“Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” by UGK (ft. Outkast)
On “Int’l Players Anthem”, the four vocalists, UGK’s Pimp C and Bun B alongside Outkast’s Andre 3000 and Big Boi, are tasked with dropping verses about the respective romantic interests in their lives.
And as premised by the term “international player”, the listener is expected to go into this piece knowing these guys are the types who thoroughly sow their oats.
So for instance, the first verse, which is held down by André 3000, centers on the vocalist’s decision to forsake such a lifestyle in the name of settling down with one woman he’s come to love. However, the homeys who are still engaged in such conduct are advising him otherwise.
Or put differently, here the notion is subliminally introduced that one of the reasons the vocalists are playas, i.e. not committed to a single woman, is actually because the fairer sex tends to be untrustworthy.
Next comes Pimp C, whose verse is more along the lines of standard rap. That is to say that the focus is primarily on himself, his wealth and ability to attract “hoes”. And accordingly even though it does read like he has one “b**ch” whom he adores more so than the others, for the most part he doesn’t come off as the monogamous type at all.
After Pimp C’s passage we have the chorus. It is highlighted by a very simple phrase, insinuating the vocalist choosing to be faithful to a specific lady. But all lyrics considered, such would actually be a sarcastic statement.
And like his partner, Bun B’s artistry also appears to be heavily reliant on a pimp motif. And what it appears he is speaking to is finding a girl who is enamored with him enough to prostitute herself for his profit.
Or let’s say that if this particular addressee is able to do so effectively, then B is likewise promising her that, under his direction, he can lead her to a life of riches. So basically, it sounds like he’s advertising to an attractive woman who perhaps is already akin to a working girl – and an attractive one at that. And what Bun is basically trying to sell her on is him being a better pimp than the others out there.
And truth to be told, despite its somewhat base subject matter this song is quite intricate lyrically. For instance, it takes a bit of imagination to put together that Big Boi begins his verse by alluding to the notion of never having sex without wearing a rubber.
Then he uses a metaphor related to that assertion to also point out that he likewise isn’t the monogamous type, rather preferring strippers, if you will. And concerning his insistence to wear rubber, as with Andre before him Big Boi also, in a roundabout way, expresses a fear of falling in too deep with the wrong woman (or in a manner of speaking, any woman).
But in his case what he is referring to more specifically is getting a girl pregnant, and then her using the opportunity to mercilessly exploit his finances. And in that regard he references Paul McCartney, who had to give up a ton of money in a divorce settlement.
What “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” is all about
So this track is a clear illustration of just how unique a genre rap music actually is. Popular musicians who specialize in other industry categories probably wouldn’t get away with dropping a song centered on a sexual lifestyle many consider to be immoral, indecent or, in the case of Bun B’s verse for instance, downright illegal.
But so it is in this case, as three out of four verses are more or less centered on the vocalist’s preference for loose women who can be sexually or even economically exploited. And whereas one emcee out of the lot appears as if he is willing to practice otherwise, he concurrently uses the opportunity to brag, if you will, that he has and can conduct himself as a playa if he so chooses.
So in a way, what this all boils down to is the classic ‘I’m rich, famous and have a lot of women’ theme that rappers such as these are more or less known for.
When was “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” released?
Released on June 6 of 2007, the song was one of two singles from the album, “Underground Kingz”. The first single was “The Game Belongs to Me”.
“Underground Kingz”, released by Jive Records in August of 2007 was the duo’s 5th studio album. With sales of over 160,000 copies within its first week of release, the album debuted at number one on Billboard’s ranking of the top 200 albums, “Billboard 200”.
About 4 months after the release of the album, one half of the group, Pimp C’s lifeless body was found in his hotel room. This sad incident happened on December 4 of 2007.
By 2011 over 500,000 copies of the album had been sold.
The song was written by the duo (UGK) with assistance from the following:
- Paul Beauregard (DJ Paul)
- Andre Benjamin (André 3000)
- Juicy J
- Antwan Patton (Big Boi)
It was co-produced by DJ Paul and Juicy J both from Memphis, Tennessee. Paul and Juicy are founding members of the group, Three 6 Mafia. The group is credited with the origination of crunk music.
What Genre(s) is “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)”?
- Southern hip hop
In February of 2008, the song was nominated for the award, “Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group” at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards. The award was won by “Southside” performed by Common & Kanye West.
The following songs also contested for the award and lost:
- Fat Joe & Lil Wayne’s “Make It Rain”
- Kanye West, Nas & KRS-One’s “Classic (Better Than I’ve Ever Been)”
- Shop Boyz’s “Party Like a Rockstar”
Even more Accolades
It was placed at number 43 on the ranking of top 500 songs of the 2000’s by Pitchfork Media and number 10 on the list of 2007’s 100 best songs by Rolling Stone. The latter publication also included “Int’l Players Anthem” in its list of the “Top 100 Songs of the Century“.
At the 2007 BET Hip Hop Awards, rapper, Kanye West felt the group deserved the award for Best Video more than he did. He made this known during his acceptance speech for the said award.
Did “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” chart?
Yes, it did. For example, on the United States’ Hot 100 charts, it managed to reach a peak position of 70.