Rubio raps on Tupac, Pitbull, and Bob Dole
February 6th, 2013
10:22 AM ET
9 years 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.

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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. Name lynn

    Marco tupac an B.I.G. is waiting on you when you get to heaven, they have a few rap words for you. An dont be afraid of them when you see them because they will remember you.

    February 6, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Marie MD

    The anchor baby has given up on the Latino vote so now he's going after the Black vote?
    Ain't gonna work! You will NEVER be president but go ahead and waste your time and money :). It should be another clown car full of laughs as your kind, meaning rethugs, tries to pretend they NOW care about those you all have demeaned and put down, the 47%+

    February 6, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Bart Flaster

    He's got a glock.

    It says GOP on the stock.

    February 6, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. cheis kempf

    Somebody had to replace Michele Bachmann in the media.., Rubio is it.

    February 6, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    Even Christie said that the President couldn't find the light switch in a dark room then he needed Fed help and changed his tune.
    There's so much out there that we will NEVER forget. NEVER!!!
    Christie could be a comedian though. Have to give that much.

    February 6, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Paula

    The word "street cred" makes me laugh.

    February 6, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. BigSir

    Rubio: You continue to make a fool of yourself.

    February 6, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. FOX NEWS: The Dung Beetle of Journalism.

    I can identify!

    I always liked Ethel over Lucy!

    February 6, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Correction to my previous post:
    "Only Blacks and Caucasians were allowed a pathway to citizenship..."
    Pardon. It orginally read Whites and Caucasians.

    February 6, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Marco, are you going to go out and get "THUG LIFE" tatted across your stomach too? By the way Marco,I'm curious about one thing. Pac and most hip hop artists use the "N" word frequently. Do you just not repeat it when you hear it? Things that make you go hmmmmm.

    February 6, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. DAT

    "Rap music," "rap artist" and "rap song" are all oxymorons.

    February 6, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. breezy

    oh so hip isnt he? this is about as cool as paul ryan saying he listens to rage against the machine. tupac is turning in his grave about this schmuck

    February 6, 2013 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. Evergreen

    Tip for the GOP: Just do what's right for the American people, put policies in place that grows the middle class, focus on improving education, and value labor as much as you do wealth.

    February 6, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  14. Tony D

    Sooooo..... how's that increasing unemployment number of 7.9% and a stagnant economy doing as we enter 5 years under our Dear Leader???? All this rubbish only distracts from the important issues. Has the national debt surpassed $17 TRILLION yet? Goes up so fast you can hardly keep track of it. But by all means, continue the meaningless discussion about drivel while the country tanks.

    February 6, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Rubio is nothing more than the GOP/Teatrolls' attempt at a trojan horse.

    February 6, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  16. yolanda

    I don't know which is sadder, Robio trying to be "street cred" worthy, or the same line-up of "commenters" blowing smoke up each other's backside...both pretty sad. The terms "Repugs" and "Teabaggers" show a certain amount of lameness by now. Move on to something new.

    February 6, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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