A couple weeks after Beyoncé raised the bar with her unexpected “Bow Down/I Been On” anthem, Houston rappers ranging from Bun B to Slim Thug are showing their fellow hometown star they are down for the cause.
On the track’s remix, each Texas rapper takes a turn contributing to the instant hit.
The “I Been On” remix features a roll call of Houston notables, with Z-Ro, Scarface, Willie D, Slim Thug and Lil’ Keke joining Bun B. He dedicated the remix to the other half of rap group UGK, Pimp C, who died in December 2007, as well as the late DJ Screw. Credit Screw for the Southern-specific sound that perhaps shocked listeners the most when the song first dropped. Beyoncé’s original ending verse stays in place. With her swag in full attack, Bey finishes out the chopped and screwed track. “Shout out to Pimp C/You know we used to sneak and listen to that UGK,” she raps, after mentioning that she was in a Willie D music video at 14 years old. The message: Don’t question her street cred. (MTV)
Contributing producer A.I., of Planet VI, recently spoke to SOHH about the track’s popularity.
“You know something, what was crazy is I was doing so much that day that I didn’t even realize it was out until later on that evening,” A.I. laughingly admitted to SOHH referring to the unexpected teaser release. “I saw my brother and my manager post it up Instagram and it was great. Beyoncé is one of them classic artists that you know’s going to be around for a long time. She’s one of the elite. She’s the closet thing we’ve got to Michael Jackson since Michael Jackson. Even though we didn’t get a chance to work in the studio with her directly, it’s still a blessing for me and my brother. I was like a kid in a candy store. For real. I was able to let that out because I wasn’t around anybody, it was just me by myself. I was like, d*mn. I was hyped. I immediately went to my parents house and I was telling them about it and explaining it to them like, “Yo, this is big.” Coming from the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, that is one hell of an accomplishment to say that we did a record for Beyoncé.” (SOHH)
His production sidekick Uptown admitted the opportunity to work alongside Timbaland, Hit-Boy and Polow Da Don all for an instant Beyoncé hit was nothing less than a blessing.
“I’m crazy [excited]. I’m upset because when I heard it, I felt like we needed more records in the marketplace. [laughs],” Uptown said. “I’m not lying. It came out and for a split second I was like, ‘Yes! She dropped it! She put it out, this is so good!’ Then I was like, ‘Yo man, that’s it? Only one record came out that we did that day? We ain’t working hard enough.’ [laughs] That’s how I felt, but, I still feel extremely blessed. The opportunity to work with Polow Da Don, the opportunity to work with Timbaland, Hit-Boy, all those great people, all of us on the same song, and Beyoncé? It’s just one of them feelings you really can’t explain. This is something we’ve always wanted to be our whole career and to be a part of a Beyoncé project is awesome. You want to be able to say, ‘Before she retired, I had a chance to do someting with her.’ That’s dope.” (SOHH)
Bey pays homage to her Houston, Texas roots by throwing some chopped and screwed moments onto the original record, which Planet VI told SOHH they were responsible for.
The song segues into another one called “I Been On,” helmed by Polow Da Don, Timbaland, and Planet VI. A thuggish B pays homage to her Houston roots, chopping and screwing her voice while shouting out H-town legends Willie D, Pimp C, and UGK. “I heard your boo was talking lip/ I told my crew to smack that trick,” she raps, adding, “The capital B means I’m ’bout that life.” Hear B like you’ve never heard her before. (Rap-Up)
Check out the “I Been On” remix: