When Pitbull walks into the room bedecked in all black, he's there to handle some business. The global superstar does exactly that in his celebratory new video for "I Believe That We Will Win (World Anthem)," a unifying anthem recorded during the coronavirus pandemic. This time, his business is keeping hope alive and spreading a message of positivity during a time of great uncertainty.
It's no small feat, especially given the relentlessness of this particular virus. But Mr. Worldwide is relentless, too — hence the black attire.
"In one of the neighborhoods I lived in in Miami, which is called Wynwood, we used to say, 'Don't talk about it, be about it.' So when you showed up in all black, everybody knew you were all business," he told MTV News this week. "I mean business when I'm walking out in all black in that gym."
In the new video, Pitbull is at first a lone wolf, entering the gym at Miami charter school SLAM (Sports Leadership and Management) to find vast emptiness — no cheering crowds in the bleachers, no kids throwing free throws. It immediately reflects our collective moment of isolation, but it also speaks to what's been lost since our daily lives have been halted to stop the spread of the virus.
Quickly, though, he's joined via video by people around the world singing and dancing along to the song, including medical workers fighting the pandemic. "The true heroes in this story are those on the front line, those that are in the hospitals, those that are in the factories making sure that we get food on the table, those making sure we're just getting fed and helped, one way or another," he said.
Mr. 305 considers himself a fighter in this battle as well. "As an artist, music being my motivational force, I'm on the front line fighting for the world and letting them know that don't worry, no matter what, we got this," he said. "I just got dressed in all black ready to go to war for them."
By the end of the clip, the gym's bleachers have been filled, but not by people. Instead, Pitbull delivers the song's strengthening message in front of a glowing wall of laptop monitors, each representing another voice. Ahead of the video, he shared the instructions for the chest-pounding chant on his Instagram page. The unified result is powerful.
In particular, he shouted out the power of the New Jersey medical workers who filmed themselves united for the I Believe Challenge in front of their hospital. "That gave me goosebumps and made me cry tears of joy," he said. "It goes to show how music unites. It doesn't divide. Music heals. Music brings people together. Everybody will come together to fight for one thing."
Likewise, "I Believe That We Will Win (Global Anthem)" came together after Pitbull saw a video of the chant taking over a crowd at a basketball game. He had his vocals on the song ready the next day, which was only a few days into quarantine. "I saw the energy of the whole arena losing their mind and just ready to compete, ready to fight, ready to win," he said.
That energy thrives in both the song and the video, electrified over the course of two and a half minutes. But you already knew that — this is Mr. Worldwide we're talking about. Over the past few months, we've seen artists attempt airy, idyllic, and earnest takes in hopes of keeping the spirit of the world elevated during an unprecedented global calamity. Those are nice! Pitbull's chest-beating anthem, on the other hand, is perhaps the first one to inspire the particular feeling of victory — not that we're there yet, but that if we keep up the collective energy, we can get there together before long.
"You're either gonna face everything and rise, or you're gonna forget everything and run. I believe that we will face everything and rise," he said. "So to the world out there: Bottom line? Stand up."
Check out the full video, also airing on MTV Live and MTVU today (May 7), above.