Well… I guess it’s only fair that for every new and interesting international discovery I embark upon in this challenge, I should review a song from Pitbull to balance things out. If you have the faintest idea of the state of pop music these days, you probably have some semblance of an idea of who Pitbull is. His music tends to follow along the same basic line of motifs from song to song: partying, partying, and more partying. Sometimes he touches upon such other universal themes, such as lust, romance, and travel to various foreign countries, but for the most part the world of Pitbull is a world of nightclubs, endless shots, and mindless dancing. If you suspect that this could make any artist seem pretty stale, you suspect correctly. In fact, I specifically chose to hold off writing this review until later in the day because (1) I figured it might somehow sound better in the nighttime rather than day, and (2) I wasn’t sure just how much Pitbull I could stomach so early in the day.
In case you aren’t aware, though, Pitbull is an American rapper of Cuban ancestry who hails from Miami, Florida. He gained prominence after being featured in Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz’s album Kings of Crunk right around the height of crunk music’s popularity. Shortly thereafter, he released his debut album M.I.A.M.I., which further emphasized his affinity for sleazy party music set atop Latin rap stylings and reggaeton rhythms. The following years would ensure him as a staple in both the Hot 100 and the rap charts, thanks to guest spots in numerous pop singles as well as his own recordings. 2009 proved to be a game-changing year for the performer, as he snagged his first top ten hit with “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”. After a few more successes, he gained his first number-one song in 2011 with “Give Me Everything”; he would repeat this success 2013’s “Timber”. With all of these successes accumulating over the past decade and a half, the performer has solidified his stance in popular music as one of the most prominent and loudest party-starters in the business.
However, loudness is one thing and actual quality of music is a different animal entirely. Throughout his entire career, despite pretty consistent commercial success, Pitbull has received mixed to negative reviews on his music. For one thing, he really isn’t that great of a rapper. One of his biggest hit singles, “Give Me Everything”, begins with the following lines: “Me not working hard? / Yeah right, picture that with a Kodak / Or better yet, go to Times Square / Take a picture of me with a Kodak”. Yeah, not exactly the wordsmith, and that’s not even an unusual example of such. And while many of his singles have some pretty well-defined hooks in the choruses and are certainly effective party songs aesthetically, his flow is often so dull and lacking in many to any redeeming qualities. And since the message of his songs often don’t run much deeper than, “I might drink a little more than I should tonight / And I might take you home with me, if I could tonight”, I wouldn’t blame anyone for confusing which verses connect to which song – they’re all pretty interchangeable.
And they don’t get any more disposable than “Don’t Stop the Party”. Sometime around the time of his success with “I Know You Want Me”, Pitbull decided that much of the heavy lifting involved with creating a clever, well-crafted rap song could just be replaced with empty chants and recycled rhymes. Really, every drop of effort that could be squeezed from this song comes directly from TJR’s production – it’s not good production by any means, but at least some effort is found there. Really, all that should be expected of this song can be found in its title; it honestly doesn’t get much deeper than that. The verses consist entirely of Pitbull’s haughty brags about how much money he makes, how many parties he attends, how many women he’s scored, and how many countries he’s visited. The latter seems to be an especially prominent trope of his throughout his career – in this song alone he name-drops Morocco, Stockholm, Helsinki, and “London Wembley”.
All of this is set to the backdrop of an ugly, messy electronic rhythm, complete with a bumping bass and an over-stylized reggae sample. It’s just so repetitive and mindless and annoying that writing any more words of actual substance on this recording would be an exercise in self-sabotage. But as I said, I guess a Pitbull song needed to pop up in this Random Single challenge, if only to balance out all of the other actual songs of actual substance I’ve embarked upon thus far and will continue to discover. As for this one, though, it’s total trash and no one should give Pitbull their money.
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