Have you ever wondered how your favorite classic rap song was made? In Complex TV's Magnum Opus, these monumental records from our past are revisited. With in-depth interviews from the artists involved to first-hand accounts of respected rap peers and critics of the time, viewers get a blueprint of how the song was created, what impact it had, and how its legacy continues to live on. New episodes of Magnum Opus can be found exclusively on Complex TV.
It's not often that three rap careers are created off the strength of one record. But that just speaks to the impact of "Still Tippin'," the 2004 debut single from Mike Jones. In Complex TV's new episode of Magnum Opus, Jones and his song collaborators Slim Thug and Paul Wall break down the making of this Southern classic.
What many may not know is there was a version of "Still Tippin'" before the one that Mike Jones eventually put out on Swishahouse, the house that Michael "5000" Watts and OG Ron C built. This led to tension between Paul Wall and Chamillionaire, who once worked in the group The Color Changin' Click and were both featured on the original alongside Slim Thug. The decision to leave Chamillionaire off the record fractured his relationship with Paul Wall, but in the long run opened up a door for the South to move toward the forefront of rap.
Producer Salih Williams played a big part in the success of "Still Tippin'," who tweaked the original version for a beat that provided the perfect backdrop for Jones and company. "I don't where it was from, but it was some classical piece that I heard," Williams says of the sample. "I loved the strings on the Phantom X I was using at the time. I used the pitch, and it was perfect."
Just as important were the visuals that accompanied the record. The music video was directed by a then-unknown John "Dr. Teeth" Tucker, who gave viewers an uncut picture of what it meant to be from the South. "That visual turned the United States onto Houston," he says.
Check out the full clip above, which also includes commentary from veteran rapper Bun B, promoter/journalist Matt Sonzala, and record executive Joie Manda. And yes, Mike Jones even talks about the inspiration behind giving out his infamous phone number. (281) 330-8004.