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Underground, Vol. 16 - For Da Summa

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Album Review

During a rare lull in the Three 6 Mafia camp's usually relentless release schedule, the Memphis collective re-released some of their underground recordings from the early '90s, including DJ Paul's Underground 16: For da Summa. Originally released locally in 1994, a few years before Three 6 went national, For da Summa isn't nearly as polished or commercial as their later output, sounding precisely as it's billed: underground. Paul didn't simply repackage the original tape from 1994, though. Since Paul had produced For da Summa as well as rapped on it, he returned to the studio and made some edits before re-releasing it in 2002. Most notably, he's given the production a new gloss and replaced some of the original vocals. On the re-release, Paul raps on most of the songs, though he spotlights fellow Three 6 members Lord Infamous, Crunchy Black, La' Chat, and Frayser Boy at times. Some of the highlights include the album opener, "Back da F**k Back," where Paul samples the famous piano line from 2Pac's All Eyez on Me album opener, "Ambitionz az a Ridah." Another highlight is "Cyoazzndalot," which features a rap by Project Pat, who happened to be incarcerated at the time of For da Summa's re-release, and also two versions of longtime Three 6 anthems: "Break da Law," which features newcomer Frayser Boy here, and "Where Is da Bud, Pt. II," which features Lord Infamous on his own. For da Summa overall isn't on a par with Three 6's best work, but fans of the camp's early underground recordings should especially savor this, as it's about as buck as Three 6 has ever been. Plus, if you particularly like Paul, you'll love For da Summa, as Juicy J is nowhere to be found here, either as a producer or rapper. Lastly, Three 6 enthusiasts should find For da Summa quite curious, as it sheds light on the camp's much-storied yet seldom-heard underground years in Memphis.

Biography

Born: Memphis, TN

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Together with production partner Juicy J, DJ Paul played an important role in the South's rise to prominence within the once East- and West Coast-dominated rap industry. Behind the duo's leadership, Three 6 Mafia rose from an underground phenomenon in Memphis to a nationally recognized rap empire, spinning off numerous solo albums for the collective's many members in the mid- to late '90s. Like his production partner, DJ Paul specialized in dark, eerie tracks driven by bass-heavy beats and haunting...
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Underground, Vol. 16 - For Da Summa, DJ Paul
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