How an Obscure Argentine Rock Band Ended Up on Eminem's New LP - Rolling Stone
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How an Obscure Sample From an Argentine Rock Band Ended Up on Eminem’s New LP

Eminem’s new song, “Stepdad,” features rock en español royalty Pescado Rabioso

Pescado Rabioso in 1972. From left to right: Luis Alberto Spinetta, Black Amaya and Carlos Cutaia.

Pescado Rabioso in 1972. From left to right: Luis Alberto Spinetta, Black Amaya and Carlos Cutaia.

Eminem wants to sample our dad,” Catarina Spinetta told her siblings. It was a mid-October day and they were celebrating their sister Vera’s birthday. “We we were just surprised,” she adds.

It all started in September 2019, when they were contacted by Eminem’s label, Shady Records, along with Peermusic and Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Representatives for the label had requested authorization to use “Ámame Peteribí,” a song composed by Luis Alberto Spinetta, Carlos Cutaia and Black Amaya — which featured in Pescado Rabioso’s 1973 album, Pescado II.

Pescado Rabioso was one of many short-lived bands helmed by singer-songwriter Spinetta, who many consider to be the godfather of Argentine rock. He rose to fame in the late Sixties as frontman of Almendra, an experimental band that dared to rock under the military dictatorship of General Juan Carlos Onganía. Spinetta would continue writing and performing audacious guitar songs until he died of lung cancer in 2012.

“Ámame Peteribí” would eventually feature on “Stepdad,” the 12th track on the rapper’s new album, Music To Be Murdered By, which was released Friday. “We didn’t know the name of the song or when it was going to come out,” says Catarina. “I asked them to send me the track before I gave the final approval, but they told me that it couldn’t be done — that the only way was to call me and let me listen over the phone.”

Catarina was walking through Chinatown, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Belgrano, when she received the call from Shady Records. “I got excited,” she says. “It was crazy to hear [Eminem] rap over Dad’s music. The Pescado riff played the whole way through, in a loop.”

“I talked it over with my siblings [and] we thought it was a great idea,” says Dante Spinetta. “Eminem, being one of the toughest in the [hip-hop] scene… and also produced by The Alchemist!” (It goes without saying — Dante appreciates Eminem’s work.)

“It makes me very proud that Pescado Rabioso is still getting spins,” Dante continues, still stunned by the crossover. “Mixed with urban music, it’s so rough. It’s a classic Eminem rap, over a more rockera track… ‘Peteribí’ was very lethal, very funkera.”

It remains a mystery as to why the MC decided to sample an old Argentine rock song. “There are a lot of questions that we also have,” Dante muses. “We don’t know how much he knows about Spinetta, but they asked for information about who he was. Over there they must have found something that caught their attention and decided to use it.”

One possible connection is Luis Resto, a producer and keyboard player of Latino descent, who has worked with Eminem since his third album, The Eminem Show. Rolling Stone has reached out to Sony/ATV for comment.

“That my old man’s music is expanding,” says Dante, “that’s the most important thing.”

This article was originally written by Manuel Buscalia and published January 17th in Rolling Stone Argentina. It has been translated from Spanish and edited for clarity, with additional reporting by Suzy Exposito.

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