Andre 3000 has too many classic verses to count. That being said, his turn on “Int’l Players Anthem” might be one of his most celebrated. It’s quotable, eccentric, and it all plays out before the drums to the main instrumental kick in. It distinguishes Andre’s verse from the other rappers on the song, aka Big Boi and UGK. As beloved as the verse and the song is today, though, Pimp C was not happy when he first heard it. The things that make it unique are the very things that rubbed the UGK rapper the wrong way.

Andre 3000 shared this anecdote during his recent appearance on The Shop. He recounted the making of the song, and his unorthodox choice to remove the drums from his verse. He sent the verse back with just the sample, and Pimp C was livid. “Pimp was so mad at me,” Andre 3000 recalled. “Because they sent the beat and I wrote my verse, put my words down and I took the beat out for me to rap.” Pimp C wasn’t disappointed with the bars, but he felt like the song had been changed without his permission. “Pimp was like, ‘Fuck this muthaf*cka, man! This n**ga done goddamn took my beat out,” Andre said. “Who the f*ck he think he is?!’ He was really mad at the choice that I had made to take the beat [out].”

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Andre 3000 Claimed Pimp C Disliked The Beat Change

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed. Andre 3000 told The Shop hosts that others made the case for keeping the verse the way it is. “I don’t know if it was Bun [B] or somebody,” the rapper called. “They were like, ‘Nah, but you don’t understand, when that beat drop, though, it sets it off.’ So it’s almost like a set-up. So it worked, and once he got that, he was like, ‘Okay, okay.’” The gamble paid off. “Int’l Players Anthem” peaked at number 70 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was UGK’s first and only entry on the charts, and remains their most successful single.

While The Shop episode marks the first time Andre 3000 has shared the Pimp C story, a similar anecdote was shared by A&R Jeff Sledge during a 2016 appearance on the A Waste of Time podcast. The change in Sledge’s version was that it was him, not Bun B, who urged Pimp C to keep Andre’s verse without the beat. “Let’s rock it like that,” the A&R recalls saying. “Because when Andre doing acapella and then when the beat drops, that’s when your verse drops. And then your verse is gonna lift the record up because now the beat is rocking and your verse is kicking.” Whoever made the call, we’re thankful.

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