Before hip-hop bloomed in the Bronx, another sound dominated the streets and block parties. The infectious blend of string instruments and Afro-latin rhythms came to be as boogaloo with Pete Rodriguez leading the pack with his instant 1967 hit, “I Like It Like That.”
Over the years the song thrived in the form of clever marketing (Burger King’s 1996 ad) and soundtrack bliss (Chef, I Like It Like That, Volume 1) but Cardi B’s use of the song on her chart-topping single “I Like It” with J. Balvin and Bad Bunny has brought in a whole new audience.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly Monday (July 29) the 82-year-old shared how he discovered out about the sample.
“I wasn’t aware of Cardi, but my kids and grandkids were,” said Rodriguez. “They were all excited; they’re fans.” Born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, Rodriguez is thrilled another Bronx native has used the song in a global way. Written by Tony Pabon and Manny Rodriguez, the sound came from Rodriguez and many others playing around in the studio.
“I feel great about it,” he told DNA Info in 2017. “I still dance to it when I hear it on the radio and in commercials.” “We just got in the studio, and we were just goofing around, and I came up with the intro, and somebody else came in and said ‘Let’s do this’ and ‘Let’s do that,'” he said, “and finally we got the whole thing. But it was a combined effort by everybody.”
The track was deliberately written in English and Spanish to cater to a broader audience. Ironically, Cardi’s version features her raps in English while Bad Bunny and J. Balvin spit their bars in Spanish.
Rodriguez is also a fan of the Cardi version too. “I’ve been out of the loop for a while, but I’ve watched some of her videos now and my favorite is definitely ‘I Like It.’” he said.
Jam out to both versions below.