Crossover King Pitbull Spills on the Spanish Phrases His Fans Need to Know -- 'Dale!'
Miami rapper Pitbull has made a career of straddling crossover lines, effortlessly toggling between English and Spanish, reggaeton and dance-pop. But the 34-year-old born Armando Perez shifts gears on Dale, his first Spanish-language album in five years, out June 17 on RCA. Mr. Worldwide shares some Espanol words and phrases listeners need to know.
1. "Ya tu sabe"
Meaning: You already know.
Pitbull says: "It's a very street way of saying, 'Guys, let's cut through the bullshit; let's speak to each other raw and straight to the point. Let's get to it.' It's a way to expedite things."
Pitbull says: "I knew the gringos would repeat it. In every language, everybody learns the bad words first."
3. "Quien no oye consejo no llega a viejo"
Meaning: He who doesn't listen to advice will not live to grow old.
Pitbull says: "That's an old Cuban saying. A big part of my career has been based on listening to people. My father, mom, grandfather, uncle -- everyone used to say this. You can go to any corner on [Miami's] Calle Ocho and some old Cuban dude will say it to you."
4. "Pasos cortos, vista larga"
Meaning: Small steps, long vision.
Pitbull says: "It's not on this album, but it's what it's all about. Nothing comes easy [without] hard work. If it comes quick, it leaves quicker. If you're going to learn a single phrase in Spanish, it should be this one."
Meaning: Technically, "do it," but it's complicated.
Pitbull says: "It means a lot of things; it depends on how you're using it. It's my way of checking out -- 'Dale, I'm out of here' -- or my way of getting started. It's definitely the word I hear most. I travel around the world and run into people that speak no English, no Spanish and they say 'dale.' "
This story originally appeared in the July 25 issue of Billboard.