I’d like to put forth an obvious and topical claim, a thesis that has been rattling around in my head since the dog day’s of summer, unformed until today’s reminder of the late Dr. King reminded me. It’s simple. I believe that Cuban rapper Pitbull is our generation’s Martin Luther King Jr (or at least our Rodolfo Gonzalez).
I’m not sure if you are one of the almost 95,000,000 people that have watched Pitbull’s seminal hit from last summer on YouTube “I Know You Want Me (Calle) Ocho”, but in case you’re not, allow me to refresh your memory:
See what I’m saying? Pitbull didn’t just create a booty-dropping, ass-shaking, butt-gyrating, pulse-pounding club-thumper of a hit song, he created as poignant a political statement as Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant”. It’s all in the chorus. “1, 2, 3, 4, uno, dos, tres, quatro.” He’s not merely counting to four to give you a nice beat to squeeze a hiney* to, he’s bridging the language gap, welcoming us all to the beautiful, multi-cultural future that is a bi-lingual America, and he’s saying let’s all have fun doing it.
You might even say that Pitbull is more than a great unifier and sewer of not yet connected patches of our national cultural quilt, you might say he’s an educator. For years scientists have been discussing music’s ability to teach children new languages. There’s even a study that says you can teach a Monkey braille with a heavy bass line. And one of Eastern Europe’s most famous educator’s been on television for years preaching the educational benefits of song.
You know, if you watch Pitbull’s video then this one, you’ll probably realize there’s a lot of amazing similarities between these two forger’s of young minds and shapers of tomorrow.
*I think it’s ridiculous that spell check doesn’t recognize the word hiney. My Grandma, if she were violent or used a computer, would do something violent to a computer.