, violence in the projects, and the obligatory ode to Mary Jane (the album’s last cut, “This Weed is Got Me High”). From a production standpoint, few producers can craft such bass heavy, riot inducing tracks like the masterminds DJ Paul and Juicy J. The tracks make you feel a variety of emotions, from depression, anger, rage, introspection, and fear. The music is dark and foreboding, which is the type of music DJ Paul and Juicy J make best. This album dropped when Three 6 Mafia had all six members and were on the incline to become one of the most consistent groups out the South.
If you’re a newer fan of Three 6 and haven’t peeped their earlier material prior to the Oscar win, go back and peep this album to hear the project that gave them their first successful foray into the nationwide scene. If you’re not a fan of Three 6 and doubt the group’s impact on Southern rap, give this album a listen as well as their earlier material….