Artist: Three 6 MafiaTitle: Most Known UnknownRating: 2 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Anthony Lil Koop Carr
**Reviewer's note: Not only raised in Memphis, but a fan of Three 6 Mafia since 1991 when they were known as the Backyard Posse.
Three 6 Mafia may not be a household name to the passing rap fan, but the name rings bells when the terms crunk and hype music are mentioned. Before the insurgence of Lil Jon bringing crunk to the forefront, it was Three 6 Mafia that kept the foundation alive, bringing the rapid drum patterns, call and response, and Triggaman samples to life. Three 6 have been maintaining that foundation for almost 15 years, finally going platinum and gold within the last 3 years. Still with the group losing members [Gangsta Boo, Koopsta Knicca], members being incarcerated (Lord Infamous), and poor promotion, Three 6 Mafia has maintained a strong, dedicated fan base. Now on their 7th studio album, Most Known Unknown (Hypnotized Minds), Three 6 Mafia ( now only three deep) tries to make themselves known to the masses that dont know them.
Stay Fly, the lead single, will immediately grab the ears of new and old fans quickly. Over light congas, rapid snares, and smooth sampling Three 6 creates another club anthem. But the shining moment of the Stay Fly is that its shared with not only G-Units Young Buck but also Eightball & MJG. Old fans may find this shocking due to the deep history of rivalry and beef amongst Memphis rap artist. Roll Wit It is innovative with the Nextel 2-way chirp style being used, but falls short with recycled lyrics. Knock The Black Off Ya A** will leave fans not as hyped as the song was intended to be with cheesy production and lyrics. Poppin My Collar, one of the few gems on the album, will stand out as Three 6 rides the smooth production with pimp/playalistic tales. Remy Martin outshines Three 6, instead of balancing out the male-female battle on the female dedicated P***y Got Ya Hooked. Lets Plan A Robbery suffers from Crunchy Blacs monotonous elementary flow and chorus, but holds up with the Triggaman sampled production. Maintaining the posse cut formula that many labels in the south are known for; Three 6 gives energy and hype with Body Parts that is sure to please listeners.
Most Known Unknown falls short for many reasons; recycled lyrics, lack of the depth and creativity that they are known for, and not enough strength behind the songs. With this album, fans will and can immediately pick out the best songs on the album and will feel cheated because of the lack of replay value. If Three 6 Mafia maintains the strong production sound, possibly incorporated new members undefined, and bring back the energy and creativity that makes them, Three 6 can finally become universally known.