Once again, it's time for your semi-annual gangsta pop quiz: Who was responsible for the Oscar-winning "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" in the film Hustle & Flow? Was it ...
A. Mac Dre
B. Die Antwoord
C. Three 6 Mafia, or
D. Kid 'N Play
If you chose (C) Three 6 Mafia, you'll be glad to know that Sunshine Studios is taking a break from its hard-rock regimen to present the latest incarnation of the Memphis-based crunk/horrorcore pioneers on April 2.
Now rechristened Da Mafia 6ix, the group led by DJ Paul is as hard, or harder, than ever on last year's disturbingly good 6ix Commandments mixtape. Check out the track "Remember," where Paul mixes samples from Irene Cara's "Fame" and 2 Chainz' "I'm Different" while rapping about how "People always askin' me who created crunk / Why you even ask if you know who I am, chump?"
The collection is consistently strong, despite the absence of co-founder Juicy J, who's now recording and touring solo. (He'll be with Kendrick Lamar at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre in Englewood on June 6.)
The group is also carrying on without Lord Infamous. Well, kind of. Although the rapper died from a heart attack in December, Paul says his late brother's casket (sans body) is joining them on their current 50-city tour.
"I had to pay a lot of money to get an extended tour trailer that would fit his casket and all of the merch," said Paul in an interview with the Toledo City Paper. He also assured an LA Weekly interviewer that club owners are all down with the casket idea. "We're doing rock venues. We ain't doing no hood clubs," he said. "Rock venues don't care. They've seen way crazier." (Suddenly the Sunshine Studios booking makes more sense.)
In the meantime, as long as we're slipping into a hip-hop time warp here, you should also know that Baby Bash is coming to Rawkus this Friday. You may remember the Mexican-American rapper for his 2003 breakthrough hit "Suga Suga" and the follow-up "Cyclone," which featured T-Pain and went double-platinum.
I'm not altogether sure how to transition from all that to acoustic guitars and dulcimers, so let's pretend I just did. As previously reported here, Manitou's Dulcimer Shop ended its 43-year brick-and-mortar run Dec. 31, following extensive damage in last year's floods. The current plan is to offer custom-made instruments online, but first, owner Bud Ford has a back-tax bill to pay off.
The shop recently raised more than $25,000 in an indiegogo campaign, and will get another boost when the Lower Deck/Red Room hosts a benefit fundraiser Friday, April 4. Look for details in next week's column.
Meanwhile, another long-term Manitou music institution that closed its doors at the beginning of the year is back in the spotlight. Kinfolks Mountain Shop owners Fred and Sherry Mutter have handed the reins over to Jeremy Shand and Lindsay Dugger, who are aiming to reopen the combination music venue and clothing shop. They're promising a limited food menu, which unfortunately means dogs will no longer be able to wander freely through the crowd. But hey, there will be music, so that's what matters most, right? For updates, follow the shop's Facebook page at tinyurl.com/kinfolkms.