Pitbull feat. Rhea – Ocean To Ocean

Tom: I guess we should talk about this.

Tim: Oh, boy should we talk about this.

Tom: Here’s the thing: the internet has recently decided that it loves Toto’s Africa , to the extent that Weezer were essentially bullied into covering it. That cover is getting a surprising amount of US airplay.

Given that, I can absolutely see why Pitbull took this and ran with it. The internet has already decided it hates him; why not lean into it and enjoy the royalties?

Tom: CONTROVERSIAL OPINION: for the parts that involve anyone and anything other than Pitbull, this cover of Africa is better than Weezer’s cover of Africa. It does something different and interesting! There’s a proper drum fill! There are even, I think, some interesting harmony parts going on in the background of that chorus.

Tim: Do you know, I don’t disagree with a single word of that. You’re right, it’s really good.

Tom: This is pretty much what an Almighty Records cover of Africa would be like, and I think we can agree that’d be an amazing cover if it existed.

Tim: Hands down.

Tom: The problem is, of course, Pitbull, doing the exact self-aggrandising schtick he’s been doing for years.

Tim: Yes. He is, basically, Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj and Wally Williams all rolled into one. There was potential – and he blew it. Dick.

Saturday Flashback: Pitbull feat. Ke$ha – Timber

“It’s a terrible, terrible song.”

Tim: Tom’s busy this week, so there’s no-one to stop me bring you this. It’s a terrible, terrible song, so why am I featuring it, you ask? Well, have a listen.

Tim: Basically, because I’ve had that one 3½-second chorus line going round, round, round and round in my head for the best part of the last two weeks, and I’ve decided that enough is enough. If I can’t be happy, I want EVERYBODY to share in my misery. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Pitbull feat. Danny Mercer – Outta Nowhere

“The only thing wrong with the track is the man himself.”

Tom: There are rappers who write lyrics that could change the world; there are rappers who burn with energy; there are rappers whose flow is so tight you can barely track what they’re saying as they blaze through lines at a hundred words a minute.

Tim: There are.

Tom: Then there’s Pitbull.

Tim: You know, you keep implying you don’t much like Pitbull, but thanks to all the tracks you’ve brought to the table he’s now our joint-second most featured artist, tied with One Direction and behind only Eric Saade. I hope you’re happy with that.

Tom: The thing is, the hooks are frequently brilliant, the production’s always excellent, and generally the only thing wrong with the track is the man himself. He is, if nothing else, a rich vein of interesting things to write about.

Tim: That, I don’t think anyone will dispute. So let’s see what we can write about here.

Tom: But does he ever actually say anything? There are words, sure, and they’re in some sort of order, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything other than vague platitudes from him.

Tim: I noticed him trying to rhyme “player” with “Fred Astaire”. Not entirely sure he pulled that off.

Tom: And there are, what, two unhurried verses in the whole track, surrounded by a hook that’s just begging to be more than a chorus.

Tim: The slowness of them really does grate. Get some actual talent, push them up to twice the pace and we might have a song worth listening to. As it is…

Tom: They got the credits the wrong way round for this one: get Danny Mercer to sing some verses, have Pitbull in as a crowd-grabbing hook, and you might have a decent track here. As it is: it just seems lazy.

Tim: I’m not quite sure about that – sung verses would be nice, but keep the chorus as well. Basically just ditch Pitbull altogether.

Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera – Feel This Moment

Eurodance.

Tom: I know, I know, it’s Pitbull. It’s going to be awful.

Tim: Hmm. The thing is, and bear in mind we all know how much I loathe the term ‘guilty pleasure’: Don’t Stop The Party does come bloody close for me. It’s a terrible piece of music, and the rapping’s awful, but when the chorus comes on I can’t stop myself, well, having a good time. I’M SORRY.

Tom: But it looks like this’ll be the next single, and I mention it for a few reasons.

First: this sounds pretty close to old-school Eurodance, and considering it’s a massive American track, that’s pretty rare.

And second: everything apart from Pitbull is absolutely amazing.

Tim: Hmm. Definitely just Don’t Stop The Party.

Tom: Seriously, isn’t that brilliant? Put a club edit out without Pitbull, and that’d be one of the Eurodance tracks of the year for me.

Tim: You’re not far wrong – it is pretty good, largely because it sticks to a tried and tested formula.

Tom: Sample a well-known 80s track, add a whole new melody on top of it, get a fantastic vocalist to perform it, and then make it a PROPER BANGING CHOON.

