2011 American Music Awards - Show

Recently I went home to visit my mom and one afternoon I helped her download some new music to her Ipod. And as I was going through her music library and seeing all the typical “mom music” – Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, Andrea Bocelli, Il Volo – I noticed that she also had a few Pitbull songs.

“Since when do you like Pitbull?” I asked.

“He’s a great performer and I like the beats and rhythms of his songs,” my mom simply stated.


I have nothing against Pitbull. I am neither a fan nor a hater. I truly have no opinion on the man as an artist. So to the people who are really into his music – godspeed. They can worship at the Pitbull altarfor all I care. Anyone is free to enjoy the sounds of Pitbull.

Just not my mom.

I don’t want my mom liking Pitbull. It’s just plain weird. The image of my mom bumping “Back In Time” through her ear buds while she goes on her daily walk around her neighborhood is so completely distressing to me that I might need psychoanalysis. Knowing that my mom likes “the beats” of any hip hop artist, let alone Pitbull, is not information I need in my cranium. (At least she didn’t call them “fat beats.” Then I am pretty sure I would have to kill myself.)

I know for a fact that when I was a kid my mom did not listen to any hip hop of any kind, ever. There was never a moment when A Tribe Called Quest came on the radio and my mom would crank up the volume and exclaim, “Damn! Tribe is my jam!” That never happened. Since I’ve been alive there has never been any inclination that my mom cared remotely about anything labeled “hip hop.” But now she’s all up in Pitbull’s musical grill? What gives?

Now, I’m guessing my mom isn’t paying attention to the lyrics while she is listening to a Pitbull song. Wait. Let me rephrase that. I’m praying my mom isn’t paying attention to the lyrics while she is listening to a Pitbull song. I don’t need her singing along to the lyrics of “I Know You Want Me” (her favorite song). Call me old fashioned, but I really don’t think mothers should be singing out loud, “Mami got an ass like a donkey” – in public or in private.

Saying the words, “Yeah, my mom likes Pitbull” is just so odd to me. There are many other popular artists out there that if she liked I wouldn’t even have blinked.  Changing that sentence to “Yeah, my mom likes Pharrell Williams” or “Yeah, my mom likes Rhianna” or “Yeah, my mom likes Bruno Mars,” makes much more sense. Pitbull doesn’t make sense. I mean, it makes more sense than the sentence, “Yeah, my mom like Rick Ross,” but still, the whole thing is just a big bag of weird.

Listen, I get that music is a subjective thing. People can suddenly get into different types of music for a variety of reasons. That being said, people’s musical tastes seem to be set at an early age. You like what you like as a teenager. Sure, there are variations on that and you might delve into other forms of music as you get older, but it’s rare that someone does such a complete one-eighty. That’s kind of what I feel my mom is doing. And I want it to stop.

In the end I guess I just don’t like it that my mom might have changed. As a kid, you are so used to your parents being a constant, unchanging force in your life that it can freak you out when even the slightest transformation occurs. It’s hard seeing your parents as humans who might want to change something in their lives. So I guess my mom liking Pitbull is something I must learn to accept.

FYI, when I told my mom I was going to write this article about her love of Pitbull, she emailed me this:

“I also enjoy Sean Paul.”

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