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

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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)

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