Tim: Exactly – get all those steps right, and you’ve likely got a hit on your hands.

Tom: For crying out loud, there’s even a subtle 8-bit breakdown after the last vocal line.

It’s just a pity about Pitbull, really.

Tim: Yes. Yes, it really is.

Michael Jackson feat. Pitbull – Bad

PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME HEAR THIS AGAIN.

Tim: NO.

Tom: Sometimes, Tim, a track comes along that is so damn terrible that we have to have a two minutes’ hate towards it. Or in this case, a four minutes and twenty seven seconds’ hate.

Tim: PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME HEAR THIS AGAIN.

Tom: Wait, you’ve already heard it? How? I wasn’t aware that any radio station anywhere had bothered to play it.

Tim: Oh, it got linked to with an accompanying warning along the lines of “If you listen to this you will die”, and then I thought “oh, it can’t be that bad” and three minutes later thought “well that was an understatement and a half”.

Tom: This is a pretty terrible way to mark a 25th anniversary.

Tim: Oh, really? You think? Because I can’t think of many worse things, unless someone happened to set fire to a synagogue on 8th May 1970.

Tom: Wow. I mean… wow. I… that may be the worst thing you’ve ever written.

Tim: Tasteless? Utterly. Undeserved? Not at all.

Tom: Mind you, the odd thing is that the remix part is pretty good. Unnecessary, sure, but modernising a track like this isn’t uncommon, and sometimes it produces a work of genius (for example, the Groovefinder remix of Satellite of Love from a few years back). This isn’t quite that good, but there’s nothing wrong with it.

Tim: True. There’s also nothing wrong with the Darth Maul fight in The Phantom Menace. But then there’s Jar Jar Binks, midichlorians and just about EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE FILM. AND THIS SONG.

Tom: Actually, there are issues with that fight, but that’s an issue for another time. Anyway, then there’s Pitbull. He’s unnecessary – not just in this track, just in terms of existence. He’s even product-placing in the middle of this. Is there such a thing as a music license? If so, can we revoke his?

Tim: Unfortunately not, largely because you’d have to stretch the definition of music a very, very long way to get it even close to Pitbull.

Tom: Michael Jackson must be spinning in his grave. Or moonwalking, anyway.

Pitbull feat. Shakira – Explode

Everything about this is brilliant. Apart from Pitbull.

Tom: Everything about this is brilliant. Apart from Pitbull.

Tim: Yes, I can agree with you there.

Tom: Listen to Shakira’s vocal. It’s astonishingly good. And the slowly building instrumentation underneath it, suddenly blasting out into a brilliant dance track… it’s fantastic. I want the whole track to be like this.

Tim: So do I, and I particularly like the middle eight closing bit and then firing out that triumphant end section.

Tom: But it’s not. It’s got Pitbull in it. Bragging about himself and his travels. Again.

Tim: Actually, he seems to be calling himself Mr Worldwide here, so at least he’s got a character he’s sticking to.

Tom: Oh, that’s been his nickname for a while. How do I know that? Because he mentions it in every goddamn track of his I hear. I swear he’s given himself the name, like a kid in school trying to be cool. He’s got a decent flow and voice, I’ll give him that, but heaven forbid he do anything interesting or smart with it. Put someone else in this, or better yet put no-one else in this, and it’d be wonderful.

Tim: Yes.

Pitbull – Back In Time

And now he’s gone and done something brilliant.

Tom: So yesterday, I ranted about Pitbull. And now he’s gone and done something brilliant. I don’t know what to think.

Tim: Hmm. I think…’brilliant’? Really?

Tom: I listened to this back to back several times. There are very few songs that make me do that. Anyway, this is the song for Men In Black 3. To say that he’s got a tough act to follow is an understatement: the original film brought us, well, Will Smith’s “Men In Black”. I shouldn’t like this. But I do. I think it’s more to do with the background.

Tim: There, you could be right, because it is good. Not brilliant, I think, but positive, certainly.

Tom: He’s sampling a track from 1972 called “Love Is Strange”, and oh my word is he ever improving it. He’s kept the good bits of the original – that beautiful chord progression and voice – but modernised it with a decent pace and beat. It’s not sacrilege: it’s a massive improvement.

Tim: Agreed. If you’re choosing to sample that song, this is a good way of doing it, paying it decent service. It’s far, far better than it could have been.

