Rubio raps on Tupac, Pitbull, and Bob Dole
February 6th, 2013
10:22 AM ET
1 year ago

Rubio raps on Tupac, Pitbull, and Bob Dole

(CNN) – Leave it to a U.S. senator to resurrect the East Coast-West Coast hip hop debate.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio weighed in once again on his love for the deceased rapper Tupac, who often rapped about the violence and racial tensions that plagued Los Angeles in the 90s.

During a wide-ranging interview with BuzzFeed that streamed live online Tuesday night, the Miami-born senator was asked why he's not a fan of Tupac's rival the Notorious B.I.G., a Brooklyn-based rapper who's also deceased.

"I think Tupac's lyrics are probably more insightful," he said. Rubio added that he attended college and law school during that time and "grew up" in the era Tupac's music was most popular.

"In some ways rappers are like reporters," he said. "At that time, there was a lot of reporting of what life was like in South Central, in the L.A. area. They were reporting what life was like."

Asked if he learned any political lessons from rap music, Rubio laughed, saying "probably not." Although, he did point out Tupac mentioned former GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole in a song. The song, "How Do You Want It," also mentioned former President Bill Clinton.

"You'd never thought Bob Dole had anything to do with hip hop, but he did," Rubio joked.

READ MORE: Rubio aims to avoid same-sex rights as 'central issue' in immigration debate

The first-term senator released his "Spotify" music list earlier Tuesday, an eclectic mix of rap, Christian music, and electronic dance. Among the list of hip hop artists are Tupac, Kanye West, Jay Z, and Big Sean.

Surprisingly, Pitbull made the list–an artist who Rubio said in a magazine interview last year didn't quite meet his standards. His comments quickly drew criticism, as the musician hails from Rubio's hometown of Miami.

"I don't know what the issue is," Rubio said, answering the criticism Tuesday. The artist is most recently known for "Back in Time" (2012) and "I Know You Want Me" (2009).

Referring to Pitbull by his real name, Armando, Rubio said the point he was "trying to drive is that his music wasn't necessarily Tupac's in the sense that it was telling a story that way. It's largely music that caters to a party audience."

He credited Pitbull with being very "successful" but maintained the music was still nothing more than "party music."


Filed under: Marco Rubio
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Oh brother. This doesn't even pass the giggle test.

    February 6, 2013 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Psst: (President wannabe) Rubio. Its. Not. Going. To. Happen.

    Ever.

    February 6, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Remember, folks. He's a Republican. I can sing both kinds of music, country and western, like the best of them. Heck, I even own a pair of western boots, some genuine Dingos. I'm a moderate and I'll most likely never vote for a Republican ever again. Not as long as they pursue their imperial capitalist policies for all of the Ayn Rand followers out there.

    February 6, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Sniffit

    Newsflash: Nothing you say will give you "street cred" Rubio and, as with all of the GOP/Teatrolls' disingenuous, lame and pig-lipstick attempts "to relate" and "reach out" to the minority community, this will merely alienate them more for the offensiveness of its fakeness. Please proceed.

    February 6, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Your relentless efforts of trying to sound urban are failing miserably Marco. Since you like Pac so much, why are you a republican? Everything your party is for, Pac was against. Give it up!

    February 6, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Lame is not an apt description of Rubio.

    February 6, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    Lynda/Minnesota

    Psst: (President wannabe) Rubio. Its. Not. Going. To. Happen.

    Ever.
    ---------

    Never. Ever? You mean the Lying Anchor Baby's only chance of seeing the inside of the White House is on the daily tour?

    February 6, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  8. Thomas

    (President wannabe)

    February 6, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit wrote:

    Newsflash: Nothing you say will give you "street cred" Rubio and, as with all of the GOP/Teatrolls' disingenuous, lame and pig-lipstick attempts "to relate" and "reach out" to the minority community, this will merely alienate them more for the offensiveness of its fakeness. Please proceed.
    ---------------
    Exactly. If you didn't have any credibility before you were elected, then you're certainly not going to claim some now.

    Rubio must think that we've actually forgotten all of things he said did prior to election night 2012. I know most conservatives have already forgotten, and those that haven't simply don't care. Hey, Senator. Take some advice. Stop patronizing people. Only die hard right wingers find that attractive. "He's one of us." Not. You're turning people off, Senator.

