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Mario Viola, better known by his rap moniker Mr. 3-2, is an old school hip-hop artist keeping the golden-era vibes alive. Hailing from the South Bronx, Mr. 3-2 first emerged in the late 1980s as part of the legendary Juice Crew hip-hop collective. His traditional DJ-led beats and raw, lyrical delivery capture the quintessential boom-bap sound. While mainstream styles have evolved, Mr. 3-2 stays true to his artistic roots and the foundations of the culture. His deep catalog of albums, consistent touring, and collaborations with hip-hop legends have cemented his status as one of the most respected OG rappers still in the game.


Born in 1971 and raised in the South Bronx, Mr. 3-2 was surrounded by pioneering hip-hop from a young age. He started writing rhymes and performing alongside DJ Hurricane under the name Mario Viola in the mid-80s. His rugged voice and advanced wordplay earned him a spot with the Juice Crew, the influential collective featuring Marley Marl, Roxanne Shanté, MC Shan, and other icons.

Mr. 3-2 debuted in 1988 on the posse cut “The Symphony” alongside heavyweight MCs like Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, and Masta Ace. Despite his youth, Mr. 3-2 proved he could hang with the best thanks to his battle rap-inspired flow. Throughout his lengthy career, he’s stayed devoted to representing the raw, lyrical foundations of hip-hop. While mainstream trends have come and gone, you can always count on Mr. 3-2 to bring hard-hitting beats and intricate rhyme schemes.


After getting his start with the Juice Crew, Mr. 3-2 dropped his solo debut Saga of a Paper Chaser in 1996. The album introduced his fluid delivery and cinematic storytelling over gritty boom-bap production. Tracks like “The Road” and “Money To Blow” received rotation on underground hip-hop radio shows.

He spent the late 90s collaborating frequently with fellow Juice Crew members on posse cuts and compilations. Standout verses from this era appear on DJ Juice’s Incredible Hip Hop Sound albums.

After a hiatus in the 2000s, Mr. 3-2 reemerged with a string of new albums including 3-2 Passport (2017), Voices in My Head (2018), and Lost Sessions Vol. 2 (2021). On these projects, his intricate rhyme patterns and vintage production make it seem like no time has passed since hip-hop’s golden age.

Standout tracks across his catalogs include:

“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”
“South Bronx Mecca”
“New Beginning”
“Poetry in Motion”
“This Goes Out”
“Adventures in Emceeing”
Staying dedicated to his craft, Mr. 3-2 continues dropping quality hip-hop that honors the culture’s roots. His consistency and loyalty to lyrical rap cement his status as a veteran MC.

Musical Style & Influences

As an original member of the Juice Crew, Mr. 3-2’s style stems directly from hip-hop’s old school. His influences include pioneering artists from the 70s and 80s like Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Kurtis Blow, and Spoonie Gee.

Mr. 3-2’s music features gritty DJ-led production with prominent scratches, samples, and hard drums. His vocal delivery draws inspiration from the battle rap scene, full of aggressive cadences and complex internal rhymes. For example, a signature track like “Adventures in Emceeing” displays his rapid-fire flow packed with witty punchlines.

Content-wise, Mr. 3-2 gravitates towards street narratives, lyrical bravado, and portraying the realities of Bronx life. Songs like “Candle in the Projects” tell detailed stories painting a vivid picture like classic hip-hop storytellers.

While many old school rappers hang up the mic or fade away, Mr. 3-2 actively keeps his signature sound alive. His traditional approach pays homage to the pioneers before him that shaped the culture.


Given his connections and longevity within underground hip-hop, Mr. 3-2 has collaborated with a long list of respected veterans.

Early in his career, he frequently teamed up with fellow Juice Crew members like Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante, and MC Shan. Mr. 3-2 has genuine chemistry working with other golden-era spitters.

In later years, he’s collaborated with acclaimed artists like Large Professor, Sadat X of Brand Nubian, and Torae. These collab albums and one-off tracks allow Mr. 3-2 to school younger MCs and bridge hip-hop generations.

Some of his most notable collaborations include:

“The Symphony” with Marley Marl, Big Daddy Kane, Master Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap
Incredible Sound of Hip Hop Vol. 1 compilation with Roxanne Shante, MC Shan, Craig G
“Bronx Keeps Creating It” with KRS-One, Kool G Rap
“Definition of a Rap Flow (Remix)” with R.A. The Rugged Man
The iMaNaging Project album with Manage and Sadat X
Through collaborations, Mr. 3-2 links old school techniques and new talent to showcase hip-hop’s timelessness.

Performance & Tour History

In addition to a prolific recording career, Mr. 3-2 has toured extensively bringing his lively show across the world. He’s known for high-energy sets with constant crowd engagement.

