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During the 90s, Gangsta Boo made a deep imprint in hip-hop culture as the sole female rapper of Three 6 Mafia.

The highly influential Memphis group’s early work explored a lo-fi, gothic style of rap often tagged with the much-debated term ‘horrorcore’, and they later achieved considerable commercial success with more club-focused crunk bangers.

Before she left the group around the turn of the millennium to go solo (and embrace strict Christianity for a brief period), Boo would pierce through every testosterone-fuelled track she featured on with her fearlessly raunchy, aggro lyricism. In 2013, the group reformed as Da Mafia 6ix without founding member and current trap superstar Juicy J, and in the run up to her collaborative project with Three 6 affiliate La Chat, we called up Boo to talk about the pivotal moments in her career so far.

1994: Joining Three 6 Mafia at the age of 15

I was pretty much in the same neighbourhood with those guys and I went to school with [founding member] DJ Paul. Shit, it was cool. I was around Juicy J, Paul, Crunchy Black, Lord Infamous, Koopsta, so that definitely had an influence on my style. And just being from Memphis, I was a product of my environment. When you’re young it’s fun, you don’t take life too serious, you’re just goofing, writing in the studio. I guess it stopped being fun when a lot of business started coming into place, when a lot of money started being made and shit.

2011-13: Resurgence of the early Three 6 Mafia sound in contemporary hip-hop

I hadn’t been in Three 6 Mafia for like 12 years and I’d been building my fanbase ever since then. Spaceghostpurrp is one of my friends, and him and Raider Klan inspired a mixtape I dropped in 2013 called It’s Game Involved. It had impact. I was down for it because it brought our sound back to the forefront and it was cool to watch the new generation pick up something we started 20 years ago. So I would be a fool to say that it didn’t have some inspiration behind Da Mafia 6ix.

2013: Forming Da Mafia 6ix

It was Lord Infamous who brought the idea about, and it was DJ Paul’s decision to make it happen. They’re some strong guys, and I’m a strong female. Sometimes our personalities clash. I love working with them, but I also love being a solo artist. I have my own identity and thoughts as well as lyrics. Now they’re working on stuff, and I’ve got my own shit too.

December 2013: The death of founding Three 6 Mafia member Lord Infamous

I’m glad I got to work with him again and knew him as long as I knew him before he passed away, there’ll never be another Lord Infamous. He was one of my OGs, he inspired me a lot back in the day when I was a young teen and he continues to inspire me and other artists to this day. He was very different, very funny and he was very calm and collected, he wasn’t a shit starter in the streets. Yeah, he was cool as hell.

Present Day: Collaborative album with La Chat

La Chat is one of my homegirls from Memphis, who I guess would define her music as ratchet. [The album] is very dark, we named it Witches. That’s the thing, it’s really not easy being a female artist with a male fanbase, so that’s why we consider ourselves witches, we cast spells with our raps, it’s like we’re actresses in a scary movie. I feel like I have a lot of people against me, but for every 1000 people against me, I have a 100,000 people who are with me. I feed off both. I have a dark character – Gangsta Boo – but I feed off the positive energy because I consider myself in a positive space. I have bright future ahead of me.