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Features Published: February 27, 2013

Exclusive Interview – DJ Paul Of Three 6 Mafia Talks About New Label, Music Marketing, & More

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Exclusive Interview – DJ Paul Of Three 6 Mafia Talks About New Label, Music Marketing, & More

Interview by: Samson Lei

DJ Paul began his career as a DJ, producer, and rapper in the early 1990s. He was one-half of the duo The Serial Killaz, together with his older half-brother Lord Infamous (Ricky Dunigan). They released self-recorded tapes in their neighborhood, school, and local shops. Portrait Of A Serial Killa was their first tape, released in 1992. DJ Paul also released numerous solo mixtapes including Volume 12 (Pts. 1 and 2), Volume 15: For You Niggaz Wit’ Anna, and Volume 16: 4 Da Summa of ’94. DJ Paul rose to prominence as one of the best DJ-producers on the south side of Memphis, and met up with DJ/artist/producer Juicy J (Jordan Houston), also garnering buzz on the North side of Memphis. They noticed they had a lot of similar interests eventually merging their sound and crew members to form the super-group The Backyard Posse (later known as Triple Six Mafia). DJ Paul and Juicy J soon began producing dark, eerie tracks driven by bass-heavy beats and haunting sounds, and invited numerous Backyard Posse members to rap over the beats with them. They released the resulting tracks locally as Triple Six Mafia; years later these recordings would resurface as re-releases.

WWSMAG: How did you feel and what kind of thoughts did you have when you and your crew won an Oscar?
DJ Paul: Oh man, it felt good man you know?  Couldn’t believe it and still don’t believe it.  It was a crazy moment, man.  It was a dream come true.  I don’t even know if it’s a dream come true cause it’s nothing I’ve ever even dreamed of having or could happen. You know, it was like, jumping off a bridge and hoping you can fly and it happened.  It’s like that.

Can you tell us a little bit about “Scale-A-Ton” and how it’s like managing your own record label?
Man that’s been easy cause we’ve been doing that forever, you know.  We’ve always had our own label and it’s cool.  It’s doing real well and we control our own artists.  It’s good.

What are the biggest differences in the music industry from when you started and now?
The internet.  I mean, back in the day we used to have to play $6000 dollars a page for advertisements and sorts. Now you don’t even have to do that.  You can get on twitter and you can shout out different shit at many motherfuckers at the one time.  So, the internet is the most biggest change, of course.  Yeah, the internet helps you, but it also hurts you.

There are rumors going around that you and Juicy J are having some conflicts.  If you don’t mind us asking, what is your current situation with Juicy J?
Nah, ain’t no conflicts.  There isn’t anything.  I haven’t even heard that one, haha.

What are some differences between having a solo career and being a part of a group?  What are some of the advantages or disadvantages you have between the two?
Well, with a solo project, you can do whatever you want to do, you know.  It’s nice.  You don’t have to worry about nobody’s disapproval or think about that. You can just be yourself.  So if you want to just want to sit down and fart on the outro for like five minutes, you can do that. You can do whatever you want to do. But with a group, you can’t do that because you gotta pay attention and consider everyone else’s thoughts, everybody else’s feelings, everybody’s else religion, what they believe in, what they don’t, if they like girl, if they don’t like girls.  Whatever it is.  With a group thing, you have to play as a team and with solo albums you don’t have to, you can do whatever you want to do.

Are there things in your career that you wish could’ve happened differently?  And if so, what were they?
No, everything was perfect.  Everything that happened should’ve happened.  I was never one of those dudes that were like, “I wish I could’ve did that or I wish I had did that” so no. Everything that happened, happened. Everything happened for a reason so I never looked back on it like nothing.

What are some tips for artists out there in terms of marketing your music, increasing your revenue, or getting your product out there in general?
Just gotta hit the road.  Man, you just gotta really make sure it’s really your calling.  Alot of people out there want to get into it because they see all on the TV with the cars and the girls and the houses.  But no, more than half of the time, maybe 95 percent, no, 99 percent of the time those cars, right, those houses, don’t belong to the artist.  Those girl’s might belong to the artists, you know you can play like you an artist and you can get a girl, that’s easy.  But those cars don’t belong to the artists. You see, people see rappers inside the videos on TV or the internet or whatever and they look like they’re having fun and they are having fun, you know, it’s a fun life. But it takes a long time to get there.  And if it doesn’t take a long time to get there then that means you have a lot of fucking talent or you just made alot of people believe that you did.  So it’s not easy.  And even the ones that got there overnight, it’s hard, and it’s even harder to stay up there because they went past all the due parts and they lost all the education they gotta re-up on and they gotta do it fast to keep up.  Just make sure it’s your calling.  Alot of times your calling ain’t that.  It ain’t rap music. It could be something else.  It could be sports.  It could be pimpin’ and hoein’ at the same time.  Haha.

What kind of influence do you think your music has exactly on society and what kind of people do you think is especially drawn to it?
My music is drawn to people that do drugs, sell drugs, murderers, robbers, thieves, ventriloquist, masters of disguise, soldier’s of war.  Them kind of people. I had a big influence, man, you know, we created cult music and that changed the whole sound of hip-hop.  That’s a lot to say, yup. Lastly, what and who were the biggest influences and inspirations you’ve had in your life and in your music? My dad and my mom.  My dad was independent.  LL Cool J, Easy-e, Dr. Dre, Lil J, Luke Skywalker, MC Sharleek.  Those are the main ones, yep.

If you had any other career choice, what would it have been?
Chef, I love that.  I got my own food products out.


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