When I first created this segment on MusicMovingForward I had all intentions of Pitbull being the first artist I wrote about. The evolution of his career is what inspired this series. Well here it is about 3 months in of me doing this series and I am finally going to do my take on the artist, Armando Christian Perez, better known as Pitbull.
The first time I heard or saw Pitbull was alongside Lil Jon in his video for ‘Dammit Man.’ The year was 2004 and Pitbull merged Reggaeton with the King of Crunk very well. His debut album, M.I.A.M.I., stemmed hits ‘Culo’, ‘Toma’ and ‘Dammit Man.’ After that I didn’t really know if he would last let alone be the international sensation that he is today.
‘Culo’ and ‘Toma’ were more popular, in my opinion, and reached a different market other than urban radio and the hits clearly kept coming. He followed up his debut album with 2006s, El Mariel, which had the hit ‘Bojangles’ and followed that with 2007s,The Boatlift, which is the album that set the Pitbull sound that everyone loves today. ‘The Anthem’, yet another collab with Lil Jon peaked at #36 on the Hot 100, #24 on U.S. Latin Songs, and #8 on Rap Songs charts. The song is still played frequently on radio airwaves along with his hits from his following album, Pitbull Starring In: Rebulution.
‘Rebultion’ was released in 2009 and spawned hits: ‘Krazy’, ‘I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)’ and ‘Hotel Room Service’. It was clear then that Pitbull had found his place and sound amongst a crazy industry where it’s easy to get lost and become a one hit wonder or in other cases sound like everyone else and be unknown. ‘I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)’ was described best by Billboard’s editor, Michael Menachem:
“The clever meshing of reggaetón with Euro dance music signals what looks like a multiformat smash.”
It became his first track to make the Hot 100 peaking at #2 followed by ‘Hotel Room Service’ which peaked at #8.
His 5th album, Armando (2010), was not only self-titled, but it was also his first full length Spanish album. It didn’t do too shabby on the charts peaking at #65 on the Billboard 200, #6 on Rap Albums, and #2 on Latin Albums. It also scored him 7 nominations at the 2011 Billboard Latin Awards.
Pitbull went on to top the success of “Rebelution” with that of 2011s, Planet Pit. That album spawned hits: ‘Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor)’, ‘Rain Over Me’, ‘International Love’, and my personal favorite ‘Give Me Everything.’ That infectious track went on to become his first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The hits didn’t stop there. He followed up Planet Pit with 2012s, Global Warming. That album featured hits: ‘Back In time’, ‘Feel This Moment’, and ‘Don’t Stop The Party’. Chart wise it did not top the success of Planet Pit but it kept him relevant and on the airwaves especially with his ‘Take On Me’ (A-ha) cover, ‘Feel This Moment’ featuring Christina Aguilera.
Then there’s current Pitbull. He released ‘Timber’ with Kesha in October 2013 and went on to become his 2nd #1 single on the Hot 100. That track was featured on his 2013 EP,Meltdown. He’s currently riding high off the success of ‘Wild Wild Love’ (feat. G.R.L.)
Over the course of his 10 year career Pitbull has collaborated beyond the hip hop scene, a scene he strayed away from by his 4th album. Again, “Rebultion” is the album that took his career to the next level and made people aware of his music. There are albums that an artist can’t top and there are albums that create the sound of an artist. Pitbull has a long way to go in his career and being that he can collaborate with just about anybody he hasn’t reached his peak, just yet.