Three 6 Mafia is responsible for countless classic hit records such as “Stay Fly” and hallmark member Juicy J says if it weren’t for their label, they’d also have one of UGK’s most beloved records within their expansive discography as well.
In the latest installment of Juicy J’s interview with HipHopDX, the Memphis OG emphatically declares he and DJ Paul had actually staked their verbal claims on the song first, but the label superseded their efforts. In fact, he says he felt “crazy” when he first heard André 3000’s iconic verse because he had no clue what was going on at the time.
“I was like, ‘Man, God dang,’ because, see, what was crazy, me and Paul did a verse on it at first,” Juicy J exclaimed. “And the label — we didn’t even notice this, we moving around. The label had denied the clearance. I was like, ‘What the fuck? Why you all didn’t let me know?’ Man, I was ready to go up there and fucking cause hell at that label. Who the hell authorized that? I was like, ‘Who would authorize something dumb like that?'”
Motivated by his frustrations, The Hustle Continues rapper did some digging to find out what actually happened to the bars he laid on the anthem and says he was “so fucking mad” when he found out.
“But anyway, so then they put Outkast on it and I didn’t even know,” he recants with a laugh. “I just come to find out. I was like, ‘What happened to our verses?’ They [UGK] were like, ‘Man, they didn’t clear y’all, man. So we put Outkast on it.’ I was like, ‘Fuck! Put our verses back on it! André 3000 and muthafuckin’ Big Boi, like legendary — I was like, ‘Man.’ I called that label — I ain’t even going to tell you all the shit I said. I was so fucking mad.”
To add insult to injury, when asked about the real motives behind the stonewalling of their verses, he says it was a combination of music industry, “politics” and the success of Three 6 that caused the obstacle.
“I think we had ‘Stay Fly,’ out,” he infers. “Or ‘Poppin’ My Collar’ was on the radio and they didn’t want somebody else to come with a single and you know that politics. You know, labels and all that shit and then they even tell us, though. They were just doing this like, ‘Oh no, we ain’t clearing that. Fuck that!'”
Released in 2007, “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” appears on UGK’s Underground Kingz album and has amassed nearly 60 million streams on Spotify alone. In hindsight, the Juice man recognizes how important the moment was for Hip Hop but still wishes his verse would’ve seen the light of day.
“So they put Outkast on it which made it super classic,” he acknowledges. “Don’t get me wrong. You know, me and Paul produced the beat. So I ain’t tripping, but I wanted to have my verse on that song. You know what I’m saying? But yeah, it’s definitely one of the all-time favorite — all-time greats. Look, man, we’ve done a lot, though. We done change the game, man. A lot of stuff just sound like our stuff now, man, which I love but I ain’t going to lie. It’s cool, man.”
Watch the full video clip above and revisit the supremely trill video for “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You),” below.