Bun B, OutKast and More Remember the “International Player’s Anthem” Video Five Years Later
The Iconic Introduction Scene
Bun B: It was big for us, we couldn’t think of a time when all three of those groups had ever been in the same room together. Everybody is a big fan of everybody. We are all brothers. We’re peers. We basically came up around the same time, during the same struggle, all working these different clubs in the Chitlin’ Circuit. That was 15 years into all of our respective careers and we were all still here, still making money. OutKast having won Grammy of the year, Three 6 Mafia, Oscar winners. It was a very big deal and a very good time. Then you had other people like David Banner was there, T-Pain was there. You had all the different pimps in the building. It was a big deal.
Khujo of Goodie Mob: I don’t think I had ever been in a video with UGK before, but I know Bun B was in our first “Cell Therapy” video. Just to be in the video with UGK, and OutKast—the Southern players of the Southeast region. Just to think of it now, man, that was pretty big. You had Three 6 Mafia, David Banner. We had Chamillionaire in there, so we were in the video around some young Southern kings. Just for it to go down like that and just the message, [it was special].
Bryan Barber: That was magic, man. And the chemistry was great. It was almost like they all went to high school together. Seeing all those dudes together really going in on each other. And also, all the rest of the folks. Chamillionaire and Slim Thug, there was a lot of Southern cats in there.
André 3000: It was pure comedy and just a fun time. Once again, it was about what friends might say when their buddy is making that walk. None of it was scripted. I think we just made it up right then. Did a few takes ’til it was perfected as much as we could and went for it.
Bryan Barber: That was all ad-libs. I mean, we rehearsed a few times, but it was all ad-lib.
Bun B: Nothing was scripted. Everything was ad-libbed in that beginning. It’s funny, if you watch the director’s cut that intro is a lot longer.
Deray Davis: I pretty much knew everybody. That’s what made it comfortable. It felt like somebody’s real wedding. And out of everybody, Andre probably is the closest one who would get married in that fashion with that kind of grouping around him. But I liked it, man. It had that country feel. To be in L.A. and have that kind of country feel—I’m from Chicago, but it just gave something different, man.
Juicy J: The shoot was great everyone came through. Big Boi came in. He had all Louis luggage, and I was like, “Wow!” Everything he had on was Louis. Louis shirt, luggage. T-Pain was there and he showed love. David Banner came through. It was a legendary shoot. Whoever got the behind the scenes, that’s some historical footage right there, ’cause it was crazy. A lot of people came [through] and showed love.
DJ Paul: It was fun, man. I sampled the great Willie Hutch, [may he] rest in piece, and his daughter was there. I got a chance to meet her and tell her about the times that me and Willie Hutch spent together when he was alive and came to Memphis to my studio. All the pimps and players were there, I knew all of them, but hadn’t seen them in a while. It was a good, fun day, man. It was a lot people there and [that] didn’t even get shown.
David Banner: Pimp C was a really, really good friend of mine. Bun is a good friend of mine and he called me and told me to come through. I came through and I can’t really sit up here and give you no type of exquisite story, but when certain people call you, you don’t ask no questions. “I’m on my way right now.” Honestly, if I’m correct, I was just coming out of church—because I had a suit and tie on and I don’t just ride around with a suit and tie on—and it was either Bun or Pimp. That was that, man. Those are two of my biggest influences—Kast and UGK. Andre and Pimp and Bun and Big…those are the people in some aspect, whether it’s style, whether it’s lyrics with Bun, whether it’s creativity and lyrics with Andre and Pimp’s belief in the South. Pimp felt the same way I feel about the South. I remember when Pimp said, ‘We ain’t worried about rap, we do country rap tunes.’ At that time, hip-hop wasn’t giving us the respect. For the man to come out and say that and make me feel proud…hearing Pastor Troy…me listening to them is what gave me the fuel to do what I did for Mississippi and I won’t sit up here and tell you no different than that. Andre was the one who taught me it’s okay to be different. As long as you’re dope it doesn’t matter what they say or do. So, to even be asked to be part of something so monumental is dope to me.
Bryan Barber: It was so crazy that that many people came through. We start shooting this, people started showing up, man. Comedians were coming through. It was a few people that came through and I just didn’t have enough time to shoot them. That’s one of those magical moments. I didn’t really know that the video was going to be as big as it was. Those cameos definitely helped push it. I think Snoop was supposed to come at one point. I don’t know what happened with that. I almost didn’t have enough time to shoot Chamillionaire. Slim Thug was there. I didn’t get to shoot Slim Thug. He stayed for a minute. See, I was shooting in a certain order, so by the time I had time to shoot him he had left. There was a few people that came through.
Bun B: T-Pain was the choir director in the wedding. Alex Thomas is in the video. Lukas Haas is also one of the groomsmen; he’s one of Andre’s really good friends. The video kind of had a certain humor, you kind of got to get into acting, but also feel comfortable in the role that you’re playing. So, T-Pain, he has a lot of energy, So I had them give him a choir role ’cause I was going to put them in the audience.
Alex Thomas: Yeah, I was playing the piano and I was one of the background pimps, ’70’s type niggas. I was acting my ass off. The crazy part about that is, that [many] don’t know about me is I grew up in this music industry, in the music business. I grew up with two pianos in my house. My father was probably in the biggest band in all music. It was this little band called Earth, Wind & Fire. My dad was the Wind, of Earth, Wind & Fire. They kind of forced me my whole life, to play instruments, to play the piano and all this shit. Nigga, I ended up not being able to play shit! I told jokes for a living. Jamie Foxx would always tease me about it, like “I know you wished you played that piano now!” Shit, I wish I did.
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