Pitbull’s new single “Freedom” is featured in Norwegian Cruise Lines’ just-launched 2016 campaign. The catchy track adopts the Stones’ “I’m Free” by way of The Soup Dragons to kick off yet another party anthem destined for the charts, one expected to be included on Pitbull’s upcoming album, Climate Change.
“Freedom” is featured in a typical fun-in-the-sun Norwegian TV ad, and it’s also a teaser for a Pitbull cruise, which will offer “once in a lifetime performances from Pitbull and some of his closest friends in the biz.” The Pitbull After Dark Party on the Norwegian Pearl is scheduled for March 10-13, 2017.
“Kick back in the sun by day, don’t stop the party by night,” reads a post on Pitbull’s web site. “From Calle Ocho to the Caribbean, we’re taking this vacation to a whole new level. Dale!”
Or as the song’s lyrics say: “Feel free, have the time of our lives, let’s all get wild tonight/ Feel free, get on the ship and cruise the world/ Are you with it, girl?”
The announced Pitbull cruise will sail from Mr. 305’s hometown of Miami to the Bahamas.
Havana is not listed as a port of call, but a “Pit stop” in Cuba wouldn’t be too surprising, considering the current pace of improving U.S.-Cuba relations.
The cover art for “Freedom” features a bow-tie printed with half the American flag and half the Cuban flag on the other. The lyrics include the line “Cuba, can’t wait to live free, yeah.”
The Cuban-American rapper has frequently called out Cuba in his songs, but unlike a growing list of music stars who include Rihanna, Katy Perry, Mick Jagger and Ozzy Osbourne, he hasn’t been spotted in Havana in the wake of renewed ties between the U.S. and the island nation.
The son of Cuban exiles, Pitbull has in the past made his own policy about not visiting Cuba clear.
“I won’t perform in Cuba until there’s no more Castro and there’s a free Cuba,” he told a writer for The Guardian in 2011. “To me, Cuba’s the biggest prison in the world, and I would be very hypocritical were I to perform there.”
In 2008, Pitbull wrote a song called “Ya Se Acabo (It’s Over),” imagining a Cuba without Fidel Castro, that was adopted as an anti-Castro anthem by exile groups in Miami.
But in 2015, he angered some of those same exiles by expressing his support for ending the embargo against Cuba, and declaring in an interview with Univision that he would like to give a concert in Havana. He also Tweeted a photo of a bottle of his Voli vodka brand, suggesting that it would soon be available on the island.
— Pitbull (@pitbull) July 25, 2015
If/when Pitbull does go to Cuba, whether Fidel Castro is still living or not, undoubtedly it will not be quietly.
For now, Pitbull will be headed to Vegas, where he will return for a second run of his “Time of our Lives” show at Planet Hollywood Resort from March 12-26.