Pimp C Was Furious When He First Heard Andre 3000’s International Players Anthem Verse (Video)

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Out of the many outstanding Andre 3000 guest verses, and there are plenty, one of the all-time greats is his opening on UGK’s “International Players Anthem.” As Andre raps about dropping out of the game of juggling multitudes of women to focus on the one he intends to spend the rest of his life with, his vocals are dipped in the ultra-soulful sample of Willie Hutch’s “I Choose You.” The absence of a beat or any other distraction allows the sample to breathe and take on a role that’s closer to a duet than a background accompaniment. For a full minute, it is pure bliss for lovers of Hip-Hop and Soul music. While the verse has made an indelible mark in the hearts of millions of fans, it initially lacked the approval of perhaps its most important listener: UGK’s Pimp C.

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Jeff Sledge, a former A&R executive for Wild Pitch and Jive Records, who worked with acts such as Gang Starr, Main Source, Lord Finesse, Too Short and many more, recently joined ItsTheReal’s A Waste Of Time podcast, and the topic turned to UGK, with whom he also worked. It was then that Sledge revealed Pimp C’s displeasure with the way 3 Stacks approached his verse.

“On ‘International Players Anthem,’ you know how it starts with Andre doing the thing with no drums. It’s a capella. When Andre sent his piece back and it had no drums, Chad (Pimp C) was pissed off,” said Sledge. “He was like ‘Man, fuck Andre. Man, how the fuck he gonna send my shit back and take my drums out?! You know I’m muthafuckin’ Pimp C.'” Sledge goes on to give insight into Andre’s methodology, saying “Andre had a thing. Even if you listen to Andre’s stuff now, he has a thing. He doesn’t really like drums under his stuff much, ’cause he wants people to hear what he’s saying.”

Recognizing the quality of the verse, Sledge set out to turn the situation around with Pimp C with a bit of sophistry. “Chad, hold up, ‘fam,” Sledge said to his artist. “Let’s rock it like that because when André’s doing a capella and then when the beat drops, that’s when your verse drops, and then you, your verse is gonna lift the record up, because now the beat is rocking and your verse is kicking.” Not entirely sold, Pimp C was convinced enough to let it fly, but only with a warning to Sledge. “Alright, Jeff. I’ma give a shot, but if it’s fucked up, it’s on you though” Sledge says Pimp told him.

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Fortunately, unlike Pimp C’s guest vocals that were stripped from Kanye West’s remix to “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” the verse remained in tact, allowing for one of UGK’s biggest hits.