Enter Armando Christian Perez, the Miami-born Cuban-American who in 2004 became known as the rapper Pitbull. I used to have a slight interest in his early works for some reason. Maybe it was the way he complemented acts like the Ying-Yang Twins and Lil' Jon, or maybe it was he was hovering just below the mainstream. (That's right: I'm a hipster.) As the turn of the decade came and went, Pit's star kept rising, culminating in his first number 1 hit, "Give Me Everything". ...And it sucked. By this time, I had taken notice of three personal touches of his: gratuitous Spanish, references to other (better) rap songs, and laughing at his own punchlines. Seriously dude, quit it, you're not Jimmy Fallon. In retrospect, I can see that Pitbull has always sucked... but some moments stand out worse than others. They are:
10) "Spring Break" w/ Jump Smokers (2012)
"Don't you know some of the best entrepreneurs... are dropouts"
On its own, this introductory line doesn't sound so awful. It's true that some of our best and brightest billionaires aborted their college careers, like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and presumably Kanye West. But this song is about having a drunk party during Spring Break; I very much doubt that the boys from Jump Smokers, a poor man's 3OH!3, whom Pit's hanging out with have a sound business plan to fall back on.
9) "We Run The Night" w/ Havana Brown (2012)
"As my money gets older, let's get younger
They sell their soul but the Devil knows I have no number"
The way I see it, "older" money (meaning greater in number) plus "younger" people (meaning lesser in maturity) equals a fiscal disaster. Have fun with that. Also, it's funny you say you wouldn't sell your soul for anything... just hang onto that idea.
8) "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" w/ Usher (2010)
"Yabba-dabba-doo, make her bed rock"
OMG, he just used the Forbidden Pick-up Line! No, it's not forbidden as in it's so potent that it could have disastrous side effects for its user, although if one were to count STDs then that could be true. Actually, it's forbidden because referencing The Flintstones in some capacity, followed by the promise that you can "make her bed rock" with mind-meltingly good sex is just so lame!
7) "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" (2009)
"Label flop but Pit won't stop
Got her in the cockpit playin' with his (como?)
Now watch him make a movie like Alfred Hitchcock"
Two things wrong here: first, you seem to have cut out a word at the end of one of those lines... except there's no version of the song that leaves it in. Now, you can probably guess what word was supposed to go there, and if I'm right, then he would've rhymed it with itself in the next line, so forget about it. Which brings me to my next point: Alfred Hitchcock did not, despite his name, direct pornography films. (And no, that one line from "Bad Romance" does not count.) Good thing, too, or else I'd never look at Psycho or Rear Window the same way again.
6) "I Like It" w/ Enrique Iglesias (2010)
"Tiger Woods times Jesse James equals Pitbull all night long"
For those who don't remember 2009 or early 2010, Tiger Woods and Jesse James, ex-husband of Sandra Bullock, were both caught cheating on their wives. Ya know, I have no idea why rappers these days boast about their ability to make members of the opposite sex tack on a third wheel to their relationships. To me, all it does is make them look like scumbags.
5)"Give Me Everything" w/ Ne-Yo, Nayer, & Afrojack (2011)
"Me not working hard? Yeah, right, picture that with a Kodak
And better yet, go to times square, take a picture of me with a Kodak"
And here's where entry #9 pays off. If you couldn't tell by this line, Pitbull's gone loco with product placement in recent days, with endorsed products including Kodak, Dr. Pepper, and Voli vodka. And yet, Kodak declared bankruptcy in February 2012. Serves ya right for trying to rhyme their name with itself, pally!
4) "Give Me Everything" w/ Ne-Yo, Nayer, & Afrojack (2011)
"I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan"
By this line, I assume you're talking about Lohan's February 2011 theft arrest. The funny thing about that is, she served that time under house arrest because her scheduled jail was overcrowded. Also, Lohan herself sued Pitbull (a case she lost) for use of her name without compensation, and for defamation of character. And to that I say... what character?
3) "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" (2009)
"Mami got an ass like a donkey with a monkey, look like King Kong"
That was a free-association train wreck right there. Okay, so free-association in and of itself is not a bad thing, but taking any one of these images on its own is not pretty. Actually, I'd gladly take this over the next line which starts out the same...
2) "Boomerang" w/ DJ Felli Fel, Akon, & Jermaine Dupri (2011)
"Mommy got a boom bang bing bang ding dang
No digga dee, no doubt, Imma hit that"
How can one say so much and not say anything at all? You know what Pit sounds like here? He sounds like a sexually-awakened seven-year-old who just saw his first slice of booty. ...Pray you never witness that image in real life.
Our final line comes from a guest verse on T-Pain's "It's Not You (It's Me)". Now, this song has the potential to deconstruct the "in da club" mentality every mainstream rapper these days seems to have. See, T-Pain's still willfully doing his thing, but he's conscious of the fact that it could preclude him from maintaining a monogamous relationship. It was so thought-provoking, in fact, that I almost did a review on the song, but couldn't quite build up enough material for the concept. It does have one other moment I still wish to pour my heart out over, however...
1) "It's Not You (It's Me)" w/ T-Pain (2011)
"More Voli, pour it like water
Fo sho, flood the club like New Orleans"
Really? A Hurricane Katrina reference!? People died from Katrina, you know. Billions of dollars' worth of property was damaged, and President Bush suffered (yet another) blow to his reputation from which he would never recover. And you think it's okay to joke about that!? That's it, I condemn every rapper who's ever referred to Hurricane Katrina within the context of simple materialism to have their mansions broken into by angry mobs. That includes Pitbull, Yung Joc, and... those are the only ones that've been so far.
So in conclusion, what do I think of Pitbull? As the man himself says in "Back In Time", "I don't really give a number twooo~o!" And neither should you.