Mystic Stylez : The Origin
Mystic Stylez, the debut album of Three 6 Mafia, was released on May 23rd, 1995. The album was a product of the Memphis rap scene, notorious for its murder rate, robberies, pimp culture, and gang wars that terrorized Black Memphis. The recording process for Mystic Stylez took place in a studio in northern Memphis known as The Production Room. The group’s founding members, DJ Paul, and Juicy J, produced the entire album. Juicy J said they would go into the studio, get high, drink, and make records. The recording sessions took place between June 1994 and February 1995. Despite not immediately breaking into mainstream hip-hop, the album has grown from an underground favorite to one of the most influential rap records ever.
The Sound of Mystic Stylez
The sound of Mystic Stylez is distinct and haunting, a product of a low budget of $4,500. This smoked-out, lo-fi quality would not have been achievable with a polished major-label release. Gangsta Boo, a member of Three 6 Mafia, described the album’s sound as a mix of gangsta, sinister, and Memphis sound. This unique blend of elements created a sound that stood the test of time and influenced a generation of young rappers.
The recording equipment used to make Mystic Stylez included a 16-track reel-to-reel tape. There is no information on other specific equipment used in the recording process. However, any work done at Prophet Posse Studio would have been cut on Tascam DA-88s, Mackie 24×8, Behringer tube compressor, and a U87. The album was described as horrorcore, and its overall soundscape is considerably more foreboding than following releases. 30 years later, Mystic Styles remains one of the best Three 6 Mafia Albums.
Mystic Styles Song-By-Song Analysis
“Da Beginning” is a track that samples “The Haunted House” by Disney, adding to the eerie, haunting atmosphere of the album.
“Break Da Law ’95”
“Break Da Law ’95” is a song by the American hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia. The song is from their debut album Mystic Stylez, released in 1995. The song features DJ Paul and Playa Fly and Skinny Pimp samples.
The song is considered one of the group’s biggest early hits and one of the best songs in the history of Southern hip-hop. The song samples J. Peter Robinson’s “The Police Tell Heather About Chase” from Wes Craven’s New Nightmare OST. The song lyrics are explicit and talk about violence and breaking the law.
“I’m breakin’ laws, tryna make a livin’DJ Paul
I’m takin’ jaws, better call a dentist
I’m breakin’ jaws, ain’t no forgivin’
I’m breakin’ laws, tryna make a livin'”
“Da Summa” is a track that showcases the group’s ability to create a laid-back yet haunting atmosphere. The song’s lyrics depict the harsh realities of Memphis summers, starkly contrasting the relaxed beat. “I’m Afraid the Masquerade Is Over” by David Porter is sampled in the song.
See in Memphis, them players be kind of like laid backDJ Paul
In some clean ass rides, blunts in the sack, I’m blowin’ a pack
Hittin’ the park at ’bout three, sometimes a little later…
“Live By Yo Rep (B.O.N.E. Dis)”
“Live By Yo Rep (B.O.N.E. Dis)” is a diss track aimed at the group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. The song is notable for its aggressive lyrics and hard-hitting beats, demonstrating Three 6 Mafia’s ability to create intense, confrontational music.
The song features Kingpin Skinny Pimp and Playa Fly. The lyrics are aggressive and confrontational, with Three 6 Mafia calling out Bone Thugs-n-Harmony for their perceived lack of authenticity. The production is characterized by a heavy bassline and a repetitive, hypnotic melody.
I’m from the land of the trill, home of the brave, where these n****s be killin’ for money and fame. I’m the one that’s creepin’ up outta the cut with a 12 gauge pump, ready to buckLord Infamous
“In Da Game”
“In Da Game” represents the group’s commitment to their craft. The lyrics discuss their struggles and challenges in the music industry, while the beat provides a dark, ominous backdrop.
The song is about the drug game and the lifestyle that comes with it. Gangsta Boo is the featured artist on the track. The song has a catchy hook that repeats the phrase “dope game cocaine” multiple times. The lyrics describe the drug game and the dangers that come with it.
The song contains three samples:
- “What Happened to the Real Me” by Mavis Staples (1970)
- “Scarfac”e by Ghetto Boys (1989)
- “It’s Alright” by Chanté Moore (1992)
Dope game cocaine. Dope game dope dope game cocaine. Dope game – my game, hoes lame – it’s a shameGangsta Boo
“Now I’m Hi Part 3”
“Now I’m Hi Part 3” features Gangsta Blac on the hook, and the lyrics are about smoking weed and getting high. Here are some lyrics from the song that represent its theme:
Triple 6, triple, triple 6, smoked out.
Now I’m high, really high, mane, I’m about to shout.
Triple 6, triple, triple 6, smoked out.Gangsta Blac
“Long Nite” is a track that depicts the group’s experiences during long, dangerous nights in Memphis. The song’s haunting production and grim lyrics create a sense of unease and danger, reflecting the harsh realities of their environment.
I got a plan in command on your ass, bitchDJ Paul
This little short nigga with the long-ass dick
I’m livin’ life like a king, but I’m still broke
I’m tryna get a meal ticket, but I’m still sellin’ dope
“Sweet Robbery” is a narrative of audacity and risk, a lyrical heist that showcases Three 6 Mafia’s storytelling prowess. The song is a testament to the group’s ability to weave complex narratives into their music, creating a cinematic experience for the listener.
This shit is on, I’m scopin’ out this fool that I don’t like
I’m ’bout to take his life tonightJuicy J
“Back Against da Wall”
“Back Against da Wall” is a track that discusses the group’s struggles with adversity. The song’s lyrics convey a sense of desperation and determination, while the beat provides a tense, urgent backdrop. The track samples “The Darkest Light” by Lafayette Afro Rock Band, sampled in 145 songs.
