Check your calendars: The first full day of Three 6 Mafia’s reign as the surprise heroes of the 2006 Academy Awards fell on 3/6/06. That morning, in a swag-cluttered room at the L.A. Sofitel, Memphis natives DJ Paul and Juicy J watched themselves on E! and answered some of the more than 300 phone calls and e-mails received since their Hustle & Flow track ”It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” made them the first rap group ever to win an Oscar. The night before, host Jon Stewart personally told them that their unhinged performance and acceptance speech saved the show; today, Stewart repeated the same thing to Oprah. MTV called to say their single ”Poppin’ My Collar” had just been added to the video rotation, eliciting tired screams of joy. ”This is the true meaning of overnight success,” smiled Juice. ”You wake up, and everybody in the whole world knows you. I didn’t think we’d get nominated…. I was like, ‘What?’ Then they called us and said, ‘We want you to perform,’ and I said, ‘What?’ And now we got this…and I don’t know what to say.”
Posted March 10 2006 — 12:00 AM EST
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