Armando Perez, aka Pitbull, was a teenage drug dealer, but he used music to escape that lifestyle. Rapper Lil Jon assisted his rise into the pop mainstream. Pitbull is a prolific featured rapper on hits by other artists. This is a guide to his 10 best songs as lead artist.
Everything came together for Pitbull on "Give Me Everything." His natural showmanship is balanced by a gorgeous lead vocal from Ne-Yo and an expansive, room filling dance production by AfroJack. The result was his first #1 pop hit in the US. It also hit #1 on the Latin songs chart and went to #1 in countries around the world. "Give Me Everything" was one of the five biggest hits of 2011 in both the US and UK.
Pitbull broke into the pop top 10 for the first time with this single from the album Rebelution. It went clear to #2. "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" includes a sample from Chicago's disco song "Street Player" from 1979. Calle Ocho is a well-known street in Miami, Florida's Little Havana neighborhood. Hitting the pop top 10 around the world, "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" was Pitbull's first big international hit.
"International Love" follows the strong world dance music feel of Pitbull's Planet Pit album. Chris Brown delivers a beautiful vocal on the choruses. "International Love" reached #1 on the dance chart in the US and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 while landing in the top 10 on Latin pop and mainstream pop radio.
"Back In Time" is a single from the soundtrack for the movie Men In Black 3. It sets a sampled guitar line and vocal from the 1950s hit "Love Is Strange" by Mickey and Sylvia against contemporary dance music beats. The song was co-written and co-produced by Marc Kinchen.
"Bon Bon" was released as a single from Pitbull's Spanish language album Armando. It was his first and so far only Spanish language collection. "Bon Bon" reached the top 3 at Latin pop radio. The song is built on a sample from "We No Speak Americano" via Dutch DJ Alvaro.
"The Anthem" was released as a single from Pitbull's album The Boatlift. It samples the saxophone line from the worldwide dance hit "Calabria" by Enur. "The Anthem" became Pitbull's second top 40 pop hit, and the second of three hits with Lil Jon. The song also landed inside the top 10 of the rap chart.
"Hotel Room Service" followed "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" into the pop top 10. The instrumental hook is sampled from the Nightcrawlers dance hit "Push the Feeling On." There are also lines borrowed from the Sugarhill Gang's seminal rap hit "Rapper's Delight." R&B and hip hop master Jim Jonsin is the producer here. "Hotel Room Service" was a top 10 pop hit in both the US and UK as well as a number of other countries around the world.
Pitbull collaborated with T-Pain for the lead single from his Planet Pit album. The song includes the "Oooh baby baby" line from Salt 'n Pepa's hit "Push It" while featuring a strong drenching of auto tune courtesy T-Pain. "Hey Baby (Drop It To the Floor)" became Pitbull's third top 10 pop hit in the US.