Mr. 305, what have you gotten yourself into? Pitbull has responded to growing criticism from the Florida State Legislature in regards to a contract he has with a state-run marketing agency to promote the many wonders of Florida, specifically stemming from a song and music video called “Sexy Beaches” he released over the summer with Chloe Angelides. Produced for Visit Florida and featuring tantalizing lyrics such as “I don’t bring the sand to the beach, I bring the beach to the sand,” numerous legislators have argued that the rapper’s contract was an inappropriate use of taxpayer funding and that the contract’s details should be released to the public. “I’m not against people having bold ideas and executing on those,” State Sen. Jeff Brandes told the Miami Herald. “But I want to make sure that at the end of the day that it reflects the values of the state of Florida. That’s the major concern here.” House Democratic Leader Janet Cruz went a step further, calling the song and video “demeaning to women” and offensive because of the “sexualization and degradation of women.” Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, even weighed in, tweeting: “This is ridiculous and must be fixed. Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is spent.”
Pitbull had yet to publicly comment on the contract until this morning, most likely due to the pressure of Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran filing a lawsuit against Pitbull’s production company to force public disclosure of the deal. (Per Politico, Corcoran is also considering whether to completely defund the multi-million-dollar budget for Visit Florida. Wowza!) “It’s been an honor to represent Miami and the Sunshine State,” Pitbull tweeted. “I’ve taken Miami and Florida worldwide — WAY before any contract, and will do so way after. I love my home state …#LOVEFL since birth … and till the day I die. Dale!” In addition to the tweet, he attached the contract between him and Visit Florida, which outlined that he was paid $1 million between 2015 and 2016 for various promotion deals. Not too shabby, Mr. Worldwide.