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My Last Conversation with Koopsta Knicca, A Southern Hip-Hop Legend

Friday, October 9th, 2015

Koop Nah

Words by Paul Meara (@PaulMeara)

The death of Koopsta Knicca seems surreal to me. It’s like reliving this feeling you had only you don’t know how to deal with it. It’s shock mixed with my journalism reaction of “well I don’t know if this is true until I have official confirmation.” It’s the feeling I got when I found out fellow Three 6 Mafia member and favorite rapper Lord Infamous passed away unexpectedly only this time we had some prior notice.

Lord’s death struck me as particularly harsh because I grew up on Three 6. His verses across instrumentals as menacing were what I walked to class with. It’s the music that secured my love of hip-hop and would eventually lead me into hip-hop journalism, which is now my hobby and unbelievably, my livelihood.

Koopsta is similar, but different. I had never spoken with Lord before his death because during the period leading up to it I guess there was never a time where I deemed it necessary (something I regret to this day). It’s different with Koop though. This past May, in what would be one of Koopsta Knicca’s last interviews alive, I spoke with him about what turned out to be a topic of interest for both of us, Three 6’s debut album Mystic Stylez.

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Memory Lane: A Digital Museum of Three 6 Mafia’s Mystic Stylez

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Memory-Lane-Mystic-Stylez-Banner-NahRight

Words by Paul Meara (@PaulMeara)

The legacy of Three 6 Mafia is almost as mysterious as their music. Originally forming in the early 1990s, DJ Paul and Lord Infamous–then known as the duo Da Serial Killaz–spent their early years reading about the diabolical mind. Paul literally hung portraits of serial killers on the wall in his bedroom and studied their dark motives to get inspiration for what he would eventually put on wax. Years later, Paul and his half brother would release music of their own with Portrait Of A Serial Killa in 1992.

Memphis’ hip-hop scene at the time wasn’t really noteworthy outside of the surrounding states. Early Gangsta Pat tapes provided some structure on how to record what would eventually blossom into the M-Town sound. From 1992 to 1994 prospective Memphis cliques jockeyed for the city’s attention. The unheralded nature of Memphis’ rap output only fueled the fire for those from the area to support their own. If you had songs that got play in the clubs or more importantly, bumped in the whip on Sunday’s at the Crystal Palace skating ring, you were on and there was profit to be had. Mixtapes at the time could sell upwards of 100,000 copies with little overhead. Very few artists had music videos out, radio play, or even a recording budget.

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Video: Da Mafia 6ix – Beacon N Blender

Monday, April 7th, 2014

DJ Paul, Koopsta, Crunchy Black and Gangsta Boo are chefing up mountains of blow in their new video for “Beacon N Blender” which appeared on the 6ix Commandments project.

Previously: Da Mafia 6ix – Break The Law (Video)