Songfacts®: You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.
Pitbull opens this track by telling everyone he is "reporting live from Cape Canaveral',' before name-checking the song's producer, Big Syphe, and launching into lyrics that describe his hometown of Miami. The song was released to radio on March 26, 2012.
The song serves as the theme tune for the sci-fi movie Men In Black 3. The Miami rapper got the job after director Barry Sonnenfeld 's daughter played him some of his music. Said the director: "My 19-year-old daughter turned me on to Pitbull. I'm thrilled that he wrote such a great song for our movie that totally gets it."
This is the first time that co-star Will Smith has not recorded the Men In Black
theme himself. His 1997 track "Men in Black
" led the UK singles chart in the summer of 1997, but wasn't released as a single in the US so wasn't eligible for a chart position. Smith then recorded "Black Suits Comin' (Nod Ya Head)" for Men in Black II
in 2002. "It's an incredible honor to be a part of such an amazing franchise as Men In Black
and I have so much respect for Will Smith, especially with our similar musical backgrounds," said Pitbull in a statement.
Pitbull raps, "to understand the future we have to go back in time." The song title serves as a reference to the movie's plot in which Smith's character Agent J must travel back in time in order to save his partner. The Miami MC revealed that he "used the slogan of the movie and flipped it back into the song that 'in order to understand the future, you have to go back in time'."
This samples Mickey & Sylvia's 1956 tune "Love Is Strange
." The female half of the duo, Sylvia Robinson, played an important part in rap's breakthrough into the mainstream. It was she who put together The Sugarhill Gang, who had the breakthrough Hip-Hop hit "Rapper's Delight
" in 1980.
The song's music video was filmed on the actual Men in Black 3 set, and it blends Pitbull's performance shots with scenes from the film. "As far as the sets that you see right now, it's just integrating and running parallel with everything that you see in the movie," Pitbull explained to MTV News.
The guitar riff on both "Love is Strange" and this song was originated by the Blues musician Jody Williams.
Tom Keifer of Cinderella
Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.
Kristian Bush of Sugarland
Kristian talks songwriting technique, like how the chorus should redefine the story, and how to write a song backwards.
Tony Joe White
The writer of "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Polk Salad Annie" explains how he cooks up his Louisiana swamp rock.