Artist

Pitbull

Pitbull

In an episode of the MTV prank show Punk'd rapper Armando "Pitbull" Pérez was fooled by being given rotten turkeys to distribute for a charity Thanksgiving event at a Boys and Girls Club. The episode was telling because the rapper identified with break-shit bangers like "Shake" and "Culo" maintained a remarkably even keel. Before the prank he strolled out to a cheering crowd of children and scarcely acknowledged their presence through his trademark, dark sunglasses. During the prank his response was clearly horrified, yet noticeably calm as he attempted to convince one emotionally distraught child-actor to return his spoiled fowl. At his worst, he displayed mild irritation -- noticeable mostly through his unwillingness to comply with the actors' absurd prompts. Even after the reveal, he chuckled and simply replied, "You got me on that one." And then he proceeded to give man-shakes to the papis and besos to the mamis.

Pérez's behavior in that five-minute sequence was unlike anything else he portrayed to the public. As a rapper, he was thrust into the national spotlight at the height of Lil' Jon's popularity by being featured on the producer and rapper's 2002 album, Kings Of Crunk. He released M.I.A.M.I., his debut, in 2004, which reflected his hometown's club aesthetic of swinging bass and the then-popular, head-bashing crunk style. He also appeared on club singles for other artists -- namely the aforementioned Ying Yang Twins hit and Twista's "Hit The Floor" -- that all featured his trademark presentation: accessible punch lines over electro-style rhythms and loudly-shouted choruses.

 

His 2006 follow-up, El Mariel, and 2007 album, The Boatlift, both alternated between Southern-style radio rap and up-tempo party anthems. He also began hosting a variety show Pitbull's La Esquina on the mun2 cable network. In 2009 he released Rebelution, which featured Pérez' latest venture into club anthems "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)." ~Dan Nishimoto

 


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