In many ways, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” was the defiant thesis statement of Kanye West’s career following his third album Graduation. The chorus speaks volumes to Ye’s current career trajectory: “Excuse me, is you sayin’ somethin’?/Uh uh, you can’t tell me nothin’.”
In what might have seemed like an unorthodox move at the time, Ye enlisted UGK’s own Pimp C to hop on the remix, according to Julia Beverly’s extensive biography $weet Jone$ – Pimp C’s Trill Life Story. Obviously Kanye’s worked with artists from the South before (and vice versa with Pimp – remember “Big Pimpin‘”?), but the two of them working together connected a bridge for ‘Ye that would eventually lead from Fonzworth Bentley circa 2004 to Paul Wall circa 2005 to Gucci Mane just this year.
The track was never released, but a Reddit user pulled an excerpt from Beverly’s book that reveals what Pimp’s verse would’ve sounded like:
“I’m on this track like white on rice
Mr. Potato Head tryin’ to make me Christ
I’m sorry, Atlanta; Georgia really is the South
But too many boys got them thangs in they mouth
I ain’t talkin good grillz, mane
I’m talkin’ bout that Angus beef with that big ol’ vein
Gipp say they look like Sisqo
The Chocolate City is the new San Francisco
[…] This is for the busters and the suckers
And the fake drug dealers and the internet cluckers
Need to stop lying to the kids, for real
Ain’t have no Benz until you signed your first record deal
Naaah naa na naaah
Bitch I been had my money right
I’m Rap-A-Lot in this mafia life
Excuse me, do you really wanna go to war?
Say something I’ll leave your brains on your mini bar
I think they bluffin’ and they frontin’
I’m Pimp C, you can’t tell me nothing!”
There are some shots at Young Jeezy in here, stemming from an interview Pimp C did with Ozone Magazine back in 2007 and plenty of dirt kicked at the city of D.C., but the most interesting part of this potential collab was that Kanye asked him to change the verse. “I done vowed I’m not gonna drop that shit, because Kanye told me that the song is a prayer,” he told Beverly. “I’m finna go back and [re-do it] and treat it as such, and treat it with respect, like I’m talking to the Lord. I’m not gonna invite no man to suck my dick on no muthafuckin’ song… when I’m supposed to be praying.”
Pimp C’s homophobia now withstanding, the verse went unreleased, though Pimp C would still find his way onto Kanye West’s Can’t Tell Me Nothing mixtape on a song with, who else, Fonzworth Bentley.