Pitbull Presents…Lyrics To Go
They underestimate us, but if you listen to Miami music…JT Money’s shit, the Poison Clan shit, they’re talking about exactly what was going on in Miami at the time. Jackin’ tourists and all the things that were happening down here. But the thing is, you really wouldn’t know about it unless you lived it. The culture didn’t have a spotlight on it like it does now, where people want to know about what the fuck’s going on down here.
Trick Daddy to me is like the 2Pac of the South. If you really listen to him and what he be saying, you’ll know. He just takes a different avenue in his career. He don’t really get praised like Trick should get praised. If it wasn’t for Trick, you wouldn’t really have the Young Jeezys and the T.I.s. Trick opened the door for that type of rap. I’m sure he’s in all of their top rappers list. I bet they all have the same rappers in common, the Scarfaces and the UGKs. That’s where they all sprung from.
A lot of people categorize me for being involved with different movements—reggaeton or crunk or whatever it may be. But me, I just love music. I love to make music. That’s the reason why I called the album El Mariel. Not only was my father involved in the whole movement of bringing boats over from Cuba, but it’s a question of freedom. I feel like my boat left in 2006—I’m looking to be free from all that. Don’t try to categorize me as these different things. That’s the way it is over here—people need to always categorize you. He’s Latin, or he’s Black, or he’s Jamaican. He’s this, he’s that. Everything ain’t a category.
With my lyrics, I always try to give punchlines here and there. I listen to Jay-Z to this day, man. I’ll be listening to it and I’ll catch a new line, like, “Oh, shit!” I like that, so I want that in my music also. Whether it be a club record or not, I always try to throw something nice in there.
It’s a balance. As far as non-Southern lyricists that influenced me, you got Nas. I used to listen to Nas and try to figure out how he put his words together. Of course Jay and Biggie. And then the flow—I would always listen to Snoop on Doggystyle, and he always had a flow, he always ride the beat right. That’s basically how I try to put my music together. I try to make the flow just catchy enough that they can rap along with it.
I carry a notebook around, but most of the time I just get in the studio, hear the beat and knock it out. First I get the flow together, just off the top. I just start mumblin’ shit, and make sure I got it right. “Okay, that’s the flow I want to hit.” But then for the lyrics, I definitely write it out. I try to find the right words to fit that flow.
Pitbull feat. Fat Joe & Sinful “Que Tu Sabes” (2006)
from El Mariel, in stores now.
Pitbull’s Top 5 Southern Lyricists:
- Trick Daddy
- Rick Ross
- Bun B