Relesed in 2005, "Most Known Unknown" is the sixth album from Three 6 Mafia, and it marked the final time where the group were a trio, consisting of DJ Paul, Juicy J, and Crunchy Black, after the latter of them went solo shorty after the release of this record. However, if you ignore this, it also saw a change in the group as they went mainstream, following the release of the smash single "Stay High"/Fly. As prior to this, they had shocked listeners by hinting on Santanic elements in their music. Many will find this shocking, but when you consider that originally they were called the 'Triple 6 Mafia' it makes more sense.
The group are vets in the Dirty South game, and one of few from Memphis to make it big, but seeing that they continued up to this sixth album (and released "Last 2 Walk" this year, and managed to strive despite little support outside of their region. As they are one of the smaller cities on the Hip hop map, they borrow elements of neighbouring cities of Houston and Atlanta greatly. The most obvious way of explaining this is that the combine some Crunk from the A, and Chopped & Screwed, from H-Town. All of the production is done by the group, specifically Juicy J and DJ Paul.
1. "Most Known Unknown Hits"
This is an introduction to the group, and the album as they were aware that "Stay High" had got them so much exposure that they had to re-introduce themselves to those who were unaware of their past. They do this by playing series of thier greatest underground its, to show that they do have quite a bit of experience in the game. Unfortunately, I hadn't heard of any of the tracks, like most who will have bought the album, but I had heard some early stuff from them which didn't feature in this short mix.
I felt that they chose the perfect title, based upon what is sadi hear, as they are (or were) the biggest rappers on the underground scene before bursing onto the mainstream for this particular genre (not too such anywhere else).
2. "Stay High" (feat. 8Ball & MJG, and Lil' Scrappy)
if you were unaware of it's original run on it's relase, then you should work out from the tiel that this is a cannabis smoking anthem, but by omitting the word "High" for "Fly" in the 'clean' version brings the same effect to make the perfect thing to chant in a Hip hop club.
I found it intersting that in the vidoe for this track, all of the individual artists had their names flash up on the screen, and when you have legends such as Three 6 Mafia and the duo of 8Ball & MJG, you shoulnd't have to do this, but as the track saw such popularity in the clubs before it's official release as a single, it was a clear opportunaty to raise the exposure of street vets including the Memphis duo 8Ball & MJG, as well as the newer kid on the southern scene, Young Buck.
3. "Roll With It" (feat. Project Pat)
This one is made up of a series of short sentences, which match well with the hard beat which the group are known for performing. JuicyJ's brother Project Pat raps along with the group as usual. It makes you think that because his collaborates with them so often that he should be made part of the group now (especially after Crunchy Black left). Although I may call the rhymes which three 6 mafia come out with average, on occassion, such as when the beat is pulled up on this one, they surprise you with some quality lyrics.
4. "Don't Violate" (feat. Frayser Boy)
From Three 6 Mafia's label Hypnotixed Minds, we are presented with another Memphis rapper by the name of Frayser Boy, and he lends a few raps on this track. For me, he didn't offer much (average gangsta rap lyrics), but as the overall track wasn't the best of the group, it was a uphill struggle to begin with. Juicy J sounded quite imature in terms of how he rapped, and it let down the track as he took up the chorus, leaving a bad impression for the rest of the tune.
5. "Swervin'" (feat. Mike Jones, and Paul Wall)
When I read that two of the finest rappers from H-Town (Houston, Texas) put their vocals on this track. I was excited to see what such an array of southern stars could come up with together. As all of the rappers are quite similar in their styles, I had a pretty good idea of what they would come out with, but I wouldn't say that this predicability meant that it was weak.
With ththe influence of these guests, DJ Paul and Juicy J chose to make their production like what comes out of Houston, as they decided to screw all of the speeh to make it more bassy and deep, to fit the low tempo. With this setting, Mike Jones and Pual Wall had the perfect beat to flow on, as t's what they are used to rapping on.
6. "Knock Tha Black Off Yo Ass (feat. Project Pat)
With a title like waht is given for this one, I was quite excited as I knew I was in for a big gangsta rap track, and that's exactly what Three 6 Mafia come with., This one was the best example of what Crunchy Black had to offer for the group, and he seemd much more comfortable rapping than the other pair, but as they are producers too, you can excuse it to a degree.
7. "Poppin' My Collar"
This is the follwo-up single to the samh hit "Stay High", and it gave the same impression as what was brought with that track, so by backing themselves up by releasing singles along the same sort of theme gives off the idea that they are quite light-hearted, but really it' not the case.
I felt that this track worked on the strengths of Three 6 Mafia, and although some may argue with it, I think that they perform best when they rap for the clubs, as when they attempt some lyricism by trying to stick in some subliminals, they become clumsy with their words. This straight-forward tun is the type of thing where you hear the best from them.
8. "Hard Hittaz" (feat. Boogiemane)
This track is the only one which hints on there past as the Triple 6 Mafia as you hear clear Horrocore beats from them, and it's production which was heard throughout their tunes prior to the release of "Stay High". I felt that because they do empbrace their past, it showed courage. Despite feeling that it didn't quite fit in with the rest of the LP, I thought that it was one of the best tracks on it.
The group are quite clever in how they go about slipping in a little of their past, as they don't do any of it directly with the lyrics (that would be too easy), they inject little sound effects, to give a terrifying twist. I felt that it was very interesting as without knowledge of where they came from, you could easily take this as a typical gangsta rap track.
