Pitbull’s latest album takes to the store shelves this week and we’ve decided to look at turned the American rapper from a minor Latin musician to one of the biggest artists out there.
Pitbull had been on the Latin music scene for a handful of years, but it wasn’t until his hit track I Know You Want Me hit the airwaves back in 2009 that his name became known to people outside of the South American based charts.
It cannoned his album Rebelution (no, that’s not a spelling mistake, just dodgy word play) into the U.S. top ten and made his name have far more caché than ever before, allowing him access to the bigger name guests he now thrives on.
His genius has been in these collaborations. Cherry picking the biggest names out there, Pitbull has put together a fearsome array of names of his ‘featuring’ list, with it now becoming a real oddity that someone else’s vocals don’t turn up on his records. His two newest albums Global Warming and Planet Pit have a combined total of three tracks featuring Pitbull on his own for the entire songs running time.
With Planet Pit, he’d seemingly perfected the formula of radio friendly dancefloor slanted hip-hop that’s served him so well, the album once again going into the top ten in the US and spawning off his first number one single in the UK ‘Give Me Everything’.
He’s not ashamed of jumping on someone else’s tracks either, as he’s been a part of both of Jennifer Lopez’s last couple of hits as well as tracks from Enrique Igelsias and Usher. It’s hard now to go more than a month without hearing his trademark gravelly tones on a set of speakers.
The airplay-ability of the music is also a massive actor in his success, as by distancing himself from the more ‘gangster’ aspect of hip hop, he widens his audience massively.
Pitbull’s also become a master of product plugging; landing deals with Kodak after rather bluntly mentioning them in a song and since securing deals with businesses ranging from cars to soft drinks before launching his own line of vodka. You may have seen it put front and centre in every single piece of video he’s in.
And video is where he’s excelled, with quite a large portion of his fame coming from the online community on video website YouTube. While video views are always much higher than record sales, but the rappers page views are astronomical, with over 1.3 billion video views on his official Vevo YouTube page. To put that into focus, that’s more views than the pages of Coldplay, Lana Del Rey, Green Day, Cheryl Cole and Ke$ha have combined.
If you take into account all the unofficial videos too, then it’s an even more mind blowing figure.
Despite all of his problems, it’s hard to hate Pitbull, with his carefree and breezy party centric lyrics making it hard to aggressively dislike the Miami native. He even goes out of his way to make himself seem as fun and care free as his tracks, not throwing a hissy fit when in a promotion with Walmart he was voted to do a gig in their Alaska store. Instead, he packed his thermal underwear and headed out into the cold.
It’s this concept of likeability that’s most definitely been shared by his legion of online fans, as the massive amount of views, Facebook likes and Twitter followers can attest too.
He won’t ever be considered amongst the hip hop greats, but that won’t bother Pitbull one bit, as long as he can keep himself in rather dodgy looking suits.
With the rapper now processing a fan base that 99% of singers would sacrifice a limb for, Pitbull’s certain to have a hit on his hands in the form of Global Warming, no matter what his detractors have to say. After six albums and nearly a decade since his first album came out, Pitbull’s sheer determination has come to the fore.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith