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Single Review: Pitbull – Fireball (Feat. John Ryan)

2 min read

I generally don’t listen to Pitbull’s music, whether deliberately or unintentionally, but I’m willing to hear what he’s got to say on  Fireball, his new single released in the lead-up to the release of his upcoming album, Globalization.

Pitbull FireballFireball starts with a clapping beat and an appropriately zesty guitar when Pitbull launches into a party-hearty rap that, based on what little I’ve gathered about Pitbull, almost sounds like a parody of what the man’s like. As befitting the title, Pitbull’s lyrics apply metaphorical fireballs and fire in general to all sorts of events, such as suggesting everybody dance and drink shots “like the roof’s on fire” before telling a woman “Now baby, give a booty naked/ Take off all your clothes and light the roof on fire” and then eventually suggesting that he’s on fire and, by extension, a fireball. Quite the mixed metaphor, if you ask me.

The hook is definitely a highlight, however, with its addition of some appropriately Latin-sounding saxophone to the guitars and drums sounding simplistic yet catchy. It’s not long before Pitbull resumes rapping with a basic homage to the Run D.M.C. version of Walk This Way, affecting appropriately (or should I say inappropriately?) immature lyrics in the process. John Ryan’s contribution is a little on the flat side – it’s an extension of the hook and thus he sings the exact same verse twice during the song – but it still adds some much-needed variety (even if Pitbull does a running commentary throughout Ryan’s verse). Before too long, Pitbull jumps back in with lyrics that alternately defy his detractors and brag about his party animal persona.

The climax of Fireball involves a steady crescendo as Pitbull repeats “We’re taking it down” over and over before switching to repeating “We’re bringing it back” over and over before eventually going “Fireball!” and bringing back that cool sax-driven hook. This song is about what I’d expect from a rapper that specialises in putting out catchy feel-good party hits – sure, there are some silly lyrics and Pitbull’s delivery isn’t that good, but as long as there’s a good hook and a catchy beat those flaws are relatively minor in this context. It’s bound to get some serious rotation on the club circuit, but I’m not sure it’s worth listening to at any other time.