I never believed all those T-shirts that read, “Why do you think they call it Flori-duh!” For one thing, alligators live there, and alligators have been around for millions of years, so they must know something we don’t. Hip-hop mixtapes concocted in swamps probably won’t be around as long, but who knows? I’ve been wrong before. Florida’s great hope for the future, besides the alligators, is Cuban American MC Pitbull (who also has a new regular non-mixtape album called Miami with a hit called “Culo” featuring Lil Jon out these days, but never mind). What’s he got to say on his latest mixtape, Unleashed Vol. 3? Oh, you know, stuff like: “Welcome to Miami, motherfuckers.” “Wherever you’re from, represent. Your county. Your city.” “Pineapple Life Savers.” “Dreads and gold teeth.” “It don’t make dollars and it don’t make cents.” “M-I-A-M-I till I die.” “The crack game ain’t everything it’s cracked up to be.” “Your feelings are like pussy, so fuck what you feel.” “It’s like basic math, one cat’s gotta get subtracted.” The usual.
What I need more of that Pitbull provides us with on his tape: more rapping over the music from “Hey Ya!” More freestyling over the music from “Jump Around.” More remixes of “Salt Shaker” where people start singing “Din Daa Daa.” More Miami bass where we are dipped and you are dipped and they are dipped in crunky goodness.
What I maybe don’t need more of: what-the-fuck bonus tracks featuring dead white misanthropes. Even if I do like the way that “Imagine”—John Lennon F/ Pitbull & Nas looks on paper.
John Lennon: “Imagine there’s no heaven.” (Ha ha! Heaven-hater!)
Nas: “Mothers stop cooking, take off your aprons. Fathers stop looking at every sports station. Take a second and think of every poor nation.” (Aw, you a sweetie!)
Pitbull: “We’re taught to believe in religion, but religion’s the reason that the twin towers are missing.”
Last but not least, I’m gonna say it if nobody else will: Playing messages that friends leave on your voicemail is not the same thing as a “skit.” Summer anthem that will not be denied, though (at least at my house): the Diaz Bros.–produced track “Don’t Stop the Rok” It’s electro-pitbull F-L-A fun that you can sink your canines into.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 20, 2004