As with practically every successive Three 6 Mafia album, Most Known Unknown is more of the same, executed a little bit better than before. That means a parade of first-rate productions by Juicy J and DJ Paul, the group's primary members, and plenty of street-level rhymes of the most hardcore variety. "Stay Fly" stands out -- not only amid the rest of the album, but amid the entire Three 6 catalog -- with its propulsive intensity and crafty hook. Juicy and Paul sample an old Willie Hutch song here, and the result is striking. Sure, Three 6 has always had a knack for roof-raisers like this, going back to similarly styled anthems like "Tear da Club Up" and "Hit a Muthafucka," but none have had such crossover potential. Features by Eightball, MJG, and Young Buck -- who are also from Memphis -- make the song even more dizzying, as the verses come quickly and hit hard. Nothing else on Most Known Unknown comes close to matching the excellence of "Stay Fly," unfortunately, though there are plenty of good songs here. "Swervin'" and "When I Pull Up at the Club" are two such instances, while "Side 2 Side" shows off Juicy and Paul's ability to import concurrent trends, in this case the "we-don't-dance dance" of Terror Squad's "Lean Back." And of course, you'll find all kinds of gratuitous profanity, sex talk, and drug references, along with over-the-top showboating aggression -- everything that has come to be expected from Three 6. Clocking in at 20-plus songs in roughly 80 minutes Most Known Unknown is indeed more of the same, plus a little extra quality, so if you're a fan, you won't be disappointed. On the other hand, if you're new to the group, likely introduced to them via "Stay Fly," you should expect over-the-top hardcore Southern rap. The beats are all done in-house and are the main draw. The rapping is not bad, though what the guys lack in technique and invention, they compensate for with lyrical excess. Three 6 Mafia is the hardcore of the hardcore, and not for the faint of heart.
DJ Paul started his career in the late 1980s as a DJ and released a number of solo tapes, as well as three collaboration albums with Lord Infamous as The Serial Killaz. Juicy J was introduced and the three founded the group Three 6 Mafia, going on to achieve national success in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Their 2000 album, When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1, debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum. Later followed by Da Unbreakables in 2003 and Most Known Unknown in 2005, both of which were commercially successful. In 2006, DJ Paul, Juicy J, Crunchy Black, and Frayser Boy won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp" from the film Hustle & Flow. Paul has also released three solo albums, and created soundtracks to two movies. He and the rest of Three 6 Mafia are known as the originators of the crunk style of music.  In 2018, he co-produced the track "Talk Up" featuring JAY-Z from Drake's fifth studio album, Scorpion. 2b1af7f3a8