Pitbull, the Miami rapper who raps when he isn’t busy hawking Dr. Pepper, Bud Light, Kodak and Walmart, gave the opening address at the National Charter Schools Conference on Monday.
The raspy, 32-year-old Cuban-American was billed at the conference by his real name, Armando Christian Perez, reports The Washington Post. He wore a three-piece suit and ditched the sunglasses he typically wears. However, his shaved head was still firmly intact.
The speech was allegedly the rapper’s first-ever attempt at non-rapping public oratory.
“I know you guys might be thinking,” Pitbull told a crowd at the Washington Convention Center. “What’s Pitbull doing here?'”
The charter school-loving policy wonks in attendance ate it up.
“Every day I see firsthand how my children are becoming highly motivated thanks to the charter schools they attend,” the rapper said, according to WUSA.
The wealthy entertainer informed news media that he has six children. Three of them attend charter schools.
“I believe in the system,” he said, according to The Post. “I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
Charter schools “are fundamentally about freedom, and freedom is what America is all about,” he declared.
“Like I said in one of my songs, ‘Freedom is what we fight for, freedom is what we die for.'”
Pitbull was chosen because has provided backing for a new charter school in the tough Little Havana neighborhood where he originally made his bones.
The new charter is for middle schoolers and high school students. It’s called SLAM Charter School (Sports Leadership and Management). Day-to-day operations will be overseen by a nonprofit, Mater Academy, that runs other charter schools in Miami and Academica, an outfit that manages charters around the country.
The tuition-free school will focus on sports-related careers.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be an athlete, but if you love sports one way or another you can be a broadcaster, an attorney, a therapist, you are learning in a field that you love,” the rapper said, according to local CBS affiliate WUSA.
Pitbull’s responsibilities with SLAM Charter School aren’t clear.
The rapper’s previous forays into politics include an appearance at the Democratic National Convention’s after-party and a freestyle rap about fellow rapper Jay-Z’s controversial trip to Cuba in April.