Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Pitbull, Sensato, Black Point, Lil Jon & El Cata – Watagatapitusberry

Auditions for the new Vampire Weekend video got a bit out of hand…


Matt Cibula: ¿Cualquier persona recuerda risa? Amo esta canción de la escuela vieja — ¡tan escandalosa y alegre! — tanto que puedo probarla.

Al Shipley: DJ Class, the Baltimore club producer whose music rarely traveled outside his own city for over a decade, has had an interesting ride over the last 16 months thanks to his comeback jam “I’m The Ish.” The single got him signed to a major label and briefly charted with a remix featuring Lil Jon, and he produced a track on Pitbull’s last album. But just as the song finally seemed to die down, it’s gained a second life with the beat appropriated for this bizarre Spanglish novelty hit. And Class’s new friends have hopped on the remix for the song’s official coming out party, after months of internet meme status.

Martin Skidmore: Black Point is a rapper from the Dominican Republic, and this is a bouncy rap number with lots of shouting and the title repeated scores of times, and maybe if I spoke Spanish I would have the faintest idea what they are on about. Perhaps just having fun, which is fine with me, because I mostly am too.

Chuck Eddy: What, I got to beat this? Very. (Best bit: when Lil Jon, presumably accidentally, mimics the Detroit proto-techno classic “Sharevari,” by A Number Of Names. Also like the Bobby McFerrin quote, and whenever anybody mentions spaghetti.)

Rodney J. Greene: There’s as much ink to be spilled on the topic of Pitbull and appropriation as there has been on Vampire Weekend’s various usurpations. His modus operandi from day one has been to retrofit the latest in Afro-Carribean/-Latin/-Brazillian crazes to fit his Miami state of mind. Of course, in most of these musical cultures, intellectual property is a rather nebulous concept, even moreso than in U.S. hiphop, in which the kind of memetic borrowings that have always propelled African-derived music have a stronger legal framework with which to contend. Whether Pitbull is at morally at fault for these usages is a bit beyond my purview here, but what is important is that he has delivered these anthems to American audiences, even as mainstream radio has turned its attention from the sounds of rest of the New World toward slick Euro-dance over the past half-decade. “Watagatapitusberry” follows the Pitbull formula almost word-for-word, taking a year-old track from Domincan rappers Black Point and Sensato, high on inexplicability even beyond its suggestive Spanglish neologism. The original, which itself jacked its music from Baltimore club producer DJ Class’ “I’m the Ish” (feedback loop ahoy!), became a Youtube sensation when a cadre of teenagers decided to upload their own “Official” video for the song, a montage somehow even more bizarre than the music itself. Where this differs from past Pitbull efforts is that, for once, he does invite the originators along for the ride. The re-version is more disciplined in its tighter song form, without reining in any of the song’s zanier qualities. Pitbull himself sounds just slightly too cool for the madness going on around him, but he mostly stays out of the way. He also brings in Lil Jon to reinstate any randomness lost in processing and some other dude named El Gata, who is frankly kind of badass. Say what you will about Pitbull as an artist, but as a cultural arbiter, he has few peers.

Anthony Easton: I have no idea what is being said, but the energy is so strong, and the fake apology for his accent, and then moving into some truly strange Spanglish, makes the thing the feel good hit of the summer.

Alfred Soto: Pull up the people, pull up the poor.

John Seroff: For a wackier than usual novelty song that plays off gringo slack, this is far more fun than it should be. Limited by nature though and not half as catchy as, say, Pizza Hut/Taco Bell. Nevertheless, hard to deny.

Alex Ostroff: If the idea of Pitbull and a bunch of his friends arguing over the meaning of a phrase which none of them actually understand strikes you as dumb, you’d be half-right. It is gloriously dumb, from Lil Jon’s completely extraneous “WHAT?”s to the totally random “Baby, you in spaghetti.” That said, the Black Point original was as good as (if not better than) this remix, and “Watagatapitusberry” is at its best when he gets to reprise his verses. The highlight is Black Point’s idle speculation that Watagatapitusberry “Sera frances?” When Pitbull et al. insist “No es ingles!”, he petulantly asks who told them they knew how to speak English. Which is both hilarious and completely beside the point, since the joy of this track lies in how much fun you can have even when completely befuddled.

10 Responses to “Pitbull, Sensato, Black Point, Lil Jon & El Cata – Watagatapitusberry”

  1. I’m waiting for the Gloria Estefan-Pitbull collab.

    btw my college radio station here claims to have “discovered” Pitbull eight or nine years ago.

  2. Well, his first appearance on a Lil Jon album was almost 8 years ago, so that’s plausible.

  3. it should be noted that ‘watagatapitusberry’ is supposedly (or maybe obviously) a slang term for “more dick in her vagina” or something, which goes right up there in the lil jon cannon with getting “skeet skeet” on the radio ad nauseum

  4. I keep hearing it as “what? I gotta beat this berry?” which is amusingly sort of opposite. Great song obv.

  5. It doesn’t really mean anything, it’s just vaguely suggestive.

  6. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=WataGataPitusBerry&defid=4216878

  7. Yes, some people have made up their own meanings and then posted them to the internet. Good job.

  8. This is like “Superman that ho” all over again.

  9. Matt Cibula – I speak spanish and I don’t quite understand what you tried to say :P

    Here’s the english translation:

    ¿Anyone remembers laughter? I love this old school song – so scandalous and happy! – so much I can taste it.

  10. And yes, whatever sexual innuendo people try to make out of it, truth is it has no real meaning, just a catchy, nonsensical word. Sort of like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… just something to say when you have nothing to say.