Deep Album Cuts Vol. 73: Pitbull

Pitbull has sold over 70 million singles, but he's never had a platinum album and his total album sales are just a few million. He's releasing his 10th full-length album, Climate Change, next week and has in recent years become perhaps the most popular rapper in the world across all regions and demographics. But only a couple of his albums have gone gold in the U.S., and his biggest seller was his debut, before his ascent to pop stardom. Although Flo Rida and a few other acts have occupied the same intersection of rap and dance music, Pitbull's career is, in many ways, a completely unique phenomenon.

When Pitbull debuted over a decade ago, he was one of the several southern hip hop acts signed to TVT Records when Lil Jon's success had briefly made it into one of the biggest indie labels of all time. And Pitbull rode that wave well -- he was more talented than the average crunk rapper, and his Cuban background gave him crossover potential at a time when reggaeton was blowing up and the hip hop world was kind of holding the Latin rap explosion at arm's length and keeping bilingual rappers besides Pitbull out of urban radio. But after TVT imploded, he was free to go to a major label, and hitched a ride on the EDM explosion and became the Pitbull we know today.

Pitbull Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist): 

1. 305 Anthem featuring Lil Jon
2. Hustler's Withdrawal
3. Dirty featuring Bun B
4. Melting Pot featuring Trick Daddy
5. Hurry Up And Wait
6. Oh No He Didn't featuring Cubo
7. Come See Me
8. Raindrops
9. Hey You Girl
10. Fuego
11. Dukey Love featuring Fabo of D4L and Trick Daddy
12. Candyman featuring Twista
13. Juice Box
14. Dope Ball (Interlude)
15. Give Them What They Ask For
16. Orgullo
17. Where Do We Go featuring Jamie Foxx
18. Drinks For You (Ladies Anthem) featuring Jennifer Lopez
19. Everybody Fucks featuring Akon and David Rush
20. That High featuring Kelly Rowland
21. Ah Leke featuring Sean Paul
22. El Party featuring Micha

Tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 from M.I.A.M.I. (Money Is A Major Issue) (2004)
Track 6 from Money Is Still A Major Issue (2005)
Tracks 7, 8, 9 and 10 from El Mariel (2006)
Tracks 11 and 12 from The Boatlift (2007)
Tracks 13, 14 and 15 from Pitbull Starring in Rebelution (2009)
Track 16 from Armando (2010)
Track 17 from Planet Pit (2011)
Tracks 18 and 19 from Global Warming (2012)
Track 20 from Meltdown EP (2013)
Track 21 from Globalization (2014)
Track 22 from Dale (2015)

This playlist is roughly divided into two halves. First there's the TVT era, when Pitbull worked with producers like Lil Jon, Mr. Collipark, and DJ Toomp, and stole the spotlight on DJ Khaled and Ying Yang Twins hits. And then there's the J Records/RCA era, where he rode a series of uptempo collaborations with J.Lo, Ne-Yo and other singers to massive fame. I think there's a lot of people who would enjoy one half of the playlist but not the other. But I think his whole career has featured a lot of variety, and his two Spanish language albums, Armando and Dale, certainly go a way towards fleshing out his sound.

I'm partial to the early years of Pitbull, before he started heavily catering to Top 40 radio, but I think he's remained a pretty talented rapper all through that. He's kept occasionally rapping over midtempo beats that showcase his more traditional MC skills on album tracks now and again, including touching personal tracks about his family like "Raindrops." And he's pretty amazing versatile when you think about the sheer variety of beats he's rapped over, from crunk to reggaeton to dancehall to Baltimore club (including DJ Montay's great Bmore pastiche "Juice Box" and Pitbull's several DJ Class collaborations, including "Drinks For You").

And even out of Pitbull's more shameless pop rap, there's been some entertaining curveballs. "Hey You Girl" makes great use of a "Rock Lobster" guitar loop, and "Everybody Fucks" is perhaps the only chorus sung by Akon that's more ridiculous than The Lonely Island's "I Just Had Sex." He may not have fulfilled whatever promise I thought he had in 2004 as southern rap's next Ludacris or whatever, but he's managed to leave a pretty huge mark on popular music, and I think it's a shame that the public sees him as a simple or one-dimensional artist given the content of a lot of his lyrics and the variety of his music.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
Vol. 45: Duran Duran
Vol. 46: Rihanna
Vol. 47: Janet Jackson
Vol. 48: Sara Bareilles
Vol. 49: Motley Crue
Vol. 50: The Who
Vol. 51: Coldplay
Vol. 52: Alicia Keys
Vol. 53: Stone Temple Pilots
Vol. 54: David Bowie
Vol. 55: The Eagles
Vol. 56: The Beatles
Vol. 57: Beyonce
Vol. 58: Beanie Sigel
Vol. 59: A Tribe Called Quest
Vol. 60: Cheap Trick
Vol. 61: Guns N' Roses
Vol. 62: The Posies
Vol. 63: The Time
Vol. 64: Gucci Mane
Vol. 65: Violent Femmes
Vol. 66: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Vol. 67: Maxwell
Vol. 68: Parliament-Funkadelic
Vol. 69: Chevelle
Vol. 70: Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio
Vol. 71: Fantasia
Vol. 72: Heart
« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Post a Comment