three 6 mafia

Three 6 Mafia’s 2006 Oscar win was a surreal star-studded adventure

The Memphis rap group reflects on the night they won an Academy Award for "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp."

- Feb 26, 2016

There's no shortage of controversy surrounding this year's Academy Awards. ANOHNI, the Oscars' first transgender nominee, is boycotting the ceremony. The major acting categories are 100% white, while Straight Outta Comptonthe 2015 N.W.A biopic, received only one nomination, despite being critically acclaimed and raking in over $200 million worldwide.

Hip-hop has had a reason to celebrate the academy in the past, however. Back in 2006, Three 6 Mafia stood on stage and accepted an Oscar for their now iconic track "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," featured in the 2005 film Hustle & Flow. Not only did they become the first hip-hop group to receive an Academy Award (the first hip-hop song to win was Eminem's "Lose Yourself") they also became the first hip-hop artists to perform at the event.

The acceptance speech they gave is a must-see; George Clooney even got a shout out, for some reason.

"It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" Wins Original Song: 2006 Oscars

Speaking to Seth Abramovitch for the Hollywood Reporter, Three 6 Mafia member DJ Paul reflected back on the crazy night. According to him, he didn't even know what an Oscar was until he Googled it. That was only the beginning of the surreal adventure that was their Oscar night.

Some of the highlights included:

Being denied entrance to Prince's party

"I look out the limo window, and hundreds of people are streaming up into Prince's house. I'm like, 'That Prince is a motherf—er! You better go in there and tell that short little purple-wearing thing how many Purple Rain albums I bought, OK?'

Taking an elevator ride with John Travolta

"After we won, my phone was going crazy. I've got 200-some text messages. I didn't call nobody back but my momma. We were going to the Governors Ball, which is right upstairs, and we were on the elevator with John Travolta. I said, "Momma, guess who I'm on the elevator with? John Travolta."

Being shamed by Salma Hayek

"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."

Three 6 Mafia - Its Hard Out Here For A Pimp (Live Oscar 2006)

All in all, quite the eventful night.

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