Review Summary: Head spinning, lo-fi, occult hip-hop.
When Three 6 Mafia released Mystic Stylez
in 1995 they were not able to make a huge impact on the hip hop scene. They were on an independent record label and were very far from being a part of the thriving and much larger hip hop scenes on the west and east coasts. But looking back on Three 6 Mafia's discography, this album sticks out as one of their strongest releases and also as a blueprint for the horrorcore style of hip hop that peaked among the underground scenes in New York during the mid-90s. It an album that was overlooked during its initial release but later became a cult classic many years afterwards. Mystic Stylez became a cult classic in horrorcore circles for quite a few reasons; the album's overall eerie tone, producers Juicy J and DJ Paul's Dirty South lo-fi beats (that the duo would later perfect on later Three 6 releases), and the group's overly-blunt lyricism. Throughout Mystic Stylez
, Three 6 Mafia tells tales on one subject after another, often combining many subjects at once, mainly about violence, drugs, sex, and satanism.
All of this would seem to just be exploitation for the sake of shocking the listener if not for the way the members of Three 6 Mafia are able to perfect their craft, especially with the production. If you want proof that there's more to Mystic Stylez
than sheer shock value then listen to the third track, "Da Summa
," a suprisingly calm moment in the midst the often overwhelming chaotic occultism that covers the rest of the album. But for the most part, Three 6 Mafia is in their rawest, violent and satanic form here and that in itself was enough for its time. Years later, in during the Dirty South explosion of the late-90s, you can trace back the influence of Mystic Stylez
and Three 6 Mafia, as many Southerner rappers and groups began embracing taboos left and right. The effect that Three 6 Mafia left on Mystic Stylez
is still felt with newer rappers like Spaceghostpurrp and Lil Ugly Mane who owe much of their style to the Triple 6.