Flo Rida & Pitbull
Can’t Believe It
Album: The Perfect 10
Flo Rida judges women’s looks based on racial stereotypes in the ignorant “Can’t Believe It.”
A snazzy saxophone opens the single, setting a glazed tone. In the intro, Flo Rida notices a white woman walking by and comments in disbelief on her husky bottom. She’s a white woman! Her butt is supposed to be flat! (“Damn that white girl got some ass.”)
Thirteen seconds in and I’m already offended. It’s a record.
In the chorus, Flo Rida thinks white woman are all skinny without a backside. Seeing a white woman who doesn’t fit the image makes his head spin and he needs to have proof. But when he sees a black woman with a husky bottom, it’s expected. He then wants them to parade around in a circle for him, allowing him to blatantly ogle their butts. (“I can’t believe it/ White girl got some ass/I wanna see it/Black girl got a ass /It ain’t a secret /Baby turn around/I wanna see it, tryin’ to see it, gotta see it/I wanna see that bubble yum bum, baram bam baram /Bubble yum bum, baram, bam baram.”)
Both women passed the test. One is a Britney Spears lookalike and the other resembles Serena Williams. He likes to have two women on his arm and is incredibly proud of it. Every where he goes, his eyes are glued to women’s butts. He loves to watch the blonde, skinny girl with large breasts grind until she’s on the floor. However, he prefers black women. (“Uh, I think I found one ‘cause I got that fever of Britney/Gotta self a round one, ass like Serena, that’s okay /’Cause I love my stereotypes, my girls in twos/That maximum exposure rolls and I know what I wanna do/Telling all the girls, all around the world, my last name must be Robins/’Cause I’m basking in these asses, all thirty one flavors keep calling/My my my my vanilla Cinderella love it when I tell her drop it,/A butt of peca recan. but I love my chocolate.”)
The chorus is sung again.
It’s Pitbull’s turn. He generalizes women, managing to keep race out of it. However, he flubs it by insulting them, calling them fat, chunky, and comparing them to monkeys. Thankfully, he goes back to his favorite topic himself. It’s a guaranteed in every song of his and guest appearance. The self-involvement is annoying. However, in this single, it’s the safest thing he could’ve done. (“She got that butt donk-donkie- donkie/They so fat, they so chunky/Call me Michael Jackson, hee hee /’Cause I love to play with monkeys/This the Miami thing, that’s right/We down for anything that’s right/You do everything, that’s right/Flo Rida Pitbull anything/I’m off the chain and lane lane, lane lane/Ustedes saben quien es quien/Mira salinga con toda esa/Como tu sabes estoy loco./Pero que bueno que era poco/Mami mueve los coco/I don’t care where you’re from/As long as you got that bubble gum.”)
The chorus is sung again.
In the bridge, Flo Rida instructs them, telling them which direction to turn and when. (“Now turn left, turn right/Turn around you could tell what I like/She so good, she so bad/She kick it up, drop it down, look back./Bubble yum bum, baram, bam baram/Bubble yum bum, baram, bam baram/Bubble yum bum, baram, bam baram/Bubble yum bum, baram, bam baram.”)
The chorus is sung twice to end the single.
Flo Rida’s standoffish, antagonistic rap is snide, analyzing each women’s butt in detail, marking her up in his mind and pushing her off to the side if she doesn’t meet his specifications. He confers with Pitfull for a second opinion.
Pitbull, however, is unusually subdued and sheepish, as though he’s apologetic towards the women for Flo Rida’s behavior. His verse seems to be force fed to him, second guessing himself the entire time for participating in the single.
Stereotypes exist in each genre. But once race is added into the equation, it becomes problematic. The blame falls on Flo Rida who makes separate standards on women dependent on their race. He doesn’t even try to hide it. His preferences and opinions are spelled out with any shame whatsoever.
To Pitbull’s credit, he does stay as far away from the issue of race as much as he possibly can. However, he doesn’t get away scot-free. He is on the single, implicitly condoning it.
The backwards “Can’t Believe It” is in denial that it’s 2013.