While the title of his new album, Globalization, may be forward thinking, Pitbull once again proves he is anything but. The Miami based rapper is widely successful, having sold millions of records worldwide, yet upon listening to this new release some may find this success a little puzzling.
Globalization, his eighth studio album, is yet another attempt to lure people onto the dance floor with catchy hooks and Caribbean-inspired beats and, as his wide fan base will tell you, this is for the most part effective. The two opening tracks, Ah Leke and Fun featuring Sean Paul and Chris Brown respectively, are heavily bass driven and structured in a way that builds energy and momentum enticing listeners to dance along. However, Globalization doesn’t seem to add anything to his already established discography of EDM hits. As far as albums go this one comes across as a bland mash up of singles whose unimaginative lyrical content is interchangeable from track to track and from album to album.
Consistently Pitbull concentrates on two things in his songs: getting people to dance and hitting on women. While he is capable of creating an infective dance track, his apparent obsession with the latter makes for a sleazy delivery. Throughout the album the rapper is guilty of peacocking, boasting about the millions of dollars and ‘ladies’ he supposedly has, and even his leadership abilities, all the while directing women to take off their clothes and come back to his ‘crib’. Every song is overflowing with blaringly obvious sexual innuendos and blatant misogyny, revealing an attitude that these days is as unsurprising as it is unwelcome.
On almost every song, Pitbull has teamed up with a variety of fellow rappers and vocalists who thankfully provide some respite from his own uninspired lyrics. In Time Of Our Lives Ne-Yo attempts to add some humanity to the track, addressing the struggles everyday people face to make ends meet, however it is once again overshadowed by Pitbull’s lustful lyrics, which seem inconsistent with the message Ne-Yo is trying to convey.
The album concludes with a song he wrote with Jennifer Lopez, Claudia Leitte and a handful of others for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which took place in Brazil earlier this year. While his energy makes him an obvious choice to perform this track, We Are One (Ole Ola) seems to lack the substance to energise anyone and instead plays through, half-heartedly pushed along by melodic whistling. Claudia Leitte’s twenty-second contribution near the end is impressive, yet the power behind her voice only works to emphasise the weakness of the chorus.
While to me Pitbull’s popularity is baffling, he must be doing something right to sell so many albums. However, if you aren’t already a Pitbull fan, chances are Globalization will not carry the substance or originality to engage you. Sure he can write a dance track with a catchy hook, but as he doesn’t appear to have changed at all since he came to prominence over a decade ago, Pitbull may soon find he lacks the relevance to maintain this level of success.