Tom: Now, it’s not as good as Will Smith’s original. No-one’s going to be singing this in the playgrounds. (I remember kids singing the original, or at least a dirty version of it, in my school’s playground.) But is it good? Hell yes. Even the unexpected dubstep background works for me.

Tim: Me too. God, I’m really starting to like that stuff now.

Tom: Maybe it’s because the film is ridiculous, the music is ridiculous, and Pitbull is ridiculous. He just fits. I can live with that.

Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull – Dance Again

The chorus is just glorious.

Tom: Let this one run, Tim, the chorus is just glorious.

Tim: You know, I wish you’d given me a bit of notice that we were going to turn in into to one of those sites, because I’ve got some much better videos than that one.

Tom: There is a lot of flesh in this video. Unfortunately, too much of it is Pitbull’s. I… I don’t understand Pitbull. I mean, I don’t understand anything about him. I swear he’s a parody artist that’s somehow been taken seriously. Look at the first few seconds of him in this video. Just look at him.

Tim: Oh, come on. You’re trying to tell me you’ve never once used the words “Shimmy shimmy yo shimmy sham shimmy yay” in a conversation?

Tom: He describes himself as a “modern day Hugh Hefner”. With a pencil moustache.

Tim: The moustache, I’ll give you. The Hefner thing, well, it does at least fit with all his pervy mutterings as he skulks in the corner.

Tom: I don’t know what to think about this track. The rap bit is terrible, the strange breakdown in the middle is appalling, and yet. And yet. There’s that absolutely gorgeous chorus. That’s the best chorus I’ve heard in a long while.

Tim: It is a cracker, and I actually don’t have a problem with Pitbull here. A lot of rapping in songs, I hate. But this just seems to work for me, or at least not ruin it, mainly because compared to that chorus and the rest of it, he just seem…unimportant, really, not actually doing much aside from the occasional murmuring.

Tom: Oh, come on, he’s got entire verses, not to mention the introduction. Actually, you know what I want? I want this song performed by “Jennifer Lopez Not Featuring Pitbull”.

Tim: In that case, I will offer you my full sympathies, understanding and support for any campaign you pursue, because eighteen months on I still haven’t got over the Flo Rida/Saturdays debacle.

Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull & The WAV.S – I Like How It Feels

That’s a smiley song if ever there was one.

Tim: There is a proper video of this, but it’s a six-minute palaver of faffery with no real added benefit.

Tom: There’s an innuendo in that last sentence somewhere, I’m sure.

Tim: No, I’ve given up on innuendo. Instead, I’ve started inserting the occasional vaguely rude word in the middle of sentences at random.

Tom: This should be fun.

Tom: Well, that’s a smiley song if ever there was one.

Tim: Isn’t it? Chirpy. Upbeat. Happy. Whistly. A repetitive PENIS message. Some surprisingly not particularly annoying rapping. I’m feeling good. You’re feeling good. Life is, basically, good. Feeling down? Stop it. You BREASTS shouldn’t.

Tom: Subtle.

Tim: This is a song with a message, and it conveys it nicely. Love it.

Tom: It sounds like a World Cup song, doesn’t it? With the crowd chanting in the background and everything. Could use a bit more tempo or a bit more bass, I reckon – after two minutes, I thought it was ready to end – but it’s nice enough.

Tim: As it happens, it sort of reminds me of another song, more in the general FORNICATION mood than the tune.

Tom: “Fornication”? Really? Anyway, what’s this other song?

Tim: That song is the equally chirpy, upbeat, happy and whistly You’re My Mate. Blimey, that’s ten years old now.

Tom: And Pitbull does look just a bit like Richard Fairbrass. (whistles) Taxi!

Lucenzo & Qwote feat. Pitbull – Danza Kuduro (Throw Your Hands Up)

Mid-90s, I reckon.

Tom: Well now, this would fit very nicely into the mid-90s, I reckon.

Tim: Hmm.

Tom: How does Pitbull do it? He seems to be a slightly creepy middle-aged man in a suit at first glance, and yet somehow he’s powered through that and become “Mister International Himself”. I suspect it’s because he’s very, very good at what he does.

As for this track, though; I can see this being a lost Peter Andre track. That’s not a bad thing – he did ‘Mysterious Girl’ after all – and while the slightly-dated sound might sound better a few years ago, as a winter club hit I can still see this working.

That said, it’s not going on my playlist – but I can see it going on plenty of other people’s.

Tim: ALL CORRECT.