It's Hard out Here for a Pimp

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"It's Hard out Here for a Pimp"
Song by Three 6 Mafia from the album Hustle & Flow soundtrack
Released 2005
Genre Southern Hip Hop, Crunk
Length 3:02
Label Atlantic Grand Hustle
Writer DJ Paul, Juicy J, Cedric Coleman[1]
Producer DJ Paul, Juicy J

"It's Hard out Here for a Pimp" is a song, written by hip hop group Three 6 Mafia and Cedric Coleman, for the film Hustle & Flow.[1] It was ranked #80 on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop".[2]


The song was performed in the film by stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson as their respective characters DJay and Shug. Three 6 Mafia also included their own version of the song with vocalist Paula Campbell on a 2006 special edition reissue of their platinum album Most Known Unknown.

In 2015, Howard and Henson competed against each other the Season 1 finale of the Spike series Lip Sync Battle and, by popular demand, performed the song as the first duet by competitors in the show's history.[3]

78th Academy Awards[edit]

At the 78th Academy Awards in 2006, Three 6 Mafia and Henson performed the song shortly before it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.[1][4] Howard did not wish to perform at the ceremony, and since two of the song's writers are themselves artists in the form of the trio Three 6 Mafia, they were given the opportunity to perform it. In the live performance, the word "bitches" was replaced by "witches" in the chorus. Three 6 Mafia became the first hip hop group to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the first hip hop artists to perform at the ceremony.[5] It was the second hip hop song to win an Oscar, after Eminem's "Lose Yourself", from the film 8 Mile (2002).[1]

This song became the third in six years to win the Oscar without a Golden Globe Award nomination. The others were "If I Didn't Have You" from Monsters, Inc. (2001) and "Al Otro Lado del Río" from The Motorcycle Diaries (2004). In subsequent years, "I Need to Wake Up" from An Inconvenient Truth, "Falling Slowly" from Once, "Jai Ho" from Slumdog Millionaire, and "Man or Muppet" from The Muppets have each won Best Original Song at the Oscars, but were not nominated for a Golden Globe.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 137. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Lip Sync Battle First Competitor Duet - It's Hard out Here for a Pimp (from Hustle And Flow) - Terrence Howard & Taraji P. Henson Spike TV on YouTube
  4. ^ Popkin, Helen A.S. (March 5, 2006). 'It’s Hard Out Here' for a good Oscar song. MSNBC. Accessed April 12, 2008.
  5. ^ "Three 6 Mafia Wins Oscar".