Pitbull on Why He Canceled His Shows in AZ: “It’s Bigger Than Music”

We reported that Miami rapper Pitbull canceled his Phoenix concert date in June during “Mr. Worldwide’s Carnaval,” his first-ever US tour, as a way to protest Arizona’s controversial immigration law SB 1070. We recently caught up with Mr. 305 himself and asked him why he felt the need to take this stance, and how he handled some of the criticism that followed.

"The reason that I cancelled the date in Arizona is very simple. It’s bigger than music. It’s bigger than Pitbull, it’s about human rights. We’re living in a country that stands for opportunity and a better future for your family, and for a state to strip that from somebody not just because of where they’re from, but because of how they look, that is racism and discrimination in its purest form. Me being a first-generation Cuban American and knowing what my family has been through to be here, I feel like the little bit of voice that I hold hopefully can help to overturn that law. Little by little people have been taking their stance, and it’s definitely worldwide news, so obviously we’re making some type of noise, and with noise comes change. I called every radio station in Phoenix and apologized, but I also explained to them why I took that stance.

There may be some fans that still don’t see why I took that stance, or have the same vision that I do, but maybe later on in life, they’ll understand and enjoy the opportunities this country has to offer. We can talk all the shit that we want about the United States of America, we really can, and I’m one of them to talk here and there, but at the end of the day there’s no country like this one."

Though there have been rumors that he will perform in a series of protest concerts called the Sound Strike campaign organized by Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha, Pitbull’s reps have confirmed that he is not officially part of this effort, though he is a supporter of the boycott until the state’s immigration laws are repealed.

For more on SB 1070, Arizona, the latest on the immigration crisis and tips on how you can get involved in the debate, visit Latina.com's Call to Action page here.