In the annals of Southern hip-hop, few albums hold as much significance as When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1. Released in the summer of 2000, this seminal work by Three 6 Mafia defined the sound of Memphis rap and left an indelible mark on the broader hip-hop landscape.
The Sound of When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1
The sonic architecture of When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1 is a masterclass in the art of Southern hip-hop production. The album is a cauldron of menacing basslines, eerie synth melodies, and hypnotic 808 drum patterns, all layered with a liberal dose of lo-fi grit that gives the music its distinctive edge. This is the sound of the Memphis streets – raw, unfiltered, and unapologetically real.
The Making of a Masterpiece
The creation of When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1 was a collaborative effort that brought together some of the most talented artists in the Memphis rap scene. The core members of Three 6 Mafia – DJ Paul, Juicy J, and Lord Infamous – were the primary architects of the album, crafting the beats and penning the lyrics that would define the record.
They were joined by other guest artists, including fellow Memphis rappers Gangsta Boo, Crunchy Black, and Koopsta Knicca, who each brought their unique styles and perspectives to the project. The result was a rich tapestry of voices and sounds that captured the essence of the Memphis rap scene at the turn of the millennium. Learn more about Three 6 Mafia members.
Four Key Tracks
While every track on When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1 contributes to the album’s overall narrative, four noteworthy songs.
“Sippin’ on Some Syrup”: This track, featuring UGK, is a quintessential Southern hip-hop anthem. The syrupy production and laid-back flows perfectly encapsulate the slow, languid pace of life in the South.
“Who Run It”: A showcase of Three 6 Mafia’s lyrical prowess, this track is a relentless barrage of hard-hitting verses delivered over a haunting instrumental.
“Tongue Ring”: This song, featuring Gangsta Boo, is a testament to the group’s ability to craft catchy, club-ready anthems without sacrificing their gritty aesthetic.
“I’m So Hi”: A psychedelic journey into the mind of Lord Infamous, this track stands out for its trippy production and Infamous’s unique, stream-of-consciousness flow.
Discover more about a classic Three 6 album. Mystic Stylezhttps://hip-hop-history.com/three-6-mafias-mystic-stylez-a-comprehensive-exploration/
When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1 Tracklist
In the spirit of completeness, let’s journey through the labyrinth of When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1, track by track. Each song is a chapter in the narrative, a unique piece of the puzzle that forms the complete picture of this seminal album.
- “Intro”: A haunting prelude that sets the tone for the sonic journey ahead.
- “44 Killers (Interlude)”: A brief, chilling intermission that delves deeper into the album’s dark themes.
- “Sippin’ on Some Syrup”: The iconic anthem featuring UGK that became a Southern hip-hop classic.
- “Smoked Out”: A gritty track that captures the raw energy of the Memphis streets.
- “I’m So Hi”: A psychedelic exploration of the mind of Lord Infamous.
- “Mafia N****z”: A hard-hitting track that showcases the group’s lyrical prowess.
- “Hook Up w/Hoes (Skit)”: A brief interlude that adds a touch of humor to the album’s narrative.
- “From Da Back”: A club-ready anthem featuring La Chat.
- “F* Y’all Hoes”**: A defiant track that embodies the group’s unapologetic attitude.
- “Where Da Cheese At”: A track that explores the group’s hustler mentality.
- “Tongue Ring”: A catchy, club-ready anthem featuring Gangsta Boo.
- “Barrin’ You B****es”: A track that showcases the group’s aggressive lyrical style.
- “Whatcha Know”: A song that delves into the group’s experiences and knowledge of the streets.
- “Act Like You Know Me (Point ‘Em Out)”: A confrontational track that challenges pretenders and posers.
- “Take A Bump”: A track that explores the darker side of the group’s lifestyle.
- “Touched Wit It”: A menacing track featuring La Chat, Fiend, and Mr. Serv-On.
