The stories surrounding how JAY-Z’s “Big Pimpin” came together with UGK are built in egos, pettiness and pure hilarity. Too Short has added the element of loyalty with his take on how the track almost didn’t happen because of the late Pimp C’s profound respect for Tupac Shakur.
Speaking within BET’s I Talked To series about Pimp C, the Cali legend explained Pimp C’s reluctance towards the track. Jay-Z’s unspoken alliance to Notorious B.I.G. (“Brooklyn’s Finest,” “I Love the Dough,”) lead to assumptions from Pimp who happened to be a big fan of the late rapper. As other stories have claimed the Houston staple believed the Timbaland-produced track was too much of a “pop record,” Too Short says there was also an unspoken rift between Jay and Pimp because of Tupac.
“It turned out his only logic on not wanting to be on the song was all about Tupac,” he said. “I’m still to this day if Pimp C ever met Tupac. But [Pimp] said, “I’m not f**king with nobody that didn’t f**k with Tupac. It was a law not to be compromised.”
Too Short says he was one of the people, along with Bun B, who convinced the rapper to jump on the song. But the process of making “Big Pimpin” wasn’t a smooth ride. Nathan Slavik’s brilliant breakdown of the song via DJ Booth explains how Pimp C not only refused to leave Houston to film the Hype Williams-directed video in Trinidad but he also only gave Jay eight bars for his verse.
In an effort to make the video work, Williams found a mansion in Miami to shoot Pimp C’s verse. Too Short was in Atlanta with Pimp when plans for the new shoot came together.
“He missed the video shoot in Trinidad,” he said. “He wanted to go but didn’t want to but also he was tripping. I’m trying to do everything to get him to Miami.”
The guys end up driving down to Miami, where Pimp demanded to shoot the video in a mink coat (no shirt) in his all-white Benz with former model Gloria Valez by his side. Pimp, Too Short and their friends kicked it in Miami two weeks after wrapping up the video.
As we all know, the song went on to be a hit for everyone involved and added more cool points to Pimp’s legacy.
Check out the story up top and watch “Big Pimpin” with new eyes below.