Rapper Pitbull: Focus on Suffering Cuban People Rather Than Jay-Z, Beyoncé Trip

Rapper Armando Pérez, better known by his stage name Pitbull, used the recent dust-up over liberal celebrities Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Beyoncé Knowles traveling to Cuba to call attention to the awful conditions faced by people in his homeland.

Responding to an earlier “open letter” by Carter in which he defended his trip to the communist dictatorship, Pérez did not condemn the musical couple. Instead, he called attention to the suffering of the Cuban people and how so many have died trying to come to freedom in America.

In his rap, which is a typical mixture of English and Spanish, Pérez says the people of Cuba, whom he identifies as “the Jews of the Caribbean,” are “fucked” under the existing regime of Fidel Castro and his brother Raul.

“Politicians loves to hate you / but then they runaway when it’s time to debate you,” Pérez sings. He also references a secret CIA operation which helped the children of Cuban exiles escape and flee to America, a program which enabled his mother to come to this country.

In his rhyme, Pérez also hits back against Americans who are trying to make peace with the Castro regime and hits the former Bill Clinton administration for stealing away Cuban child Elián González from his father:

Blood is blood don’t act like we anemic,
Elián got snatched back, the whole world seen it.[...]

Don’t agree with the change Castro talk?
But it’s hard to understand unless they educate you.
Politicians loves to hate you
But then they runaway when it’s time to debate you.

He also pays extended homage to the civil liberties that Americans enjoy that Cubans do not currently possess:

I love the freedom that has been given to us,
Now break down us, get it? U-S that’s right God bless.

It’s the freedom that we ride for, it’s the freedom that we die for,
C-u-b-a, hope to see you free one day.

Toward the end, Pérez mentions Carter, but only to indulge in speculation about whether his critics are attacking him because he is black: “Question of the night: would they have messed with Mr. Carter if he was white?” he asks. Immediately afterward, Pérez then wonders if the attacks on Carter are simply due to his fame and money. “Hmm, rhyme with treasury,” he states.

Pérez then ends with an expression of hope that, after his death, he will be able to be buried in his native Cuba.

This is far from the first time that Pérez has criticized the Castro regime. In a 2011 interview, he said that he would never perform in Cuba as long as it continued to remain under dictatorship:

Though he raves about playing all over the world, there is one country he refuses to set foot in: "I won't perform in Cuba until there's no more Castro and there's a free Cuba. To me, Cuba's the biggest prison in the world, and I would be very hypocritical were I to perform there. The people in Cuba, they know what I stand for, and there's a lot of people in Cuba that stand for the same. But they can't say it." He makes sure to call out any acquaintances he sees wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt. "It's like wearing an Adolf Hitler T-shirt and not knowing," he sniffs disapprovingly. "You're gonna offend a lot of people."

Here are the full lyrics of the song with some accompanying explanations of their meanings. You can also listen to it below:

Mr. Worldwide,
First letter of Cuba, is an open letter, [i.e. the letter C has a hole in it and is therefore “open”]
So you know I had to do this dawg.

Let’s start like this:

[Verse 1]

Born in Miami, right on time--
Scarface, El Mariel, Cuban crime
Admit it if you want to, truth is the truth, lie if you want to.

Politics, yeah that’s politic.

Let’s not act like half of our families is in split bricks, [i.e. cinder blocks of prison]
We made Miami something from nothing,
Let’s not forget that we came from nothing.

Los judios del Caribe, ahora estan jodios en el Caribe
[The Jews of the Caribbean, are now fucked in the Caribbean.]

Blood is blood don’t act like we anemic,
Elián got snatched back, the whole world seen it.

Russian missile crise had America skating on nuclear ice.
Bay of Pigs big bluff,
We thought they had our back, but they left us straight stuck.

I ain’t here to hold a grudge,
I love the freedom that has been given to us.
Now break down us, get it? U-S that’s right God bless.

[Hook]

It’s the freedom that we ride for, it’s the freedom that we die for,
C-u-b-a, hope to see you free one day.

It’s the freedom that we ride for, it’s the freedom that we die for,
C-u-b-a, hope to see you free one day.

[Verse 2]

Abuela y tía [Grandma and Aunt], Sierra Maestra, which led to my mother in “Pedro Pan.”
In Cuba hit the lotto that means get your family, search for freedom and run.

[A reference to a CIA operation that smuggled children of Castro regime opponents into the U.S.]

Havana made Vegas, ask Meyer Lansky [a mobster and casino operator in Cuba who later opened casinos in Las Vegas],
That’s if you know where his grave is.

Hermanos al escate, brothers to the rescue.
Don’t agree with the change Castro talk?
But it’s hard to understand unless they educate you.

Politicians loves to hate you,
But then they runaway when it’s time to debate you.

Question of the night: would they have messed with Mr. Carter if he was white?
Hmm, rhyme with treasury.

One way or another, in Cuba is where they’ll bury me.
Happy 5th year anniversary, Jay and B don’t worry it’s on me.

[Hook]

Y para todo el mundo en Cuba,
Con la ayuda de dios, nos vemos pronto.

[And for everyone in Cuba,
By the grace of God, see you soon.]

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013