You might not have noticed, but Pitbull has quietly become one of the most guaranteed hitmakers in the business. Ok, so maybe “quietly” wasn’t the right word. There’s not much quiet about a man prone to yelling “Cuolo!” at the top of his lungs, but the point is that although many might still consider him “just” a Latino party rapper, Armando Christian Pérez has become the man the most powerful artists turn to when they need a hit. Usher, J-Lo, Flo-Rida, they’ve all rode Pitbull’s distinctive voice and party-ready flow to the top. From Cuba …
DJBooth Album Review
Planet Pit may be his sixth studio album, but it’s Pitbull’s first as a truly global star – and it feels that way. Packed with nothing but bottom to top drinking anthems and booty shakers, Planet Pit is a lazy club DJs wet dream; just press play, stand back and watch the dance floor get crazier than Charlie Sheen after a two-day binge. Of course that also makes it a pretty easy album to review. Will you like it? I don’t know, are you looking for source material for your doctoral thesis? Then no. But if you’re looking to relive that last wild weekend in Vegas, or prep for the next one, you’ve just found your soundtrack.
Hey Baby is the kind of outright thong-popper than Pit’s made his trademark so it was no surprise to find the T-Pain assisted banger lead off the album’s singles push. Baby’s actually a perfect testing ground for the album as a whole. While some will remain determined to not have a good time the rest of us won’t be able to resist a little head nodding. Shockingly, Baby might not even be the best outright booty-shaker on the album, I’d give that honor to Pause, but from Come N Go to Shake Senora there’s no question about Pitbull’s primary intentions. It’s telling then that the album’s biggest hit may just come from the (slightly) more serious Give Me Everything, which takes the club bounce format and underpins it with a cinematic energy. Sure, some tracks cross the line from fun to ridiculous – yes, he really does recite how much wood could a wood chuck chuck on Something For the DJs – but no one ever had a good time by being worried what others will think of them.
I’m sure a lot of my fellow critics will make the mistake of, well, criticizing but Mr. 305 for his devotion to the club, but while I don’t discount the skill involved in bringing joy to people’s days (or nights), I do have to say that I miss Pit’s political and social leanings. His music always went deeper than the clubs – hell, he named his previous album after the El Mariel boatlift – and I can’t help but feel like Pit lost something in his journey onto the global stage. The closest we get to a more personal Pit is the quasi-ballad Castle Made of Sand, which shows that Pit is a much better lyricist and far more intelligent than many would assume, but it’s a hardly visible beacon amongst all the strobe lights and paparazzi flashes. And while Pit will be Latino and represent Cuba no matter what he does, the distinctly Latin rhythms of Ay Chico and The Anthem have been replaced with the universal language of booming bass and hand claps. Pitbull’s come a long, long way, and I don’t fault him for a moment of his rise, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to hear where he started.
It’d be absurd to devote most of a review for Planet Pit to such weighty matters, so in the spirit of the album let’s get back to the a** and t**ties. Over the past five years hip-hop has moved slowly but surely away from the streets and behind the velvet ropes, and Pitbull has emerged as not only the leader of that movement but its soundtrack. By the same token if every album from here on sounds like Planet Pit the public will begin to forget just what made him so special in the first place, but right here, right now, it’s Pitbull’s world and we’re just
Listen to More: Pitbull Written by Nathan S.
PoloGrounds/J/Mr. 305 Inc.
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"Mr. Bojangles" (2006)
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