However, we almost didn’t have the hit single between the two rap groups, at least not in the way we’ve become familiar with.
Turns out Pimp C didn’t appreciate the way in which Andre 3000 went about his verse, which originally featured the drums underneath it all (unlike the version we all know and love, where 3 Stacks raps freely for a minute before everything kicks into high gear).
Jeff Sledge, a renowned A&R at the now defunct Jive Records, discussed the song’s formation on ItsTheReal’s “A Waste Of Time” podcast, saying that Andre’s foresight to remove the drums ended up angering Pimp C quite a bit.
“He was like, ‘Fuck Andre, man.’ How the fuck he goin’ send my shit back and take my drums out,” Pimp C said, according to Sledge. “He was going off about Andre taking the drums out.”
Ultimately, Sledge convinced Pimp C to keep the verse as it was, saying that Andre’s a cappella delivery was a nice build up, and dropping the drums right as Pimp came in would make his verse resonate that much more.
“Your verse is going to lift the record up,” Sledge recounted telling Pimp C. “The beat is rocking and your verse is kicking.”
From there history was made. Knowing this only adds to the importance of “Int’l Players Anthem,” considering it started out as a collaborative effort between UGK and Three 6 Mafia. Since Sony refused to clear the song Juicy J sent the track to Andre, who then recorded his verse. Then Big Boi jumped on once he heard Andre’s verse.
Now it’s only right that you revisit this classic, especially now knowing that if Sledge hadn’t of been there, “Int’l Players Anthem” might be an entirely different song.