Motormouth songwriter Pitbull cuts into the fast lane through a foray into the world of movies with the theme for Men in Black III, writes Neala Johnson
Miami rapper is top dog
POP charts? Conquered. Everything else? You’re next!
Fast- talking Miami singer- songwriter Pitbull ( Armando Perez to his mother) has rapped his way to the top with a string of hits including Give Me Everything, Hotel
Room Service and I Know You Want Me. His latest chart salvo is Back in Time, the theme song to upcoming movie blockbuster Men in Black III, which is sitting at No. 6 on the Australian singles chart this week.
‘‘ You’ve got Agent J and Agent K,’’ says Pitbull. ‘‘ I’m agent A, baby!’’
Now that he’s dipping his toe in the movie world, it’s not at all surprising to hear Pitbull wants to build an empire modelled on that of Men in Black’s multi- media megastar Will Smith.
‘‘ When they say build a portfolio, go and speak with your business broker or whatever. We’ve built a portfolio,’’ Pitbull explains.
‘‘ Music is the engine and what it does is it creates businesses across the board. I’m involved in everything from healthcare to education, from charter schools to clinics. I’m involved with technology . . .
‘‘ I’m involved with the key guys in the world and that’ll hit in like three years from now. That’s when you guys will really get a chance to see that.
‘‘ Hollywood, I’m just getting my feet wet. But when it comes to Hollywood it’s to own property, it’s not just to make them money. I respect the business. Men in Black III is not a movie, it’s a franchise. Will Smith is an empire.
‘‘ So when you’re in there, it’s like, ‘ Wow, this is a great class, let’s learn’. And that’s what I do. I take it and I apply it.
‘‘ So Hollywood, you’ll get involved in the television side, you’ll get involved on the movie side, on the acting side . . . and when we do, we’ll be able to do like Will Smith does with [ production company] Overbrook.’’
The supremely confident Pitbull, who often talks in motivational slogans, does realise that the journey from pop star to actor to empire overlord may involve copping a bit of flak.
‘‘ You gotta take some hits. Failure is the mother of all success. And Hollywood just turns out to be another place for us to put that into play.’’
And when people get their knives out for his first acting role? ‘‘ Let them!’’ Pitbull will go back to the engine room for an Australian tour in late August.
‘‘ The stage is my therapy, my escape. I get to let loose,’’ he says. ‘‘ When I’m up there I’m giving you everything I got. It’s about keeping the people going, having a good time. There’s nothing better than the power of music. You’re not thinking mortgage, you’re not thinking car payments, you’re not thinking child support, you’re just escaping. That’s special.’’
As far as the creation of Back in Time,
Pitbull makes it sound easy. ‘‘ I received a call. They told me the slogan ‘ Back in time’ and that they were going back to 1969 in the movie. There was no genius to it, I took that idea, I gave it to the producers, they
came back with the sample of Love is
‘‘ I said, ‘ This is the sample’, because it’s been used in other movies before Dirty
Dancing, Casino – and everybody knows it. It’ll catch people’s ears right away. Played with the record, added a little hip- hop, dance, house, dubstep. Put it all together, there you go: Back in Time.
‘‘ So I didn’t break my head over it. I just had fun with it because I feel that’s what the movie’s about, they’re saving the world, killing aliens, but they’re having fun doing it . . . and looking good, too!’’
Smith, who scored his own rap hit with the titular song from the first Men in Black film, gave the Pitbull tune his blessing. ‘‘ For Will Smith to protect the Men in
Black brand and allow Pitbull to do the record, I think that says a lot right there,’’ Pitbull says.
Now the rapper is ready to put the Will Smith- patented entrepreneur blueprint into motion. So get on the bus or get lost. ‘‘ I look at it as evolving,’’ Pitbull says. ‘‘ If you choose not to grow, more power to you. But I’m gonna keep growin’, so you can either grow with me or get outgrown.’’ MEN IN BLACK III: NOW SHOWING VILLAGE CINEMAS HEAR Back in Time out now ( Sony)