Three 6 Mafia, Mystic Stylez

Jon Caramanica

By Jon Caramanica

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

No rap group ever elevated chaos to such artistic highs as did Memphis 'Three 6 Mafia (f.k.a. Triple Six Mafia), a collective of rappers and producers that seems to expand or contract at least once a year. The reliables are DJ Paul and Juicy J, producers with a healthy sense of absurdity and a penchant for songs that sound like interstitial music in a hood horror film. They rap, too, but mostly as a means of adding more bark to their formidable bite. This album was their first proper LP — their earlier work has been collected on a triumvirate of compilations — and it's gloriously bizarre, the sound of a group of musicians operating outside of the influence of anyone to tell them a song like the title track, which certainly sounds like a flirtation with the dark side, was something other than a fantastic idea. And amen for that.