DJ Paul, Three 6 Mafia
It was my honor this week to do an interview with DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia, the legendary King of Memphis and the originators of Fight Music. We touched on a lot of topics including multiple new projects including the mixtapes with Drumma Boy and Yelawolf. We also spoke about the newly formed group Da Mafia 6ix and got DJ Paul’s opinion on “lean” in 2013 after having the 1999 hit “Sippin on Some Syrup” featuring Project Pat & UGK.
“Lean… it feels good at the moment when you’re drinking it, yea it might be a cool high but it’s dangerous.“
Hip-Hop Digital: What’s good DJ Paul, how’s life treating you? Are you currently tour while doing all of your media appearances?
DJ Paul: I’m good, real good. I’ve been doing show but not for the group right now; just finishing up a lot of my solo spots and DJ sets, that were already booked. You know I DJ, so I started back DJing as well.
Hip-Hop Digital: How did you link up with Drumma Boy for your latest project, Clash of the Titans? Did you do part of the production of the project as well?
DJ Paul: I’ve been known Drumma Boy for a long time. He gave me some beats on another mixtape I did and we were like we just need to do a whole joint together. Man, that was three of four years ago though. We finally got down and knocked it out. We went half of the production; it should be labeled on the mixtape. Clash of the Titans is on live mixtapes right now for y’all to check out.
Hip-Hop Digital: How did you link up with Yelawolf for Night Fall which just dropped on Halloween?
DJ Paul: Basically I was in the studio with Da Mafia 6ix and the video director was like “Yelawolf is in town you should hit him up”, I was pretty much like okay cool. Gangsta Boo had already known him from the song she did with him and Eminem. So, we hit him up and come to find out he was a fan of the group and he came by so we just did the song [Go Hard]. After that I started letting him hear some beats; we started shooting some s**t and drinking some Jack Daniels. Yelawolf was like he always wanted to do a rap/rock project and he thought I was perfect to do it with because I can make rock beats as well. I just started sending him beats and he knocked it out in three days, I was like Jesus (laughing)! It was fun, something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve dibbled and dabbled with it, like with the Travis Barker mixtape a few years ago I had a song on there that was rock and rap. On the second Three 6 Mafia album called The End, we had a rap/rock beat on there. So, it’s something I like to do and Yelawolf was just the perfect person to do it with.
Hip-Hop Digital: I know the main reason you started Da Mafia 6ix was due to the fact Juicy J is not available for a new group project. Do you see an official Three Six Mafia reunion in the future?
DJ Paul: It could happen. Juicy & I still talk, we’re cool. That’s the main reason why I changed the name of the group because without Juicy it’s not Three 6 Mafia. One day if it happens I want the name Three 6 Mafia still to be known as all of us not without one or two people.
Hip-Hop Digital: The official Mafia 6ix project just got pushed back by two weeks, which is actually pretty genius due to the 11.12.13 being a once in a lifetime date. Currently, we’ve only heard Go Hard featuring Yelawolf so, what can we expect from this project?
DJ Paul: I didn’t even realize that there will never be another date like 11.12.13. A fan actually pointed out that 11+12+13 equals 36. It was pretty funny. I mean it was hard; I was very upset that it couldn’t come out on the 29th. At the same time, I wanted to put more time into and really get it as I want it, instead of rushing it out. I think it’s a good move, in the end, I think the fans are going to love what they hear. I just went back to the original mafia sound. The original drum machines and sounds that I used to use and everything that the fans have been missing, so we can give them what they really want. It’s straight hardcore, nothing light. I wanted to make sure it could be as hard as possible.
Hip-Hop Digital: Speaking of originals on November 26th you’ll be dropping the Original Volume 16 Masters. Can you elaborate on this project some?
DJ Paul: I’m glad you brought that up I’ve been forgetting that’s coming out on iTunes. The Original Volume 16 Masters will be available on November 26th. I put the project original project out in 2002; everything on this one will be what people grew up on just remastered and remixed. It just sounds better, its much clearer. There was only so much we could do back then, now we have the technology to make it better.
Hip-Hop Digital: That leads me to my next question. What song from back in the day would you say is your favorite that you created?
DJ Paul: I would have to say Tear Da Club Up, that’s the one that did it for us. I made 3-4 versions of us, including the original one from 1991 all the way up to Tear Da Club Up 97. When we got our first record deal, Relativity Records put it in the contract that Tear Da Club Up along with Late Night Tip and N 2 Deep had to be on the record. It was our first video, that’s what did it all. That’s what created this whole crunk/fight music sound that’s been killing the game since then.
Hip-Hop Digital: As a pioneer of the Syrup era next to DJ Screw, how do you feel about these young kids glorifying lean and taking it to the next level?
DJ Paul: Be a careful man! Lean… it feels good at the moment when you’re drinking it, yea it might be a cool high but it’s dangerous. A lot of people think that if you get a prescription from a doctor or a pharmacy that makes it safe. It’s not true just like with pills, even if it’s prescribed from a doctor it can kill you. Too much of anything can kill you, too much water can kill you (laughing). People don’t realize that so they just go in on pills, syrup, and stuff like that. It’s not made for that. When the doctor prescribed it to you it was for a certain amount that’s only going to take place for a certain amount of days and only supposed to be taken a certain amount of times per day. It’s supposed to be long enough until you get well and next mixed with this and that. Like I say it’s good and we used to do it all the time but I had to back off of that. I’ve lost too many people and I’ve got best friends now who are sick off that. They aren’t dead but the doctors are like one more cup it might be over. It’s like this ain’t the way I want to go.
Hip-Hop Digital: What other ventures are you working on outside of music? Can you get into more about the BBQ spice you have and the adult beverage?
DJ Paul: The Syrup drink is currently going through some changes. We’re working to get with some new distributors to get it the proper placement and we have to make sure we get it in all of the stores as it should be. The DJ Paul BBQ has a new seasoning coming out in the next few weeks, called On Everything. It’s an all-purpose seasoning that can go everything. It’s like a seasoning salt but less salty even though you can do that with the BBQ rub. We also have the BBQ sauce; you can get all that from www.djpaulbbq.com.
Hip-Hop Digital: Are there any other projects that you’re working on that you’ve yet to reveal?
DJ Paul: We’ve pretty much hit on everything. I’m working on a reality show with Ryan Seacrest. We’re shopping a reality show, that’s not official until the deal is done. It’s not all the way official until the check clears so we won’t speak on it. I’ll be looking to get into some other stuff once I get all these projects out of the way. I’ve been working on these things steadily since December of last year. I did the Yelawolf and Da Mafia 6ix in the last three months. I had to knock them out fast. We did almost 40 songs on the Mafia 6ix and then I & Yelawolf knocked that other stuff out super-fast. That stuff has had my life for the last few months. I couldn’t do anything else, now that I got them out of the way. It’s time to relax a little bit and then I’m going to look into some other adventures to get into.