Pitbull for Spring Fling? Yalies say “dale”
Gearing up for their first in-person Spring Fling in three years, “the lines between joke and reality … are blurry” as undergraduates across campus have nurtured a grassroots movement advocating for rapper-singer Pitbull as the concert’s headliner.
Courtesy of Alvaro Perpuly
Spring Fling is set to return this year after a COVID-19-induced hiatus — and many students are hoping to celebrate the end of spring classes with none other than the Miami rapper-singer Pitbull.
Spring Fling, typically held in late April during the downtime between classes’ end and the week of final exams, is planned by the undergraduate-led Spring Fling Committee. This year, however, a growing group of students unaffiliated with the committee have made clear their preference for the 2022 headliner: Pitbull, whose universally-recognizable crooning, baldheaded sunglass-goatee combo and distinctly suave oeuvre have earned him the moniker “Mr. Worldwide.”
Pitbull’s team did not respond to a request for comment on the likelihood of Mr. 305’s appearance in New Haven this spring.
“Truly, if we got Pitbull for Spring Fling, it would really unite the campus,” Hilary Griggs ’24 said. “People from different colleges and years [have found] unity around Pitbull – and that’s the most important thing about this Pitbull movement.”
The Pitbull movement’s genesis can be traced to a virtual Branford College Council meeting last spring, where Griggs and Alvaro Perpuly ’23 were in attendance. Perpuly explained that the idea arose amid a nostalgia-fueled conversation surrounding the annual Branford Crushes and Chaperones event, which is modeled after middle school dances of yore and for which the council meticulously curates a nostalgic playlist.
But the notion quickly spread outside of Branford’s quiet courtyards.
“Last year we had launched this graphic that went quite viral [at Yale],” Perpuly said. “The idea emerged of having a Yale-wide committee for Pitbull.”
The committee was launched last week, and an accompanying Instagram account — @pitbullatyale — and GroupMe chat have spread through sectors of the undergraduate community.
Viktor Kagan ’24, a member of the Pierson College Council, described the initiative’s rapid spread amongst student representatives within other residential colleges.
“The fact that it’s spreading to other [residential] colleges is a big step,” Kagan said. “I don’t know how far it’s going to go, but there is some strong support in my college community.”
Kagan reminisced on his first experience with Mr. Worldwide, when he discovered 2007’s upbeat “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” on a hand-me-down MP3 player from his mother. He excitedly recounted his introduction to Pitbull’s corpus, sharing the childhood memories associated with the rapper’s swaggering drawl.
Perpuly, a Miami native himself, told the News that his strong ties to Mr. 305 are rooted in his childhood.
“He is an embodiment of the culture in Miami,” Perpuly said. “He holds a special place in my heart. He’s become very well known – but it’s bigger than that…the reason you see this excitement on campus is because he’s not just Mr. 305, he’s Mr. Worldwide.”
The Pitbull movement’s greatest roadblock has been their interaction — or lack thereof — with the Spring Fling Committee, who have thus far honored their pledge of silence surrounding the year’s lineup. The Committee did not respond to the News’ requests for comment on the rapper’s possible appearance.
Griggs described the clash as a “classic everyman vs. elite” story, saying that she suspects the Spring Fling Committee might want someone more “hip” or whose artistic abilities are held in higher regard. Pitbull won a Grammy for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album in 2016.
“The movement is a little bit interesting,” Griggs said. “When I first got involved in it, I thought it was a little bit of a joke. But the lines between joke and reality of our demands are blurry to me now.”
Previous Spring Fling headliners have included Playboi Carti, A$AP Ferg and Vince Staples.