(NEXSTAR) — You maybe never needed to know this, but you’re about to have an answer regardless.
Ever since Cuban-American rapper Pitbull — a.k.a. Mr. Worldwide, a.k.a. Mr. 305 — entered the music industry, he’s never turned down an opportunity to represent his hometown of Miami. This is probably best illustrated by the various Pitbull-isms that pepper the artist’s vast music catalogue, but especially in his use of the popular Spanish slang term “dale” (pronounced “dah-lay”).
As the 42 year-old rapper, whose real name is Armando Perez, explains, the phrase can mean many things, though it’s essentially an exclamation of excitement (“Let’s go!”, “Go ahead!”). In conversation with Billboard, Pitbull previously said, “[Dale] means a lot of things; it depends on how you’re using it. It’s my way of checking out — ‘Dale, I’m out of here’ — or my way of getting started. It’s definitely the word I hear most. I travel around the world and run into people that speak no English, no Spanish, and they say ‘dale.'”
True to his words, Pitbull does hear the word a lot — including from himself.
The word has appeared a countless number of times across the artist’s music until now, when we counted them all.
It took roughly three weeks to comb through every Pitbull recording available through Apple Music and YouTube, including album tracks, features, non-album singles and rarities. Aided by lyrics database Genius and Wikipedia, every Pitbull vocal contribution known to exist has been reviewed.
A very conservative estimate of the total audio skimmed is 8 hours and 20 minutes — which is only including Pitbull’s 11 solo albums.
When possible, available lyrics were reviewed to search for “dales.” When lyrics weren’t available, songs were streamed to catch any “dales” located in the lyrics. Occurrences of the word were only counted if Pitbull himself is saying it. In places where it’s unclear whether Pitbull is saying “dale” as part of a group, we counted the total amount of times the word appears and divided that number in half, to account for the artist possibly not actually singing at that point. For example, if there were six possible occurrences of “dale” that Pitbull may have sung on a certain song, only three of those instances were counted to account for error. Thankfully, this counting method was only needed twice.
All songs were only counted once, so any subsequent remixes or live recordings were considered already counted.
All-in-all, the final “dale” count totaled 381.
For further specificity, the amount of “dales” was tracked by-album to determine when and where they were said most often. The phrase was said most often on Pitbull’s 2010 album “Armando” (62 times) and least often on 2017’s “Climate Change” (only once).
While no other of the Cuban rapper’s go-to phrases or words appear half as much as “dale” (though “Mr. Worldwide” and “Mr. 305” could be close), the rapper does have a catalogue of frequently appearing Pitbull-isms.
- Voli 305 Vodka. Mentioned in countless songs, especially in the 2011-16 time period, during which Pitbull partnered and later assumed ownership of the France-originated Voli Vodka brand. As explained by Voli 305 Vodka, the product was rebranded “as an ode to Pitbull” and became “the first super-premium handmade vodka in Miami, Florida.”
- “Old School Chevy” — Pit has referenced vintage Chevrolet cars in many songs, including comparing a woman’s curves to the vehicles.
- OJ Simpson — The former NFL champ and murder suspect makes multiple appearances, mostly in reference to Pitbull running or driving to or from someplace or someone.
- J. Lo — In addition to being featured or duetting on several of Pit’s songs (or he being featured on hers), superstar Jennifer Lopez appears often. In the world of Pitbull, a woman being compared to his “On the Floor” collaborator is among the highest praise.
This deep dive into Planet Pit also illuminated some unexpected eccentricities and musical oddities. Here are some of the wackiest elements.
- You don’t stand up with your mouth. A highlight among the least sensical lyrics in Pitbull’s oeuvre include this lyric from 2012’s “Party Ain’t Over”: “Party ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings/Or should I say the party ain’t over ’til you’re so [expletive] drunk/that the fat lady stands.” While the basic point of the lyric is obvious, it’s unclear why Pitbull contrasts singing (vocal) with standing (non-vocal).
- ‘Country club.’ Despite his music skewing toward a Latin/hip-hop club sound, Pitbull has increasingly embraced country artists and even been featured on a Nashville hit or two. Back in 2021, Pit was featured on country star Trace Adkins’ song “Where the Country Girls At” alongside superstar Luke Bryan. Most recently, Pitbull pulled in singer Zac Brown for 2022’s “Can’t Stop Us Now.” An interesting element of both songs is Pitbull mentioning NASCAR, which is popular among many country music fans.
Dale to the future
As extensive as his career has already been, it doesn’t appear this Grammy Award-winner is getting ready to slow down anytime soon. Pitbull has already released several tracks from his forthcoming 12th studio album, “Trackhouse,” which is set for an Oct. 6 release.
And finally, in case you’re wondering, “dale” appears in this story only 12 times. Dale! (Now 13).