A lifetime of living in Miami prepared me for some of the most surprising twists in the epic tale of Willy Falcon and Sal Magluta: Learning that one of the most notorious drug rings in U.S. history emerged out of what should have been my home high school barely fazed me. The anecdote about the U.S. attorney who drowned his sorrows at a strip club and bit a stripper after a disappointing legal defeat elicited cackles, but it made sense in the city I've called home for three decades.
Still, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer crappiness of the docuseries' opening theme: Pitbull's "Blood Sport."
As a Little Havana native, I can't help it that part of me is rooting for Pitbull. He grew up reciting José Martí's poetry on command as a schoolkid, just like I did. He proudly reps Miami years after becoming Mr. Worldwide. He's a surprisingly adept performer. And although I fundamentally believe that charter schools pose a serious threat to public schooling, I appreciate the intentions that led Pitbull to found the SLAM! Miami charter school in the community that raised him.
Still, I cannot abide "Blood Sport."
The lyrical crimes begin just two seconds into the song:
"Everybody raps about coke/Everybody's sold a little yay."
Right off the bat, Pitbull tells us he's about to step on some heavily trod subject matter. Right away, I'm compelled to click the "Skip Intro" button. The two minutes and seven seconds that follow make me wish I did. Plus, telling me "everybody's sold a little yay" does nothing to sell me on the uniqueness of Willy and Sal's epic misadventures.
"But now, I shall become the cocaine!"
Eight seconds into "Blood Sport," Pitbull spells out his metaphor: He's going to rap this song from the perspective of cocaine itself. We've heard plenty of rap songs from the perspective of active and reformed drug dealers, but have you ever heard a song tell the story from coke's perspective? No!
Still, this raises the question: Why would someone rap a song from the perspective of cocaine?
"I've been called all types of names/Like Perico, Yayo, Snow, Blow, and Kane."
After taking on the persona of cocaine itself ("I've been processed, packaged, delivered in bricks/I've been cut, cooked, chopped and whipped"), Pitbull puts a coked-up spin on Schoolhouse Rock by giving us an informative, educational song that enumerates all the lighthearted nicknames humans have given to this addictive and deadly substance.
"I'm all white but I produce green."
This is the kind of wordplay that's consistent with Schoolhouse Rock's target age demographic.
"Sniff! (Co-) Snort! (-caine!)/Deal! (Cow-) Extort! (-boys)/Will (will) kill (kill)/For the love of the blood sport."
Here, Pitbull outlines how you ingest cocaine and then outlines what dealers do with cocaine. He already hit you over the head with the explanation at the top of the song, but now he's making sure you clearly understand the chorus too.
"They'll kick in your door like Bruce Lee."
This song already butchered anthropomorphism. Let's kill literary devices altogether by adding a banal, overplayed simile. Why not?
"Now it's cool to be a snitch/It's cool to go to jail/It's cool to get caught/Damn, where did I fail?"
Does cocaine have, um, emotions?
"When I was in the streets heavy they had codes and rules/Now it's just steady foes and fools/That's why they get found stiff like frozen food."
Sure, it rhymes. The background image of frozen, store-bought ham croquetas really elevates this part of the opening sequence.
"Take a sniff and let me remind you/Woo!"
Although he's now "become the cocaine," you know Pitbull had to get one more of his trademark screams in there before the song closed out.
I wish I were as psyched about this song as Pitbull appears to be. There was only one man for the job of soundtracking this only-in-Miami story. Too bad Yayo and Kane showed up instead of Mr. 305.