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Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s: #21 Three Six Mafia “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”

Posted by Nathan S. on 11/23/09 | Filed under Features, Best of the 2000s, Three 6 Mafia
Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s
With the number 21 pick of our "Top 25 of the 2000s" countdown, and are proud to select...Three 6 Mafia's "Hard Out Here for a Pimp"!

For those of us who make hip-hop our lives it's sometimes hard to understand just how little respect the music is given by artists in other mediums, which is why Three 6 Mafia's victory during the 2006 Oscar Awards has to rank among the all-time upsets. Coming off the flick "Hustle and Flow", "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" improbably made Three 6 the first hip-hop group to win an Oscar, a historic occasion that did more than represent for Memphis hip-hop, it represented for hip-hop nation as a whole.

I feel like people don't truly appreciate how incredibly improbable Three 6's victory was. To review: Three 6 Mafia, a group whose name contains both references to crime and the devil, and a group whose music is almost entirely about drugs, f**king women and f**king women while on drugs, won the most prestigious award on the planet from one of the oldest, most traditional award committees in existence. In terms of historic upsets that ranks somewhere in between Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson and a crew of rag-tag American revolutionaries defeating the British empire. More so than Eminem's solo Oscar victory for "Lose Yourself", Three 6's Oscar was a symbol of hip-hop's acceptance by the rest of the world as a legitimate art form (although the Oscars did make them switch out "b**tches" with "witches" during the live performance). After all, if they could win for a song about pimping, there's no reason hip-hop couldn't win the award every year.

In terms of the actual song, while "It's Hard Out Here" probably isn't anyone's favorite Three 6 song (for me that would be "Sippin On Some Syrup"), but in many ways the track is the epitome of Three 6's style. It's built around a booming bass line anchored by a more subtle harmony and driven by Three 6's unapologetically obscene and energetic lyrics. In other words, when Three 6 dies (metaphorically speaking), this will be the one track that gets written on their tombstone, and for that, DJ Paul and Juicy J have rightfully earned themselves the #21 spot on our list.

For a complete list of the Top 25 picks so far click here.

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