Three 6 Mafia
Is it really so hard out here for a pimp? After becoming the first and only rap group to win an Academy Award ("Triple Six Mafia: 1. Martin Scorsese: 0," host Jon Stewart memorably cracked), the onetime Memphis crunk legends seem to have done rather nicely for themselves. First, the group's two lone remaining members, DJ Paul and Juicy J, did what any two Oscar-flush young entertainers would do: They starred in their own reality show. Adventures in Hollyhood (2007) didn't last very long — neither, for that matter, did Project Greenlight — but that's one less thing on their bucket list, right? Then came the rootsy, well-received follow-up album, Last 2 Walk (2008), several soundtrack appearances (Jackass 2, Rocky Balboa) and the just-released disc Laws of Power, featuring contributions from R&B siren Kalenna and rapper Pitbull. Dancier and cleaner-sounding than past efforts, the album probably won't eclipse the popularity of "Hard Out Here for a Pimp" — the Hustle & Flow single that netted them the Oscar — but it does feature a superlative dance track ("Feel It") and perhaps history's greatest fellatio tribute ("L'il Freak"). Would it were so hard for the rest of us.
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