Life in the Mafia
DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia holds his head up
DJ Paul (center) will lead hip-hop heathens Da Mafia 6ix to Toledo
Here's a brief recap of DJ Paul's accomplishments: as part of hip-hop crew Three 6 Mafia, the emcee and producer has recorded two Platinum-selling records as well as won an Oscar for Best Original Song. In November he released a mixtape as Da Mafia 6ix, featuring every member of Three 6 Mafia except his partner in rhyme Juicy J, who has embarked on a successful solo career. Shortly after the mixtape release, Lord Infamous, Paul’s older brother and fellow Three 6 member, passed away. Paul is still dealing with the loss, but is taking Da Mafia 6ix on the road anyway. The group plays Toledo on Thursday, March 6. The City Paper spoke with Paul about his loss, as well as his upcoming tour and new album.
On the tour's Toledo stop
We've got a guitarist and a DJ. […] It's one of the first days of the tour. We call those the 'Virgin Days.' This is Da Mafia 6ix's first tour, and my first tour with a lot of these numbers. We used to do promotional tours that only lasted a month, but this tour is 50 shows in 55 days. I don't get a day off, because I have to fly to South by Southwest (a music festival in Austin). […] The set list is going to be mostly Three 6ix Mafia songs that people want to hear. We have to play “Stay Fly,” “Poppin' My Collar.” We might play “Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” (Paul's Oscar-winning song) but we don't usually.
On which members of Three 6 will come to Toledo
Gangsta Boo is going to be there, so will Crunchy Black, Koopsta Kniccaa, and a special appearance by Lord Infamous. We're bringing his casket out; we're bringing it to every show. I wanted him to be there. I'm that kind of guy—a weird, kinda creepy kind of guy. I had to pay a lot of money to get an extended tour trailer that would fit his casket and all of the merch.
On dealing with his brother's passing
I'm doing good. I kind of expected it, so it didn't hit me so bad. I keep my phone on all night, because I knew one day I would get the call. He escaped death so many times, from getting into car accidents, to run-ins with the police, to getting robbed. We used to call him the cat because he had so many lives. He was the nicest guy, and he really didn't care about anything except his kids. He wasn't a very materialistic person. On that night, I finally turned my ringer off, because I was tired of people calling me. So the next day, Twitter and Facebook knew before I did. A couple of tears came down, and then they stopped. People told me it was ok to cry, that I didn't need to be a tough guy, but I was just prepared for it.
On a new Da Mafia 6ix album
It's going to sound like the earlier Three 6 Mafia material, but meaner and crazier. It's going to sound like the old stuff, but turned up. […] We've got vocals in the can. He (Lord Infamous) had vocals in the can, so he'll be on the record. He has three kids, so we need to take care of them. His royalties will go to them. I'm going to put the money in an account and give it to them when they turn eighteen. We're going to bring the album out on June sixth: 6/6. And do you know what the fourteen (2014) represents? We've lost one, and there's four still standing.
On his success
You can bring things into existence by thinking them. When I was a kid, around nine, I used to watch Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with Robin Leach on an old black and white television. Well, just a few weeks ago I Instagrammed a picture with me, Robin Leach, Criss Angel and Flavor Flav, we were hanging out in Vegas. I would stay up all night watching that show and said 'I want to own a Rolls-Royce and live in Beverly Hills.' Well, in 2004 I bought my first Rolls-Royce, and in 2006 I moved to Bel Air. I think the same thing happened with Tupac and Biggie (Smalls); they both talked about getting killed so much that they talked it into existence.
The MAfia 6ix play Toledo on Thursday, March 6, 7pm. $20 advance, $25 door. Mainstreet Bar and Grill, 141 Main St. 419-697-6297.