Bun B: Once we got in the Dre verse, which is what you hear. He was like, “I like it, but I want to rap without the drums, I want to rap over the loop.” The version that you hear Big Boi rappin’ over on the song is actually his re-production somewhat of the track. That’s why the sample is kind of dropped out over the beginning of it. That was his take of the song.
Big Boi: I was like, “Damn, you gon’ keep the beat out the whole damn time like that?” They gon’ let him keep the beat out? How they gon’ God Damn play this shit in the club if the beat ain’t in the muthafucka?” He always has a reason for it. The [way] I tailor made it to fit my verse, he made it fit his verse. Actually rappin’ over the steady beat, he couldn’t have been as laid back as he was.
Bun B: In the midst of not being able to clear Three 6 Mafia before the album comin’ out and the fact that OutKast was already signed to Jive as a group, it just kind of happened that way. “Player’s Anthem” was originally supposed to be a song from UGK and Three 6 Mafia because we were actually workin’ on a group together. UGK and Three 6 Mafia were workin’ on Underground Mafia that was goin’ to be a group with all four of us together.
Big Boi: It was dope. UGK, as far as a group in itself, is definitely one of our influences comin’ up. We used to bump UGK in high school. When our first album came out and then UGK did “Super Tight,” we was just fans of they music. 8Ball, MJG and UGK, so to do a record with them it was like, “Hell muthafuckin’ yeah.”
Andre 3000: I met Bun and Pimp C very early in our career. When we first arrived on the scene, I think there was a Southern kinship unspoken. Being that I listened to them in high school along with Odd Squad, Big Mike and Gheto Boys, I was happy to see how welcoming they were to us, the new guys, and they really kinda ushered us in. Throughout our time in the business, Pimp and Bun have always been true to us. Even when people where trippin’ on me for stretchin’ out and tryin’ new things I got a call from Pimp C and he said, “Man, fuck all these pussy ass niggas. They just scared and don’t know what to do with it. That shit y’all doin’ is the most gangster goin’ cause you doin’ what the fuck you wanna do.” After that, not that I was hesitant at all, but I knew if “Pimp C” of all supporters understood then … I’m good. Ha.
Bun B: Just the fact that [Andre] was interested in rapping on the song was a trip because at the time he wasn’t really rapping at all. He was like, “I’ll rap on it, but I probably won’t do a video, I’m not really shooting any videos.” We were like, “That’s fine, that’s no big deal. I would just love to have you on the record.” But once we got it we knew it was special. Everybody knew it was special. Andre just opened this song and Big just closed it. This is crazy.
Make sure to log onto XXLMag.com on Thursday June 8, as Bun B, André 3000, Big Boi, Juicy J, DJ Paul, and many more, remember the making of UGK’s “International Player’s Anthem (I Choose You)” video.