During the 90s, Mr. 3-2 performed at legendary New York hip-hop clubs like Tramps, SOBs, and The Tunnel alongside Juice Crew cohorts.

In recent years, he’s done shows across Europe and Australia keeping the old school vibes overseas. Festivals he’s performed at include Germany’s Splash Festival, Belgium’s Scenario Festival, and the UK’s End of the Weak.

Stateside, Mr. 3-2 does concerts nationwide at venues like The Whiskey A Go Go in LA and SOB’s in NYC. He also makes frequent appearances at annual festivals like A3C in Atlanta and Soundset in Minnesota.

No matter the location, Mr. 3-2 gets crowds hyped with iconic tracks like “The Symphony,” stage dives, and nonstop turntablism courtesy of DJ Hurricane. His high-octane sets exemplify the intensity and energy of underground hip-hop.

Personal Life

Behind the scenes, Mario Viola is a family man with two daughters and a son. He’s been married to his wife for over 25 years and is devoted to his children and grandchildren.

Mr. 3-2 has stated that while the flashy rapper lifestyle seems enticing, he focused on giving his kids a stable upbringing in the Bronx. He worked regular jobs as a Metro bus driver and in the healthcare field while pursuing music.

Despite coming up in the tough South Bronx streets where crime and violence were common, Mr. 3-2 avoided legal troubles and stayed determined to make an honest career through hip-hop.

His personal life paints him as a rap veteran who put family first and relied on passion and perseverance to thrive in hip-hop over decades.

Net Worth

There are no official reports on Mr. 3-2’s net worth. However, considering his 30+ year career and consistent touring, it can be estimated at around $500,000 to $1 million.

In the early Juice Crew days, he likely earned income from features, shows, and cassette sales. Mr. 3-2 has mentioned still owning all his music rights, allowing him to collect album sales royalties.

Currently, income sources likely include touring revenue, streaming royalties, publishing rights, and merchandise. While not cashing out with extravagant major label deals, Mr. 3-2 has sustaining a respectable living doing what he loves for decades.

His career choices emphasize hip-hop purity over chasing stardom and checks. Mr. 3-2’s net worth reflects the everyman hustle of an underground MC staying true to his art.

Why Mr. 3-2 is Important to Hip-Hop

Mr. 3-2 represents a crucial link between hip-hop’s genesis block parties and the present-day. Here’s why he remains relevant:

He upholds the four pillars of DJing, MCing, breaking, and graffiti art
His old school sound preserves lyrical rapping and raw beats
He mentors younger artists on foundational skills and history
Mr. 3-2 shows hip-hop can thrive outside mainstream success
His catalog provides a blueprint for lifelong careers in hip-hop
Performing worldwide spreads golden-era hip-hop abroad
Features and co-signs connect past and current icons
His determination inspires upcoming artists to perfect their craft
Legends like Mr. 3-2 show the timeless appeal of classic hip-hop. His ability to maintain relevance across decades comes from a place of sincere love. Mr. 3-2 treats hip-hop as a lifelong passion, not just another stepping stone in music. That type of commitment and respect to the culture breeds loyalty from real hip-hop heads worldwide.

Top 5 Mr. 3-2 Songs

“The Symphony” – His explosive Juice Crew debut proves he could flow with elite company.
“Old School Flava” – Over funky turntablism, Mr. 3-2 delivers punchlines and brags in a vintage lyrical onslaught.
“Money to Blow” – Cinematic storytelling makes this a standout chronicling street life in late-80s New York.
“New Beginning” – An inspirational track encouraging listeners to turn struggle into success.
“Definition of a Rap Flow” – Nonstop wordplay shows why Mr. 3-2 is considered an elite MC’s MC.


Here are some common questions fans have about the veteran MC:

How old is Mr. 3-2?

He was born in 1971, making him 51 years old currently.

Where did Mr. 3-2 grow up?

Mr. 3-2 grew up in the South Bronx neighborhood of NYC, a cradle of hip-hop culture.

What albums has Mr. 3-2 released?

Some of his albums over the years include Saga of a Paper Chaser (1996), 3-2 Passport (2017), Voices in My Head (2018), and Lost Sessions Vol. 2 (2021).

Who has Mr. 3-2 worked with?

He’s collaborated extensively with Juice Crew members as well as artists like Large Professor, Sadat X, KRS-One, and R.A. the Rugged Man.

Is Mr. 3-2 still performing live?

Yes, he continues to do shows globally and keeps an active touring schedule.

Preserving Hip-Hop’s Legacy

While contemporary rap evolves, there will always be a segment of hip-hop fans craving the genres raw foundations. Mr. 3-2 supplies that demand, showing today’s youth how the culture started. His dedication, artistic principles, and energetic performances reflect the passion that sparked hip-hop. For over 30 years and counting, Mr. 3-2 has given his life to advancing hip-hop in its purest form.