Review Summary: You must be blind if you can't see the world is mine
Pitbull is such a faceless figure in modern hip hop thats its a little surprising that he's had so much success. His lyrical braggadocio might have got him far in the pop game, but he's aesthetically unremarkable, lacks charisma and until fairly recently made fairly uninteresting music.
2009's 'I Know You Want Me' and 'Hotel Room Service' were what marked Armando Perez as a major player in the post-2008 dance-rap genre, a scene that seemed to evolve out of nowhere with the arrival of Flo Rida's Mail on Sunday
, spawning hit after hit upon an increasingly danceflooor crazed fanbase. Pitbull was just another face in the crowd until these singles, gigantic leaps in quality that combined stomping eurotrash beats with rapidly-fired, sexualised lyrics. As aforementioned it wasn't a huge departure from what had been going on before, but in an R&B-saturated decade any outlet for budding rapstars was vital to the genres survival.
, if you pay close attention, was the culmination of that approach. Packed as it was with both potential and actual singles, the record didn't receive half the exposure it deserved because in todays pop charts very few people appreciate the art of the album. That usually doesn't matter because the general rule is that singles are infinitely better than the accompanying material. This is not the case for Pitbull's sixth record. He sent hit after hit after hit came flying out of nowhere, collaborating with Ne-Yo, Lil Jon, T-Pain, Sean Paul and others in his quest for chart domination. And it worked. From 2011 onwards, Perez was a household name, dropping features all over the place and crafting an even more infectious boatload of singles for follow up Global Warming
comes from a man who knows all he has to do to obtain success is to be himself. And that's a wonderful thing. He makes no effort to rap over any beat that doesn't sound like a pitched up 80's pop song and frequently enlists even the most laughable artists (LMFAO, The Wanted, G.R.L.) to aid him in his quest for world dominance (although as he'll frequently tell you, he's already Mr Worldwide). He's gimmicky, his lyrics often rhyme the same words together (people who are offended by this need to sort out their priorities) and his approach to writing songs borders on the homogenous. But Pitbull's motto of it ain't broke, don't fix it works perfectly every time
On opener 'Ah Leke' he does an excellent job of filling the gaps between Saun Paul's stuttering hook (accompanying a whistling, grinding beat). However, he's somewhat out of his element, and although he delivers his boasts and tales of extravagance in much the same way, there's a sense he's just warming up. 'Fun' is where things kick off. The song lives up to its name by being the latest in a succession of brilliant Chris Brown collaborations, fusing the latter's falsetto with Perez's croon beautifully. Imagine the luxurious production of 'International Love' swapped out for pulsating, DJ Mustard-esque throbs and you have one of the biggest party tracks of the year. It's pretty low-key as far as Pitbull songs go, and it turns out Perez does subtlety surprisingly well.
is as uncompromisingly bombastic as ever. Dr. Luke's 'Time of Our Lives' is a top track in Pitbull's discography that's easily as beautifully nostalgic as 'Give Me Everything' thanks to Ne-Yo's gorgeous chorus. The stampeding beat here and on fellow singles 'Fireball' and 'Celebrate' (both of which evoke Global Warming
smash 'Don't Stop the Party') made them inevitable hits. Pitbull's relaxed flow rarely presents many amazing moments, but his efforts on Jason Derulo/Juicy J hookup 'Drive You Crazy' (shockingly) dwarf those of the ex-Three Six Mafia member to the extent that his other contributions on the slightly creepy 'Sexy Beaches' and the sluggish reggae of 'Day Drinking' seem a whole lot lazier.
Overall, this is yet another excellent set of potential greatest hits candidates, mixed in with a couple of lacklustre tracks of course, but still another enjoyable contribution to the discography of a much-derided and very much misunderstood artist.