Three 6 Mafia, Most Known Unknown (Sony, 2005)
I won't normally mess around with any Three 6 Mafia, but I've been meaning to ever since earlier this summer when I heard the awesomeness that is "Whoop That Trick." (Or as it was originally called, "Beat That Bitch.") Their new single "Stay Fly" is pretty dang good, too.
MOST KNOWN UNKNOWN HITS
One of the fellows from Three 6 Mafia explains the title of the album (which he calls the Most Known Unknowns) in the most ridonkulously oblivious manner possible. You see, they're known, but they're also unknown.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I find this to be the best rap song that's come out in weeks. The video might be even better, just because that's how ridonkulous these guys look (especially the rapidly expanding 8-Ball and MJG), but then the chorus on this album version (it's really Stay High) also makes that much more sense.
ROLL WITH IT
Not a cover of Track 2 from one of the best albums of the '90s, but it's cool enough for what it is. I think the premise (which is not very well developed) is supposed to be that they're talking to each other over cell phones, but the main draw here is the piano figure in the beat.
I was wondering how many tracks in we'd get before there was a song about beating the shit out of people. This is especially awesome because it's about putting your shoe on a woman or, as they say in Memphis, putting your foot up a ho's ass.
Oh goody, it's Mike Jones! But seriously, I guess this is supposed to be their nod to the whole screwed and chopped phenomenon. I'm sure it's that much better when you're actually intoxicado.
KNOCK THE BLACK OFF YO ASS
This would be more along the lines of what you might typically expect from a Three 6 Mafia song: cheap-sounding beats, lyrics about fighting, seemingly random vocalists. Who the fuck is in this group, anyway?
POPPIN MY COLLAR
Similar to the big single, all the way down to the vintage soul sample. In other word's, it's pretty dang awesome. They might be a few years (or decades) behind on their slang though. I'm surprised nobody at the label caught that.
More of that same old Tear the Club Up palaver.
SIDE 2 SIDE
Another one of these songs about what might be called "man dancing" a la "Lean Back," which, I'll have you know, I invented.
HALF ON A SACK
I bet you were thinking this was going to be a song about going half on a sack of weed. But actually, it's a song about going half on a sack of coke. Even if it does kinda reveal more about their financial situation than I'm sure they intended, at the very least you can't fault them on creativity.
What would a rap album (i.e. minstral program) be without several skits?
WHEN I PULL UP AT THE CLUB
Paul Wall, apparently concerned he wasn't on enough songs this year about riding around in cars trying to pick up "hoes," makes an appearance here.
PUSSY GOT YA HOOKED
DONT CHA GET MAD
Like a Mike Jones song minus the Mike Jones. But plus Lil' Flip, who I think might also be part of that Houston rap scene.
BODY PARTS 3
The weed carriers' track, even though I'm not sure what the actual breakdown is as far as Hypnotized Minds bag holders.
STAY FLY REMIX
Featuring Slim Thug, Trick Daddy and some other people. Not as good as the original, but still pretty good.
A seemingly endless list of Three 6-related projects (Choices 2 and 3!) that are allegedly coming out next year.
COMMENTS: Note that my version of this came with four bonus tracks after the outro that served no purpose other than to pad the runtime to just under 74 minutes. Also, according to one of the "skits," you can buy a version of this that has the regular CD on one side and a DVD on the other. That's pretty classy, but I'm holding out for the version that has ten songs as good as "Stay Fly" on it.
BEST TRACKS: "Stay Fly"