When it was confirmed that Will Smith would reprise his role as a member of alien-sassing squad Men In Black, talks logically turned to how Smith might once again expand the film with song, capturing his character’s uniform, profession, and general feelings about his assigned duties with a pop-friendly hip-hop tune and attendant instructions on how to dance to it. Unfortunately, Smith seems to have passed those duties on to fellow Miami fetishist Pitbull, whose “Back In Time” serves as the theme to the upcoming Men In Black 3, and commemorates a brand-new era of exposition-rap.
Not that things have changed all that much since Smith’s day: Over a hefty “sample” of Mickey & Sylvia’s “Love Is Strange,” Pitbull dutifully describes his “black suits, white shirts, black glasses”—which, yes, that is what the Men In Black wear—before setting up the sequel’s basic plot by announcing that “to understand the future, we have to go back in time,” which rhymes with “mind” now. And what it lacks in the sort of evocative storytelling epitomized by “Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head)” (or even Huey Lewis’ own “Back In Time”), Pitbull’s “Back In Time” makes up for with brain-teasing non sequiturs like “I’m tryin’ to make a billion out of 15 cents,” the instantly song-defining shout-out “I don’t give a number twoooooo,” plus a dubstep-inspired outro designed to propel you out of the theater and into the world that Pitbull says he’s saving so the staff can start cleaning up. In short, it’s awful.