After Three 6 Mafia — Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman, Paul Beauregard — left the stage with the Oscar for best original song, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from “Hustle & Flow,” the camera cut back to a giggling Jon Stewart. “Why are they the most excited people here?” he asked.
Of course, he could have said the most exciting people. Sure, Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” from “8 Mile” was the first hip hop song to win an Oscar, but he didn’t bother to show up to the ceremony.
But the win and performance of the song — which featured their toned-down but still racy paean to pimping with a campy collection of dancing prostitutes and tricks — was an incongruent moment in an otherwise predictable ceremony.
Once the eminent domain of Disney cartoons, the nod to the Memphis hip hop group for best song also seemed like Oscar’s nod to the contemporary musical culture.