/  10.19.2021

Before Three 6 Mafia fame, DJ Paul was getting it out of the mud by performing with the late Lord Infamous. And over the following 30-plus years, he’s seen and done it all.

In this installment of “Tour Tales,” Paul explains the cooking he did on the road with the group, how they escaped being killed at a show, and keeping Memphis Jookin’ in all of their music. Read below.

What do you remember about the first show you’ve ever performed live?

I remember it like it was yesterday. My first show was in South Memphis in this shopping center. It was this little hole in the wall club in the back of a shopping center. It was me and Lord Infamous — way before Three 6 Mafia.

From then on, how has your live show evolved?

I learned how to control a crowd. When people are a fan of yours, they like what you like. They want their mind to be where your mind is at. Being a DJ, you have to give them what you like and then they’ll accept it. 

How did you and the rest of Three 6 Mafia adapt to the road for your first tour?

The first tour was dope. The main thing we had to learn to adapt to was that you can’t do No. 2’s on the tour bus. Other than that, everything was cool. It was fun. 

What was one of the most memorable crowd reactions from a fan at a show?

At the show or hotel after the show? Because this question can go a couple of ways (laughs).

Any way you want to go with it. 

I’m joking. It’s too many to name. We had a lot of fun and there have been a lot of crazy shows. 

You’ve made some signature Memphis dishes for the Red Bull Dance Your Style cooking class. How were your cooking skills on tour?

I always cooked on tour. We could stay at super nice hotels, and for the most part, we did. But, sometimes we’d take an off day and stay at a Courtyard Marriott or a hotel that had a barbecue grill and a basketball court in it. We’d go to the grocery store, probably end up stealing a basket and pushing it back to the hotel and I’d cook. 

How did Memphis Jookin’ influence some of the music you performed?

It was all based around that. It came from that. When you watch the “Who Run It” video, it shows Crunchy Black doing the jookin’. That video was what really put jookin’ out there like that. With every beat I make, I always have the jookin’ in mind. That’s the first goal. 

You all have hits for days, but what are your tour hits?

One of them is “Roll With It.” They go crazy for that one. “Hit A Mother Fucker” is another one they go crazy off of. “Dope Boy Fresh” also. 

What has been on your tour rider over the decades?

The clean version? I would say bandanas, T-shirts, fruit and veggie trays, and some other stuff. 

What’s the one show from your decades of performing that sticks out to you?

The show that sticks out the most to me was a show we did in West Memphis, Arkansas when they tried to kill us. Just some people. There was a little situation. Shout out to West Memphis, Arkansas, they’re the homies now. They’re cool. We’re cool. It was a big misunderstanding. The funny part was they took us into the manager’s office because the people were trying to get at us. Thank God we were ready, so we survived it. But, when we went in the office, the dude was like he’s going to call the police. He picked up the phone and said, “The phones are dead.” I said, “Nigga what kind of HBO, Cinemax shit is this? How is the phones dead? You know what? We got it from here.” Then we got up out of there. Thank God.


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