In 2006, Three 6 Mafia did the unexpected: they became the first hip hop group to win an Oscar. Queen Latifah presented them the Academy Award for Best Original Song – beating out fellow Tennessean Dolly Parton – for “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” which was written for Hustle & Flow.
When they went up to accept the award, it was easily one of the realest moments in Oscar history. Ten years later, DJ Paul kept it just as ? with The Hollywood Reporter about Three Six Mafia’s Oscar journey.
The entire interview is full of hilarious anecdotes, but it also highlights some of the annoying bullshit they encountered, like Salma Hayek trying to shame the trio for the borrowed diamonds they were wearing.
Check out six quotes below:
On the nomination:
“To be honest, I didn’t know what the hell an Oscar was. So I Googled the word. And then I saw that gold man — and I was like, ‘Holy sheriff!’ That woke me right up. I had heard of the Academy Awards, but I didn’t know the name ‘Oscar’ meant the Academy Awards. So I called Juicy J right back: ‘You mean the gold man?!’ ‘That’s right! It’s for Hustle & Flow!'”
On trying to remain sober:
“There was some liquor in our dressing room, but we weren’t going to drink or get high or nothing because we didn’t want to mess up. Right before it was time for us to go onstage, though, we was like, “F— this shit,” and we took a shot of vodka each. Then we walked out onstage, and it was crazy. I looked in the crowd and remember seeing Charlize Theron. Then Jamie Foxx gave us a thumbs-up.”
On the crowd:
“That’s when I started feeling better because this was the most different concert I’d ever done. I’m used to looking in the crowd and seeing drug dealers and gangbangers. But this crowd was out there in gowns and tuxes and all kind of shit. And I’m sober, so I’m taking everything in. My other concerts just be a blur; I would have never remembered Jamie Foxx giving me a thumbs-up at one of my regular concerts.”
On the acceptance speech:
“I named everybody in my speech except the people that had anything to do with the movie. I even sent a shout-out to George Clooney. Why Clooney? Because when you go to the Oscar luncheon, you can’t sit with the people you come with. They split us all up, and I ended up sitting with Clooney. I was a huge fan. I got all these tattoos because of him in From Dusk Till Dawn.”
On Salma Hayek:
“…we head to the Vanity Fair party. Everybody’s there. Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons are there. Salma Hayek walked up to me — who I was super in love with because of From Dusk Till Dawn with George Clooney — and said the craziest shit: ‘You know your brothers and sisters are dying over in Africa because of all this jewelry you’re wearing.’ Because I guess we had those big ole watches they gave us on, and these platinum necklaces. So I was like, ‘What?! What are you talking about? I don’t have no brothers and sisters in Africa!’ And like that, Salma Hayek killed my hard-on. I just went limp. I told her it was nice meeting her and walked out away from that.”
On getting denied by Prince:
“So we get in the limo, and we pull up to [the party at] Prince’s house at Sunset Plaza. John Singleton’s like, ‘I know Prince. Let me handle this.’ So he goes to a security guard and was like, ‘I got Three 6. They just won the Oscar. Let Prince know we’re out here.’ And the security guard went up and comes back out and says, ‘He said no.'”