I got my back against the wall, niggaLord Infamous
You gon’ have to jump if you want to see me fall, nigga
“Fuckin Wit Dis Click”
“Fuckin Wit Dis Click” is a track that showcases Three 6 Mafia’s aggressive, confrontational style. The song’s hard-hitting beats and menacing lyrics serve as a warning to anyone who dares to cross them. The track samples:
- “Brainscan” by George S. Clinton
- “Slipped Into a Coma” by Point Blank
- “How Can You Have Faith in a God That Cannot Even Control Creation?” from Warlock: The Armageddon
Explore Three 6 Mafia and samples here.
All or Nothing”
“All or Nothing” is a song that encapsulates the group’s relentless ambition. It’s a testament to their determination, their refusal to settle for anything less than everything. The track is a rallying cry, a call to arms for anyone who dares to dream big and fight for what they want.
I’m trying to make it in this world, but it’s all or nothingDJ Paul
Read another guide to another classic Three 6 Mafia album: Most Known Unknown
“Gotta Touch ‘Em – (PT.2)”
“Gotta Touch ‘Em – (PT.2)” continues the group’s exploration of desire and temptation. The song is a seductive dance, a game of cat and mouse that plays out over a pulsating beat. The song features DJ Paul and Crunchy Black talking, with Psycho in da Cut.
Psycho in the, psycho in the, psycho in the cutGangsta Blac, Juicy J, Crunchy Black
With the mask and the pistol grip
Psycho in the, psycho in the, psycho in the, psycho in the
Psycho in the cut with the mask and the pistol grip
“Tear Da Club Up” – Mystic Stylez Classic
“Tear Da Club Up” is a riotous anthem, a call to let loose and surrender to the music. The song celebrates the group’s love for the nightlife and their affinity for the energy and chaos of the club scene. It’s a track that captures the essence of Three 6 Mafia’s live performances and their ability to whip a crowd into a frenzy. The song samples “Cotton’s Dream” by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr. (1971)
We should begin to come closer to killa dimensionsLord Infamous
Niggas getting lynchin’s from the Triple 6 anti-christians
May I mention, the sl’izz’ugs that I blaze, Scarecrow’s unmerciful
Bullets are bombin’ the enemy, nigga, see death is unreversable
Hardness is your fantasy, death is not fictional, you bitches
Fuck around and find yo’ wannabe gangsta ass with the mortician
“Big Bizness” is a song that speaks to the group’s entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a track that explores the intersection of music and commerce, the group’s journey from the streets to the boardroom. The song is a testament to Three 6 Mafia’s business acumen and ability to turn their musical talent into a profitable enterprise.
I’m breakin’ the law on this bitch assDj Paul & Crunchy Black
Broke ass nigga, that’s talkin’ that bullshit
Run across these hundred shots, trick, I’mma leave you wet
Thank you for your tapes I sold
Thanks for buyin’ my Ox and Vogues
You’re welcome to this bullet, hoe
“Mystic Styles” is a sonic tapestry woven with verses from Lord Infamous, Playa Fly, and Gangsta Boo. Each artist brings their unique lyrical style to the track, creating a rich, layered narrative. With his chilling verse, Lord Infamous paints himself as a cold-hearted killer. On the other hand, Playa Fly uses his verse to portray his hypnotic charm, his words designed to enchant and mesmerize. Gangsta Boo, the only female voice on the track, raps about her slick style and knack for evading the law.
The song is a haunting symphony known for its dark and eerie sound. The lyrics are laced with references to Satan and the devil, a nod to the group’s fascination with the occult. This dark and eerie sound, a common theme in Three 6 Mafia’s music, is best represented by the song’s hook: “Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia, Mafia.” This refrain, delivered by Lord Infamous, echoes throughout the song, reinforcing its sinister undertones.
“Mystic Stylez” is more than just a song; it’s a cultural milestone. It’s widely recognized as one of the forerunners of crunk and trap, two sub-genres that would later dominate the hip-hop and trap scene.
The song’s eerie, atmospheric production and dark, occult-inspired lyrics perfectly embody the “mystic style” that the album is named after. The song samples Zone of Nothingness (Periphery) by Jim Manzie (1994).
Three 6 Mafia
- “I’m a killa, a murda, a cap peela, a grave filla” – Lord Infamous
- “I’m the scarecrow, I’m the shadow, I’m the one that they fear” – Playa Fly
- “I’m the devil’s daughter, the wicked witch of the south” – Gangsta Boo
- “I’m the one that’s got the power, I’m the one that’s got the juice” – DJ Paul
- “I’m the one that’s got the money, I’m the one that’s got the fame” – Juicy J
“Porno Movie” features explicit, provocative lyrics. The song’s raunchy subject matter is paired with a catchy, upbeat beat, resulting in a shocking and entertaining track. The song features the following samples:
- “The Lady in My Life” by Michael Jackson (1982)
- “Funkin’ for Jamaica (N.Y.)” by Tom Browne (1980)
- “Risin’ to the Top” by Keni Burke (1982)
Koop got them freaky long witty bitches all up on his di’r’ckKoopsta Knicca
Hoe, tell your friends, so I can knock the skin off their uterus
Straight off the bed, which led to the couch
My mothafuckin’ dick in her mouth
Just lay the fuck down so Koop can visit to another round
The Legacy of Mystic Stylez
The legacy and cultural impact of Mystic Stylez have grown over time, providing a blueprint for the younger generation of rappers with its do-it-yourself creativity and innovative sound. It’s safe to say that many rappers and producers today would not exist or would have a completely different sound if Mystic Stylez had never existed.