Ten years ago next week, Three 6 Mafia became the first hip-hop group to perform at the Academy Awards. That same night, they also became the first hip-hop group to win an Academy Award, taking home the Best Original Song statue for “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” from Hustle & Flow, after a legendary acceptance speech in which they inexplicably thanked George Clooney.
On Wednesday, Seth Abramovich at the Hollywood Reporter published Three 6 Mafia member DJ Paul’s recollections of his big night, and they are just bananas. His account of the experience—from nomination to the afterparty he didn’t get into—is the greatest Academy Award story ever told. You are definitely going to want to read the whole thing, but to whet your appetite, here are a few of the craziest parts.
That Time DJ Paul Googled “Oscar” To Find Out What He’d Been Nominated For
To be honest, I didn’t know what the hell an Oscar was. So I Googled the word. And then I saw that gold man—and I was like, “Holy sheriff!” That woke me right up. I had heard of the Academy Awards, but I didn’t know the name “Oscar” meant the Academy Awards.
That Time Prince Wouldn’t Let John Singleton or Three 6 Mafia Into His Party
[W]e pull up to [the party at] Prince’s house at Sunset Plaza. John Singleton’s like, “I know Prince. Let me handle this.” So he goes to a security guard and was like, “I got Three 6. They just won the Oscar. Let Prince know we’re out here.” And the security guard went up and comes back out and says, “He said no.”
That Time Salma Hayek Killed DJ Paul’s Hard-On at the Governor’s Ball With a Speech About an Issue of International Concern
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.
Any one of these stories would make an amazing sitcom episode; the first filmmaker to string them all together is pretty much guaranteed an Oscar.