Memphis rappers Three 6 Mafia — Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard — won the Oscar for Best Original Song for “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” performed by actor Terrence Howard in the hip-hop film Hustle and Flow, at last night’s 78th Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Rapper turned Oscar-nominated actress Queen Latifah presented them with the award.
“For anyone keeping record,” host John Stewart said, “Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars. For Three 6 Mafia, one.”
The rappers’ song, with family-friendly lyrics substituted for the ABC awards show, beat out Dolly Parton’s “Travelin’ Thru,” featured in Transamerica, and singer-songwriter Kathleen “Bird” York’s “In the Deep,” from Best Picture winner Crash.
The trio also made history as the first rap group to perform at the event. In 2002, Eminem became the first rapper nominated in the category for his Oscar-winning song “Lose Yourself” from 8 Mile, but declined to perform.
Meanwhile, Reese Witherspoon was awarded Best Actress for her role as country legend June Carter Cash in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line.