Miami rapper Pitbull released a rap response to Jay-Z's "Open Letter" rap response to Miami's Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Marco Rubio for criticizing his recent trip to Cuba. (Yeah, it's confusing. Here's the last link that has other links).
Partisans in the Twittersphere seem confused. Is Pitbull taking sides? The wondering is understandable. Pitbull is a party rapper not known for subtlety (Rubio said as much on Twitter before clarifying his remarks).
But this is different.
Pitbull's track is less a political statement than a stream-of-consciousness that sounds like a rhyming history of Cubans in Miami, touching on everything from Scarface (the movie soundtrack appears to be sampled, FYI) to the Mariel boatlift crime wave to Operation Pedro Pan to Hermanos Al Rescate to Elian Gonzalez
Then there's this line: "Let's not act like half of our families ain't flipped bricks." A reference to Rubio's brother in law who, when the future politician was 16, was busted as part of a drug ring (a touchy subject)?
Pitbull takes shots at unnamed politicians and he seems to support Jay-Z and Beyonce
Politicians love to hate you/ But then they run away when it’s time to debate you.Question of the night:/ would they have mess with Mr. Carter if he was white?/ Hmmm, rhyme with treasury/ One way another in Cuba is where they’ll bury me/ Happy 5th year anniversary, Jay and B/ don’t worry it’s on me
Rubio didn't seem concerned this morning when he Tweeted a link to the track.
We've been told that, when Rubio won the Senate in 2010, Pitbull showed up at The Biltmore during his victory party. But last year, the rapper was firmly in President Obama's camp when he appeared with the Democrat in Hollywood.
Regardless of what Pitbull intended, this much is clear: Jay-Z is a pretty terrible rapper (sure, he's rich and famous. So who am I? Just another hater).
Here's the Pitbull track
And here's an example of rappers from Cuba who show a side to the island that Jay-Z and Beyonce probably never saw and who have a talent Jay-Z never will: