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30 October, 2009@12:28 pm

After a fuming legal battle with his former label, TVT, Pitbull emerged victorious, and began charting on a path that would make him bigger than ever before. Now independent, Pitbull has amazingly transcended the major label machine, churning out some of the hottest songs of his career, without the corporate money behind him. It started last year with his remake of Fredrico Franchi’s “Cream”, supercharged into the 2008 club smash “Krazy”, featuring Lil’ Jon. Just when it seemed he’d reached his peak, he came back with yet another headcracker, “Calle Ocho” (sampling Nicola Fasano Vs Pat Rich’s “75 Brazil Street”), then followed once again with “Hotel Room”, a flip of the Nightcrawlers’ “Push The Feeling On”.

Sense a pattern here? Sure, Pitbull has essentially built a career from beat-jacking hot house songs from the previous year. While this usually would be looked at as a no-no, Pitbull murders the tracks every time – not from his lyrical content, but through his unabashed cadence and delivery. Other rappers have tried this same formula and failed, essentially making Pitbull to hip-house what T-Pain is to autotune.

With Rebelution, Pit delivers his first album as a major artist, but the fourth of his career. While his previous records have been a mesh of Afro-Cubano sounds and drug-cartel anthems, Rebelution aims further for the club and pop radio audiences. This is not a bad thing, as Pitbull seems to get more ferocious the faster the BPM. On songs like “Can’t Hold Me Down” (feat. Akon) and “Girls” we get a lukewarm version of Pit, but neither seem to pack the intensity of his previous smash singles. He does attempt to recreate current house hits on the cheap, as “Juice Box” (prod. DJ Class) is a riff on King Amir’s “Samir’s Theme”,while “Call Of The Wild” loosely interpolates Zombie Nation’s “Kernkraft 400”.

We do get flashes of the old Pitbull on songs like “Dopeball”, another “Friendly Game of Baseball”-esque extended metaphor for the drug trade, or the B.O.B. produced “Across The World”, which lends some substance to an otherwise high on style LP. While Pit’s attempt to “go pop” has most certainly succeeded, he may need to take a cue from Will.I.Am for his next record: that is, employing these house producers for original tracks, not simply reusing their already proven hits. – DJ Pizzo

  Mixtape D.L.
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