The Making of UGK’s “International Player’s Anthem (I Choose You)”

DJ Paul: We brought that [beat] back out. It just didn’t work for [Project Pat] because Sony didn’t get behind it. Maybe 2002, 2003 or some shit or whatever. Pimp had told us he loved the record. [He] was like, “Man, that record a hit, man. When I get out [of prison], I want you to give me that beat. Leave it just like it is.” I’m like, “Alright.” So, when he got out, he came to our house in L.A. and we recorded the record.

Bun B: This  song was never supposed to be UGK and OutKast. This song was UGK and Three 6 Mafia. The initial sampler from the album had [a] version with UGK and Three 6 Mafia. What happened was the sampler was released during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles and it just so happened that Big and Dre got their hands on the sampler. We get one call from Big Boi sayin’, “Hey man, I love this song and did a little remix beat to it and if you guys want to use it, check it out.”  They send it over and around the same time we get a call from Andre askin’, “Is that song closed out because I really like that song and want to jump on it.” This was just a matter of circumstance and at the same time we were havin’ issues gettin’ the lyrics cleared from Sony for Three 6 Mafia.

DJ Paul: Three 6 Mafia was originally on the record, but Sony was actin’ a fool and didn’t want [us on it], which was dumb as hell. They were still ridin’ off the hype [from] the Oscars and all that shit. They were more happy about [the award] than we were. So they was trippin’ on clearances for us [and] UGK ended up puttin’ OutKast on it, which was good. OutKast is a huge group. I love OutKast. I’m glad they were on it ’cause I got a chance to say I produced somethin’ for Outkast as well. Everything worked out for the best.

Big Boi: [Jive] called and was like, “We wanna get you and Dre on this remix with UGK.” We was on the same label. Organized Noize was doin’ a remix for it, so we was like, “Hell yeah, send it.” So they send it, and it was a couple other beats they had, too. But I guess the one we did was the one they decided to go on. It was just cool, man. I just commenced to attacking it. Dre had already put his verse on there, maybe a couple of days beforehand. Dre’s already on it, we need to get you on there. So we was like, “Yeah, let’s do it.”

André 3000: I would hear from Bun every now and then and we kept talkin’ about doin’ somethin’. When he and Pimp asked me to jump on the IPA song I was excited to work with them again. It wasn’t even nothin’ to think about. They sent the track and I just wrote what I thought “choosin’” for real meant to me. Since the sample in the record said, “I choose you”. I don’t know why I went to marriage as a topic, but I guess that’s the ultimate version of “choosin’.” The marriage and the reaction from guys and girls was the focus, so I just imaged what my potnas might say to me if I were to go down that road.

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  • land lord

    Classic ish! R.I.P Pimp C.

    • CaponeMOB

      and once again,all this classic shit on the billboards three 6 mafia produced the track for 2 Legendary groups,and yet i have never seen my favorite group/producers of all time in my fuckin favorite magazine,and i have been buyin this fuckin mag for 11yrs! is their some type of conspiracy against three 6 mafia? is it the name of the group that scares you niggaz @ XXLMAG? but yet,you niggaz got this ugly COON nigga wocka in the recent issue? what has that no flow no lyrics havin garbage nigga has contributed to HIP-HOP/RAP?

      i would really LOVE to see how XXL go’s about pickin an artist for the cover. what fuckin criteria you niggaz go by?..SMH

      • CaponeMOB

        interesting that Three 6 Mafia have ALWAYS had good chemistry with UGK but they only jumped on a handfull of tracks together. Pimp C and Bun B blended perfect with DJ Paul & Juicy J beats,kinda like on some Snoop and DRE,or mannie fresh and Juvenile and B.G. shit. just go check out “on some chrome” or “Like a pimp” or the Classic “sippin on some syrup” these are all three 6 mafia Feat.UGK song’s. check them songs out on you tube good shit. that underground mafia group would have been EPIC.

  • slimmwood

    good sheeit

  • junghova

    some good music right there

  • leefx

    Wonderful story… would be sick if XXL did this for more huge songs in hip-hop history.

    Very interesting.

  • Shawty J

    Excellent piece, XXL. We need to see more stories like these, both in the magazine and on the website!

  • Money Mitch

    They should do an entire issue with stories like this!! I wish pac was alive so he could recall making smile with scarface and johnny p!! This article is amazing and illustrates why I am proud to be UGK alumni!! I got a plan for a Ugk tat im gonna put in the works when i got the dough for it

  • PolishFan

    Shit is crazy. After 5 years we hear about planning of probably the biggest south supergroup of all time. It would be more than epic. Three 6 Mafia & UGK album? Mannn, I would jump the ocean to buy it. It’s fucked up that pimp is no more with us. He was the best. The best rapper of all time.

    UGK 4 Life!