When the Smoke Clears continues Three 6 Mafia's ominous march toward the mainstream, a parade of uncompromising confrontation that grew more credible, album after album and year after year. Here the Memphis collective do what they've been doing all along: spit harsh, chant-along rhymes about anything imaginably taboo, from tongue-ringed fellators to codeine-syrup sippers, over downright menacing beats by Juicy J and DJ Paul. What sets When the Smoke Clears apart from its predecessors is the glossier production and numerous big-name guests (UGK, Big Gipp, Mr. Serv-On, Fiend, Insane Clown Posse, Twiztid). Plus, there are a few exceptional tracks here, chief among them "Sippin' on Some Syrup," "From da Back," "I'm So Hi," and "M.E.M.P.H.I.S." Since the album runs a 22-track distance, there's of course some filler in there, but that's to be expected with most early-2000s rap albums. Regardless of the quantity value, the filler makes for a spotty album overall; however, the aforementioned exceptional tracks make When the Smoke Clears definitely worth seeking out for fans and also make it a noteworthy addition to Three 6 Mafia's deep canon.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
feat: La' Chat
feat: Big Gipp
feat: Hypnotize Camp Posse