Juicy J revealed in a recent interview that the label blocked Three 6 Mafia from being featured on “Int’l Players Anthem,” which led to Outkast’s appearance on the track.
“Int’l Players Anthem” is one of rap’s greatest songs, as well as a Southern rap classic, which paired together UGK and Outkast. Produced by Juicy J and DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia, the track became a standout for many reasons, with one of them being André 3000’s guest verse, which kicks off the song. But it turns out that Outkast wasn’t originally supposed to be the featured artist on the track — it was supposed to be Three 6.
“The label had denied the clearance. I was like, ‘What the fuck? Why you all didn’t let me know?’ Man, I was ready to go up there and fucking cause hell at that label. Who the hell authorized that? I was like, ‘Who would authorize something dumb like that?'” he recalled.
Juicy then went on to recount how he didn’t even know that three 6 had been replaced by Outkast on the track, which led to him reaching out to UGK to find out what happened.
“They [UGK] were like, ‘Man, they didn’t clear y’all, man. So we put Outkast on it.’ I was like, ‘Fuck! Put our verses back on it! André 3000 and muthafuckin’ Big Boi, like legendary — I was like, ‘Man.’ I called that label — I ain’t even going to tell you all the shit I said. I was so fucking mad,” he said.
Before acknowledging the legacy of the track he also provided some insight into why he felt Three 6 was blocked by the label, saying:
I think we had “Stay Fly,” out or “Poppin’ My Collar” was on the radio and they didn’t want somebody else to come with a single and you know that politics. You know, labels and all that shit and then they even tell us, though. They were just doing this like, “Oh no, we ain’t clearing that. Fuck that!”
“So they put Outkast on it which made it super classic,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong. You know, me and Paul produced the beat. So I ain’t tripping, but I wanted to have my verse on that song. You know what I’m saying? But yeah, it’s definitely one of the all-time favorite — all-time greats. Look, man, we’ve done a lot, though. We done change the game, man. A lot of stuff just sound like our stuff now, man, which I love but I ain’t going to lie. It’s cool, man.”
Three 6’s feature on “Int’l Players Anthem” ultimately ended up being released as a bonus track on UGK’s album, Underground Kingz.