Bun B, OutKast and More Remember the “International Player’s Anthem” Video Five Years Later
The epic feel good video for UGK’s “International Player’s Anthem” added to the song’s legend. Directed by Bryan Barber, it featured memorable cameos from Three 6 Mafia, T-Pain, Chamillionaire, actor Lukas Haas, Khujo and Big Gipp of Goodie Mob and Fonzworth Bentley, just to name a few. The visual followed the song’s script, as a reluctant Three Stacks walks down the isle with his partner-in-rhyme, Big Boi, advising him otherwise. A wedding of epic proportions ensues—complete with an animated T-Pain-lead choir, Pimp C’s stuntastic mink and a girl on girl food/fist fight.
Kanye West famously gave his award to UGK after “Stronger” beat “International Player’s Anthem” at the 2007 BET Hip Hop Awards. “I looked at Busta and I said, ‘Definitely UGK should have won this,'” West said during his acceptance speech. Pimp and Bun won Best Video the following year at the BET Awards. Sadly, Pimp C didn’t get to enjoy the spoils. He died on December 4, 2007.
Bryan Barber (Video Director): I heard the song. [I’m a] friend of Bun’s. We’d been tryin’ to work on a project for a while. He called me and told me about the song, and wanted me to come up with something. I wanted to do a continuation of the “Roses” video. When I heard the opening of the song, Dre’s line, I thought about him getting married. I think Dre’s verse really set it up [for] the direction I wanted to go in with the video.
André 3000: The initial ideas that Bryan and I discussed were simply based around interesting ways to show a marriage scene. I was basically going off of the vibe of the first verse. The setting was pretty much dictated by the beginning of the song. It was clear to me that some kind of wedding scene would work. Funny, I didn’t know it was supposed to be a continuation of the “Roses” concept, but I can see how it could be perceived in that way because some of the recurring characters are really just friends we would call up. Like in the “Roses” video, I thought it would just be cool to have a ragtag group of misfits for my crew, but they are just people I know that come to support and play.
Big Boi: The whole video was just based on Dre getting married. He found the one he wanted to be with, and we was like the bridal party. And then everybody kind of just did they part. So we was talking about experiences with women trying to convince or sway him one way or another. That might be the last video [André] was in. He don’t want to be in another video unless it’s an OutKast video, so until we do that, he don’t wanna just be doing videos with other people.
Bun B: I think a lot of things had a part to play in [André doing the video]. I think the fact that it was UGK and Pimp had just come home from prison played a key part in it. I think the fact that it was an OutKast and UGK record, so that everything wasn’t necessarily on [André’s] back played a big part in it. I think the biggest part in them agreeing to do the video was the fact that Bryan Barber was willing to direct it. There is no one else that I think André is probably more comfortable with in front of the camera than he is with than Bryan. He knows Bryan understands the legacy, understands him as a person, knows what he will and won’t do. I basically gave André and Bryan free reign to do whatever video they wanted to do. Bryan’s whole thing was, “Let me pitch it and I can get him to do it.” I was like, “If you can get him to do it, you can make whatever fucking video you want. He agreed to do it. I threw some ideas around, they threw some ideas around, but pretty much we decided to go with his idea of the verse and then playing off of that. Him being married and everybody else trying to get him to not do it, we just basically went along with the theme of the song anyway as his verse pertains to it.
Bryan Barber: I mean, Dre’s one of my best friends. Really, man, he understood the historical value of OutKast and UGK being on the screen together. I can’t really take credit for that. It wasn’t like I had to convince him. Dre, he’s a huge fan of Pimp and Bun. And the way that he set the song up with the wedding, I think I pitched it to him, “Yo, I really need you to get married in this shit.” More than that, what he told me, he’s been a fan of UGK before he started really rapping.
André 3000: You have to remember that this song was years ago. Since then I’ve had different views about my life and my career. Back then it was just how things went. You do the song, then comes the video. So it wasn’t a matter of me picking this particular song to be a part of.
Bryan Barber: I based it all off wedding videos. Wedding videos tend to be cheesy right, and not really feel staged. They feel really kind of like, un-put together, so I really wanted to get that feel. I really kind of allowed people. I was trying to capture the dynamic between men and women at a wedding. Women are excited about it. They fight over bouquets and shit. Men do it to kind of please. Not in every case, but in this video’s case. Everybody started drinking at like 1 p.m. I believe they was probably even drinking in the morning in that very first scene. So you got to understand, by midnight, everybody’s live at that point.
Juicy J: Every time you saw us passin’ that cup around it was somethin’, either Ciroc or somethin’, man. Every time we passed it around, it was somethin’ in that cup, man.
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