September 5th, 2008 | Interviews

luke mcgarry

DOWNLOAD: Three 6 Mafia “Lolli Lolli”


(from Last 2 Walk on Hypnotize Minds/Sony/BMG)

If someone described you as vividly rapping about drugs, violence, pornographic sex and everything that’s remotely evil, what might you make of ‘evil?’
Juicy J (producer/MC): I don’t think talking about sex is evil. We talk about real life situations. You can’t please everybody. Everybody got their opinion and everybody got their questions. Sometimes you can give a person a straightforward answer­—sometimes you give them an answer and they gotta think. At times like now, I’m like, ‘Hey, it’s whatever it is. It is what it is.’ The Three 6 Mafia album’s got something on there for everyone. It’s not all about drug use. It’s not all about sex. A couple records on there are some good inspirational records. I guarantee there’s something they’ll like—something they can relate to.
How do you balance being a producer and an artist?
Producing is way harder. We make the music, book the studio time, write the songs. It’s a hard and very difficult process, and then we do our own management. That’s not easy. One-man band—we do a lot of work. Write the checks—everything. We’ve been doing it like that since back in the early ‘90s when we first started, and we’ve been going like that ever since.
18 years?
18 years! Still rolling.
In high school, there were guys with a boombox that wouldn’t let me walk down the hallway without dancing to ‘Sippin’ on Syrup’ or ‘Ass And Titties.’
We old, baby, we old! It means a lot to us when people tell us they grew up on our music. We still got some hard tracks. Don’t think this is over yet. Another good thing is independent music. So you put out a thousand copies—straight cash in your pocket. People know what I’m talking about when I say independent music. We been putting out independent music since we started. Make a nice chunk of change, that’ll put you through college. Get you a nice car and house. Even groceries and cigarettes.
What is your vision with the label? Does it branch out from the Three 6 Mafia core?
Me and Paul got our own production sound but these new producers we’ve been working with, they’ve got their own style­—their own sound. And I don’t want nobody to try and copy my style. Everybody should be themselves. That’s the talent. If everybody sounded like everybody else, then there’d be no talent. When you see another producer with a unique talent, then it’s all good. I produce myself so I sit down with an artist and see exactly what their background is and what track best fits the artist because every track don’t fit every artist. We own the company 100 percent, so we’re always going to oversee. Plus we’re going to be working on some R&B projects—some rock projects. We’re going to have our hands in a lot more stuff than just rap music. There’s a lot of money to be made on the other side of the fence. R&B is back right now—doing really good. So why not?
Are you eating right now?
Yup. I cooked myself an egg. Scrambled eggs. You like scrambled eggs? I threw some hot sauce on them sonnabitches. And it hit me in the throat. I need some water. Went down the wrong pipe. Whoo!
You eat a lot of fried food. Do you work out? You’re not at all fat.
You got to try to keep yourself in shape a little bit. In my younger days I could just bounce all over but now I got to pace myself. A lot of people I know getting heart attacks and high blood pressure. A lot of the food we eats got a lot of bad ingredients. We can’t help it. You know—I get hungry, I eat. I think it’s good to jog around the block every now and then, lift a weight or two. Drink some water—besides drinking vodka in the morning. That vodka in the morning, I’ve done that. Ugh. I mean, I still do it. Not like I used to, but every now and then.
When you sit back and think about life and being alive, what makes it all worthwhile?
What makes it all worthwhile? Hanging out with my family. To come from nothing to something. That’s a real serious serious accomplishment—when I think about sleeping in a two-bedroom apartment with six people and bunk beds and just a little bit of food in the refrigerator. That’s the main thing that keeps me going. Sitting with my mom, my dad, my family, sisters, brothers, talking about those times. It’s a blessing to be where I am today. If I wasn’t rapping, there’s no telling what the hell I may be doing. I don’t even know. I wouldn’t be on the phone talking to you if I wasn’t rapping.
If someone gave you $100,000 to spend in one hour, what would you buy?
Do I still have all the money I got now?
First of all, I would run straight to the bank and I would send half of it to my mom. The rest of it? A bar. A car lot. That might be all of it. But maybe I put some down on a car and spend the rest of it at the bar.
That’s a lot of drinks.
Seriously, honestly, if somebody really actually gave me $100,000—for real talk, I know how I am. I probably wouldn’t go to the car lot. I’d give the whole $100,000 to my mom. I’d go, ‘Here, here’s a hundred grand—spend it wisely.’ For real talk. I might save a couple grand for the bar.
Is vodka your drink of choice?
I got a lot of drinks of choice. I got White Zinfandel. I got Tequila Patron, vodka, Ketel One and Grey Goose. Those are all my drinks. You might see me at the bar mixing it up. Not in one glass, but you might see me go from wine to liquor. The wine gets you crunk—that’s the light stuff to start you off in the day. Then when you get to the strip club, you go straight vodka. Or tequila shots.
You like the strip clubs?
You’ll spend all your money in there but they great. Nothing wrong with strip clubs. Strip clubs are a place where you can release your stress.
I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t do it, you know?
You been to a strip club?
One strip club I went to in Florida—it was so ghetto, I swear one of the girls was pregnant.
Actually, the ghetto ones are the best ones!
I don’t know…
I’m a tell you why, I’m a tell you why! Because that’s where anything goes. I like the ghetto ones better. I can’t say it’s always safe. But if you’re a person looking to get down, go to a ghetto spot. If you’re looking to just get a little dance here and there or whatever—get a little bit of ass—then you go to—I guess you can call it an upscale.
Yeah, okay. So, you got the key to the city of Memphis, you got a Note on Beale Street, your Oscar—these are all huge super-great things, but is there any small victory that’s special to you?
Any victory is big. Maybe I’ll win $20 at a craps table. That’s big for me. If I’m in a club overseas and somebody plays my record, I consider that something I ain’t never did before. First of all, travel overseas. Second of all, sit in the club and chill and hear one of my records. Anything that happens to us, baby, we always look at everything as something being big. As far as anything else that I want to happen to me, I don’t even try to focus on that. Trying to win awards, trying to do this, try to do that—then it never happens. I go with the flow. Make music. Try to stick it in the studio. Try to keep my ear to the streets, trying to work with other people, to help other people out. Whatever’s supposed to come will come, whether good or bad. I don’t try to dwell on anything. Just do what I been doing. Make what you make. Feel what you feel. And that’s it. Everything else is just a blessing, but you don’t know when your blessing’s gonna come. You can’t count ‘em or say, ‘This is going to happen.’ Nobody can predict the future. I think waking up in the morning is good for me. A lot of people don’t wake up in the morning. You dig what I’m saying? Breathing this fresh air every morning is a huge accomplishment! Coming home straight from a club every night. There’s so much going on out there. So much going on. So much war and all kinds of crap going on. Waking up in the morning and being in good health every day is a blessing. And every day is precious to you. Getting things is one thing, but being able to see your family and life, to me, is more important. To see your momma, to talk to your folks. Friends of mine been in comas—passed away and died. It’s bad out here, man­­—you never know what’s going to happen. So you got to enjoy every day like it’s your last. That doesn’t mean you should go out and spend all your money. But you got to be thankful every day just to wake up.
Aw, man, I got to call my mom now.
Hey, there ain’t nothing wrong with that. Good. You only get one. Somebody told me this years ago—you only get one mom, you only get one dad. You only get one. Yup.

—Daiana Feuer