9. "Side 2 Side"
This is the third single from the album, and just as I said with "Poppin' My Collar", it carries on all of what is expected of the group from the lead track from it. From this, I mean that it's another club track. However, unlike usually southern rap with a club feel, it's more calm, well Three 6 Mafia make it this as they tell you how gangstas 'dance'.
I prefer to do a lot more movement than what we are instructed to do when listening to this track, but I felt compelled to do so by the booming voices. Sometimes you do fel like just chiling at the back of the club though, and I save it for times like that.
10. "Half On A Sack"
I felt that this was a more chilled out version of "Stay High" as it takes elements of what the theme for that track was about, and calmed it down for a harder, more private track from them. he club track which I mentioned before was more of a celebration, and I found that this one painted a darker picture for the genreal subject.
12. "When I Pull Up At The Club" (feat. Paul Wall)
Paul Wall makes another appearance on the album, this time without Mike Jones, giving him a chance to show how he performs in his own right, and he came with some typical, yet big lines to compliment Three 6 Mafia's style, and add to what the present.
The only criticism which I have to address in this trakc is that they fail to carry through the theme from the title into any of th verses, it's completely unrelated to what you expect to hear in them and it throws you off, but as I felt that Three 6 Mafai and Paul Wall threw down some big lines, it had a big impression on me.
13. "Pussy Got Ya Hooked" (feat. Remy Ma)
At the start of this one Dj Paulsays that this one is for the ladies as they never tend to do anything for them, it suddenly becomes apparent once they get tino rapping, because they just haven't got a clue about how to do it. I expect that those outside of Hip hop we hear this and immediately interpret it as misogynous, and even those who are used to this type of rap will find it boarderline offensive.
14. "Don't Cha Get Mad" (feat. Lil' Flip)
This track goes on the topic of jealousy, which is often the case for tracks in this genre, but you can't argue with them for deciding to express how they feel as they switch up there act to get out on the mainstream (which obviously brings more money with it). Another Houston rapper gets a chance to perfrom with Three 6 Mafia, this time Lil' Flip, and he offers something which isn't far from what we've had from everyone else on the album. As an added note, the title for this review comes directly from words given in the opening of this track (just to let you know).
15. "Body Parts 3" (feat. Lil' Wyte, Frayser Boy, Chrome, Boogiemane, Project Pat, Grandaddy Souf)
I expect, based on the title, that this is the third part of a track which Three 6 Mafia previously recorded. As I am unaware of the original and the second version, this title had no value to me, but as so many were wlling to lend their raps to it, there must have been a buzz concerning the other ones. I believe that they chose to do another section to this track to encourage listners, as with "Most Unknown Hits" to go back and listen to earlier material.
I have to say that I was excited by the amount of rappers featured on this track and what they all had to offer, but as these are just local hood stars, they don't really add any value to the album
16. "Stay Fly (Remix)" (feat. Slim Thug, Trick Daddy, and Project Pat)
This is just the remix to the big single from the album, and t's nice that they chose to rinse all the energy out of the track to come up with a further developemnt in the remix. Not much of this track is changed, apart from some variation in the prouction, and reviewed verses by DJ Paul; and Juicy J, you also have H-Town's Slim Thug, Miami's Trick Daddy and Juicy J's brother Project Pat. With so many of the Dirty South united here, you get a sense of community from the southern region of the US.
For me, this was a decent gangsta rap album, quite differnt from what they are mainly known for. However, if Dirty South rap is your thing then you are bound to like this a lot. This is my favourite sub-genre to Hip Hop, and I have to say that i found it all quite samey, and there was little variation in the album, and because of this, I wouldn't think tha it's fair to big it up that much.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Most Known Unknown Hits - Three 6 Mafia
2 Stay Fly - 8Ball, MJG, , Three 6 Mafia, Young Buck
3 Roll with It - Project Pat, , Three 6 Mafia
4 Don't Violate - Frayser Boy, , Three 6 Mafia
5 Swervin' - Mike Jones, , Three 6 Mafia, Paul Wall
6 Knock tha Black off Yo *** - Project Pat, , Three 6 Mafia
7 Poppin' My Collar - Project Pat, , Three 6 Mafia
8 Hard Hittaz - Boogiemane, , Three 6 Mafia
9 Side 2 Side [Version] - Project Pat, , Three 6 Mafia, Kanye West
10 Half on a Sack - Three 6 Mafia
11 Skit - Three 6 Mafia
12 When I Pull Up at the Club - Three 6 Mafia, Paul Wall
13 ***** Got Ya Hooked - Three 6 Mafia
14 Don't Cha Get Mad - Lil' Flip, , Three 6 Mafia
15 Body Parts 3 - Boogiemane, Chrome, Crunchy Black, , Frayser Boy, Grandaddy Souf, , Juicy J, Lil Wyte, , Project Pat, , Three 6 Mafia
16 Hard out Here for a Pimp - Paula Campbell, , Three 6 Mafia
17 Stay Fly [Still Fly Remix] - Project Pat, Slim Thug, , Three 6 Mafia, Trick Daddy
18 Outro - Three 6 Mafia
19 Got It 4 Sale [*] - Chrome, , Three 6 Mafia
20 Let's Plan a Robbery [*] - Three 6 Mafia
21 Side 2 Side [*][Version] - Bow Wow, Project Pat, , Three 6 Mafia
22 Ain't Got Time for Gamez [*] - Three 6 Mafia