Three 6 Mafia’s first 2 albums were totally shitty.
Like, they hurt to listen to.
And they didn’t have much to say either. Mostly, they rapped about bitches and switches and ho’s…
But, they were having fun. And, they were making progress.
DJ Paul and Juicy J recorded, produced, and released every album. They learned how to rap by rapping. They learned how to produce by producing. And they learned how to start a company by starting a company.
They didn’t wait till they were “ready” to release their music and establish a brand. They released their work as they did it. Their brand was a side effect of doing what they loved.
After their second album, Three 6 Mafia signed to Relativity Records and achieved national distribution for the first time.
Juicy J and DJ Paul used the opportunity to continue schooling themselves on production.
They had better equipment and more ears on their sound.
They learned how to produce with new tools and they continued to explore their creativity.
By the time Three-6 Mafia came out with their 3rd record, they had figured out who they were and what they represented.
When they released “Chapter 2: World Domination”(their 3rd album), Three 6 Mafia effectively magnified their brand.
With hits like, “Sippin on Some Syrup”, “Who Run It”, and the aptly named “Weak Azz Bitch”, Three-6 had found their sweet spot.
In the process, they attracted other voices to work with: people like Frayser Boy, Project Pat, and Lil Wyte.
They used their knowledge of production and entrepreneurship to establish record deals for other rappers.
They carved a path by trying, and releasing, what they had done.
I know it’s a weird example.
But, a lot of folks never get to the third iteration of a product because they hold themselves up on making the first version perfect.
Three 6 Mafia didn’t just “make” the art. They released it, and evolved, because of it.