- “M.E.M.P.H.I.S.”: A tribute to the group’s hometown featuring Hypnotize Camp Posse.
- “Just Another Crazy Click”: A collaborative track featuring Insane Clown Posse and Twiztid.
- “Who Run It”: A showcase of Three 6 Mafia’s lyrical prowess.
- “Put Ya Signs”: A track encouraging listeners to represent their hometowns.
- “What’s Next (Outro)”: A fitting conclusion to the album that leaves listeners wanting more.
Each track on When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1 proves Three 6 Mafia’s innovative production, compelling lyricism, and unique aesthetic. Together, they form a cohesive narrative that captures the essence of the Memphis rap scene at the turn of the millennium.
Echoes in the Smoke: The Art of Sampling in When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1
Creeping with the Mafia: The Sampling of “Mafia N****z”
The track “Mafia Nz” is a haunting journey into the heart of the Memphis streets. This journey is made all the more chilling by the sample of “Prologue / Welcome to Creepshow (Main Title)” by John Harrison (1982). The eerie undertones of Harrison’s composition perfectly complement the raw energy of “Mafia N*ggaz,” creating a soundscape that is as unsettling as it is captivating.
Sippin’ on Soul: The Marvin Gaye Influence in “Sippin’ on Some Syrup”
“Sippin’ on Some Syrup” is a Southern hip-hop classic that owes a part of its soulful touch to Marvin Gaye. The track samples “Is That Enough” by Marvin Gaye (1978), infusing the gritty aesthetic of Three 6 Mafia with the smooth, soulful vibes of Gaye’s timeless classic. Explore Marvin Gaye samples in hip-hop.
Running with the Delfonics: The Old-School Soul in “Who Run It”
“Who Run It” reveals Three 6 Mafia’s lyrical prowess, made all the more potent by the samples it incorporates. The track samples “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love)” by The Delfonics (1968), “You Know the Biss” by Project Pat (1999), and “Turn Into Killaz” by Prophet Posse feat. DJ Paul and Nigga Creep (1998). The result is a unique blend of old-school soul and modern hip-hop that is as compelling as it is innovative.
“High on Earth, Wind & Fire”: The Psychedelic Fusion in “I’m So Hi”
“I’m So Hi” is a psychedelic exploration of the mind, made trippier by the samples it incorporates. The track samples “Mom” by Earth, Wind & Fire (1972), “The New Style” by Beastie Boys (1986), and a little self-sampling, “Weed Is Got Me High” by Three 6 Mafia (1997). The result is a psychedelic fusion of funk, hip-hop, and soul that takes the listener on a journey through the cosmos of sound.
“Invasion of the Mafia”: The Cinematic Touch in “Act Like You Know Me”
“Act Like You Know Me” is a confrontational track that challenges pretenders and posers. The track samples “Invasion (Goldberg Theme)” by Christian Poulet and Jean-Yves Rigo (1999), adding a cinematic touch to the song that enhances its confrontational theme. And yes, this was pro wrestler Goldberg’s entrance music.
“MacGyver’s Signs”: The Nostalgic Feel in “Put Ya Signs”
“Put Ya Signs” encourages listeners to represent their hometowns. The theme music from “MacGyver” (1985) is sampled in this track, lending it a nostalgic feel that somehow isn’t as corny as the show.
“Everlasting Ride”: The Classic Hip-Hop Vibe in “Touched Wit It”
“Touched Wit It” is a hard-hitting anthem that features samples from “Everlasting Bass” by Rodney O and Joe Cooley (1988) and “We Bout to Ride” by Hypnotize Camp Posse (2000).
When the Smoke Clears Conclusion
Twenty-three years after its release, When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1 remains a landmark album in the history of Southern hip-hop. Its innovative production, compelling lyricism, and diverse array of voices have ensured its place in the pantheon of hip-hop classics. As the smoke clears, the legacy of Sixty 6, Sixty 1 continues to loom large over the landscape of American music.