Three 6 Mafia pulls out all the stops

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Memphis’ most iconic rap act and the city’s most iconic music event made a triumphant return on Friday night as Three 6 Mafia headlined the Beale Street Music Festival.

The opening night of the music festival – returning for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – was capped off with a performance by Three 6. Led by Juicy J and DJ Paul, the concert captured the spirit of the night back at the Fairgrounds in Liberty Park, with a set that electrified a cheering crowd and delivered over 30 years of crunk classics – all against the backdrop of a Memphis Grizzlies playoff victory that s ended right at the start of the band’s set.

Three 6 Mafia's Juicy J performs at the Beale Street Music Fest Opening Night at Liberty Bowl Park on Friday, April 29, 2022.

After a long hiatus, various solo chases, and partial group teams, Three 6 reunited for good in 2019 and made a triumphal appearance in the region that falls with a show at the Landers Center.

Although the band’s 2020 touring plans were thwarted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, reunion momentum seemed strong during a late Friday show that felt like a return to the historical sources.

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That in itself comes as a bit of a shock considering the band’s relationship with Beale Street Music Fest. In 2007, fresh off their shocking Oscar win, Three 6 Mafia has been booked for the festival. It almost seems quaint now, but their appearance on the bill drew much protest and protest from various civic leaders and members of the Memphis media who were appalled at the very idea of ​​a rap act.” offensive” is set to be featured as part of Bluff City’s most prestigious music showcase.

Three 6 Mafia's Juicy J performs at the Beale Street Music Fest Opening Night at Liberty Bowl Park on Friday, April 29, 2022.

Fifteen years later, rap music – from Memphis and beyond – is the main driving force behind the Beale Street Music Festival, with headliners and highly anticipated appearances from Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Wayne, Moneybagg Yo and many more. others planned for the weekend.

The Three 6 Mafia show began just as the Memphis Grizzlies’ deciding game against the Timberwolves was coming to an end. Part of the crowd was staring at TV screens in the VIP area to watch the final minutes of the Grizz’s win. The crowd erupted once the victory was sealed, with Three 6 playing a celebratory “Tear Da Club Up”.

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“First of all, I want to say hello to the Memphis Grizzlies,” said Juicy J. “We’re gonna win a championship – say what?!”

Three 6 Mafia fans cheer during the Beale Street Music Fest opening night at Liberty Bowl Park on Friday, April 29, 2022.

As the latest act of the Bud Light scene, Friday Three 6 Mafia pulled out all the stops for their first real Memphis show in “over a decade”, as noted by DJ Paul.

The band worked on fan favorites from their back catalog like “Azz and T*****” and “Sippin on Some Syrup” while making room for solo hits from Juicy J and DJ Paul, and guest appearances. crowd-pleasers of the extended Hypnotize Minds family. .

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