My dirty little secret

April 17, 2013 Comments Off on My dirty little secret

Okay, so there’s something you should know about me. My dirty little secret. I’m a huge fan of Pitbull.

No, not the dog that gets itself into trouble for eating people from time to time – the rapper. Armando Christian Pérez is his real name, but Pitbull is what you call him, yo, and he pops up on all kinds of people’s songs (and a lot of his own), with a trademark throaty chuckle that has me immediately cranking up the volume on my car radio.

I’m not the typical Pitbull fan, it has to be said. I’m a fortysomething mother from the burbs, with a good Calvinistic upbringing and I love to listen to Paul Simon and Billy Joel and, dare I say it, country music. Pitbull is something of a departure for me, musically. The most gangsta thing I do is run the dishwasher without refilling the rinse aid and salt when they run out – sometimes for more than a week. Yes. I’m that hardcore.

So it was with a little blush that I wrote “Pitbull CD” on my birthday list last year, wondering if my family would take me seriously. They did, to my delight, and I happily unwrapped Rebelution and popped it into the car CD player as I drove my then 10- and 12-year-old daughters off to school.

Big mistake. Six words into the first song, it felt like we’d heard ‘motherfucker’ at least four times. I hastily switched it off and decided I’d listen to it later: the underpinning philosophy of my parenting style is “do as as I say, not as I do”, and I am trying to raise polite daughters (in the hope of succeeding where my parents clearly failed with me). But once I’d dropped them off, Pitbull and all his mofos blasted me joyfully all the way to work.

I’ve tried to understand what I love so much, and I think it’s the Latin American rhythm. Cuba is on my bucket list of places to visit, solely for the music, and there’s something about the energy of Pitbull’s stuff that has me bopping along in the traffic. (I know, I know, it’s not a pretty image, but embarrassing my children is part of my job description.) I love the verbal agility of the lyrics: rapping is an art form that fascinates me as someone who loves words, and tries her hand at songwriting from time to time.

But actually, that explanation is a little disingenuous. It’s actually that voice, that slightly gravelly voice, and the chuckle. I have a crush on that voice. And when I hear the chuckle, I think, “Be still, my aching loins.”

So there you have it. My secret is out. If you see a frumpy, middle-aged woman with mad hair busting moves in her car in Johannesburg traffic, it’s probably me. I apologise in advance.

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