    February 6, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  10. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Rubio trying to trend a coolness factor about himself is like the GOP being inclusive of minorities, women, nonbelievers, and gays.

    Ain't gonna happen!

    February 6, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  11. Patrick in Wisconsin

    Good lord, the Republican party has more tokens than the nearest Chuckie Cheeses!

    February 6, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. The REAL Truth...

    Rubio's even flip-flopping on his MUSAK! Is this dude really taking a leaf from the wanna-be Mittens playbook? Too bad the etch-a-sketch inventor is recently deceased... could have made an extra greasy version for the GOP candidates. It would be about as short as Republican memories, and about as long as Rubio's shot at President. Ha!

    February 6, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. Lionel

    OMG! I can't believe this guy. All the things he agreed with the Republicans and now trying to look moderate.

    Latinos are not going to buy this Lying Tea panderer.

    February 6, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. much thunder.little rain

    sounds like obama game plan....promise every group out there the moon...

    February 6, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    Rubio is not getting much in the way of support on this blog.

    The harder Rubio tries to convince moderates and liberals that "he's one of us", it only drives home the point even harder that "he's one of them." Rubio's still looking at the world through the filtered reality of the right wing's view of how the world works.

    February 6, 2013 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...Never, evah, evah, evah.
    -------------------------------------------------
    Good lord, the Republican party has more tokens than the nearest Chuckie Cheeses!
    -------------------------------------------------
    You ain't never lied!

    February 6, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. DENNA

    Marco, are you seriously trying to sound hip? Don't embarass yourself, okay. You are just another GOP hack trying to sound relevant.

    February 6, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. DENNA

    @ – Al-NY,NY

    Lynda/Minnesota

    Psst: (President wannabe) Rubio. Its. Not. Going. To. Happen.

    Ever.
    ---

    Never. Ever? You mean the Lying Anchor Baby's only chance of seeing the inside of the White House is on the daily tour?
    -------------------------------------------------–
    LOL "Lying Anchor Baby". I like that. Seriously, if I hear one more "legal immigrant" bragging self-congratulating story, I am going to puke. I think we need a decent path to citizenship that is more modern than the old way. Seriously, does Ellis Island even exist anymore? Comprehensive immigration reform needs to be modernized and it needs not to take years. Maybe the GOP is hoping that if they drag this out, it won't be "fashionable" to champion it anymore and bigotry will come back into fashion, Ah, those crazy GOPers.

    February 6, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Aw, Humm,
    So far I haven't heard Rubio Proclaiming he is runing for President. I don't even know if Hillary is running. However my vote is for EVEL EYE FLEEGLE. I can't get JOE BTFSPIK to run so it is FLEEGLE. So, who's your pick??

    February 6, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  20. OrganicManLives_N_anOraganicUNiverSE

    Upgrade 2.0 for the GOP... from just plain stupid (ver1.0) ...to now also include silly and superficial!

    February 6, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. Serious guy

    Hey if I had to have a republican he could at least have some Pac in him. Christie or Rubio my vote. But honestly Christie probably sided with Biggie. ;-)

    February 6, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  22. nothing new here

    Now the GOP is trying to be hip? How lame.
    About getting back to basics – fiscal responsibility and personal freedoms.
    Great Republicans like Eisenhower didn't need Fonzie to campaign for him. Great Republicans knew how to manage the money, while keeping their noses out of other people's private business.

    February 6, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  23. ghostriter

    Tupac Shakur.....And Rubio.

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh Booooooyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!

    February 6, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Yawn.
    There's a great documentary on PBS: Faces of America. It is all about the immigrant families of some well known celebrities, among them Kristy Yamaguchi, Steven Colbert, Meryl Streep. Check it out. What we did to Japanese-Americans during WWII was really something to be proud of. NOT. The Irish were pitted against Blacks from the South with the threat that they would take their jobs away. Only Whites and Caucasians were allowed a pathway to citizenship for quite sometime making it necessary for those from the Middle-East to prove that they were White.
    Many interesting immigrant stories. A lot of history repeating itself. No need to get wrapped up in the irrelevant tales of Rubio The Pseudo-Immigrant.

    February 6, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Al-NY,NY

    Never. Ever?
    ---------–
    Apparently Rubio's phoniness is flying high on this thread.

    And, yes, AL-NY, NY - It's a Oh, yeah, Never. Ever? affirmative on the Lying Anchor Baby TeaPer dream fantasy.

    February 6, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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