Pitbull - Rebelution

2009-11-19 12:19
Rebelution makes no claims – right from the start – about aspiring to anything other than club-banging revel-rap for hip pop’s tailor-suited, hi-life contingent – you know, the kind of ‘ballers’ and ‘playas’ forever trailed by a string of females, going in and out of hotel rooms, in and out of limo’s and in out and out of private jets (humans don’t really contribute to climate change: that’s a myth).

Rebelution is raunchy pop spat over sweating club riddims – slightly forgivable on the dance-floor but downright atrocious in the absence of some (actually, make that any) kind of mood-altering substance swirling through your system. It’s got heavy electro accents and here and there a swaying house synth. It’s got chants and electric guitars. It’s even got a song with a disco classic “re-imagined”. It’s everything except anything remotely cerebral, convincingly musical or captivating. A special mention should go to “Across the World” and “Daddy’s Little Girl”, though. About the power of music and girls displaced by revolution, respectively, these songs seem more like patched-on addendums to keep people like me from calling Pitbull a complete coal-hearted, misogynistic “red-blooded”, musical illiterate, and instead point to the fact that he’s got a “softer, more thoughtful side” – and one really could too, if it weren’t so deliberate and condescending.

For the length of 14 tracks, Pitbull’s brand of Miami-bred hip-house, electro-hop rap is unapologetic: expect massive doses of booty-bop banter squashed against hi-life escapades and more than just a tad of big-boss posturing brag-raps – all thrown precariously over snagged, tinny, beats occasionally brushed with trumpets and Raggaeton (where Pitbull pulls his roots, by the way) flourishes.

When Pitbull isn’t divulging the intricacies of what he does to women or telling off fake gangstas, he weaves a kind of under-dog rap – an inspirational made-it-through-the-odds style which has him putting more energy and precision into his flow and as result sounding, well, listenable, actually. Vacuous pop indeed it still is, but these moments have it passing, somehow.

Rebelution is hard to pick apart track-by-track in that it’s a really uniform, singles-laden album. The following song is a slightly varied version of either the previous or the one before the previous. Nothing astounds – grabs your attention, points it to a certain place, demonstrates difference. Instead, you kind of labour through the album and have to occasionally check the track number, see if things are moving.

Fans of Pitbull and all the other electro-pop currently doing heavy rotation on MTV and corporate radio might, of course, find points of difference.

Everyone else might find themselves wondering if Rebelution is what people commonly refer to when they say:

“Everything that’s wrong with hip hop, these days”.

Needless to say, listening to the album doesn’t make that idea sound all that far-fetched.
Raggaeton Don, Pitbull, serves up his latest blend of heavily-sexed Miami-bred, hip-house, electro-hop. It’s not for the fainted-hearted – or imaginative.

What to read next: Kalahari

Goda 2009/11/17 2:54 PM
Brilliant review.
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