We Drank Fireball and Ranked Every Pitbull Song From Worst to Best

Every Pitbull song, ranked.
Every Pitbull song, ranked.
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill

In less than ten years, Armando Christian Pérez went from Mr. 305 to Mr. Worldwide, not just in name and on record, but in real life. As the most famous Cuban-American musician since Gloria Estefan, the man better known as Pitbull has escaped the trappings of his Miami upbringing and become a brand unto himself. He’s the ultimate party ambassador and spokesman, peddling everything from Bud Light and Dr. Pepper to a startup liquor called Voli Vodka – the latter of which — along with tea, vitamins, and lots of boning — Pitbull credits with his tremendous success.

With the imminent release of his tenth studio album, Climate Change, coming sometime in 2016, Miami New Times felt providing a ranking of all of Pitbull’s album tracks to the culo-loving public would be a welcome service — nay, our duty.

A few caveats: Not included are intros, outros, remixes, or singles recorded for and that appear only on other artist’s records. That leaves 118 songs across nine LPs. Yeah.

As the man tasked with this Herculean undertaking, I felt one thing was crucial to properly creating this list: alcohol. Assisting me in ordering these club-happy numbers was none other than Fireball, a liquor Pitbull specifically references in his song, um, “Fireball.” Subtlety, sometimes, is not his strong suit (see number 45).

Aside from drunken brazenness, what else singularly qualifies me to operate as judge, jury, and executioner to Pitbull’s discography? Well, a few arguably arbitrary things. For one, I’m Puerto Rican, but I was raised in Miami, in Little Havana, surrounded by enough wajiros and cigar-smoking, domino-playing old men that I’m practically Cuban by osmosis. In fact, my Spanish is embarrassingly littered by the occasional “oye!” and “que bola!” in that deep, but rapid-fire delivery heard on Bird Road, Calle Ocho, Flagler, and every Pitbull record ever.

Secondly, back in the day (yes, I still say “back in the day.” I grew up in the '90s so it’s permissible), I was known to get jiggy (stop cringing) to his original hits featuring Lil’ Jon.

Truthfully, since the release of M.I.A.M.I., I’ve soured on some of his work. A lot of it feels corporate and derivative and slightly embarrassing. Still, it’s impossible to ignore his appeal and his widespread success, so, time to take a shot and dale! Let’s break down some Pitbull.

118. “Mujeres”
No. Fuck you, Pitbull. You can’t take a quirky Beastie Boys song like “Girls,” steal the rinky dinky beat, translate it into Spanish, and seriously think that shit is going to fly. Also, joke lyrics about child support? Yo, my bio-dad owes me like $30,000, so esotampoco.

117. “Last Night” ft. Havana Brown & Afrojack
116. “Orgullo”
115. “Krazy” ft. Lil' Jon
114. “Can’t Stop Me Now” ft. The New Royales
113. Ah Leke” ft. Sean Paul
112. “Daddy’s Little Girl” ft. Slim

111. “WataGataPitusberry” ft. Sensato Del Patio, Black Point, El Cata
Word vomit. The title, the song, the lyrics, the everything. Word vomit.

110. “Sticky Icky” ft. Jim Jones
109. “Have Some Fun” ft. The Wanted & Afrojack
108. “Hurry Up and Wait”
107. “Back in Time”
106. “My Life” ft. Jason Derulo

105. “I’m Off That”
In a vain attempt to invade the EDM market, the RL Grime-produced “I’m Off That” is a yet another musical shift for the restless Pitbull. He feels the need to conquer every single genre of music regardless of how ill-fitting his style might be for it. Keep an eye on 2020 when he drops his death metal debut, Mr. 666.

104. “Secret Admirer” ft. Lloyd
103. “Back Up”
102. “Girls”
101. “Maldito Alcohol” ft. Afrojack
100. “Come N Go” ft. Enrique Iglesias

99. “El Taxi” feat. Sensato & Osmani Garcia
Pitbull must get his white linen pants custom made, perhaps with a special net near the crotch because the sheer size of his cojones to shamelessly pilfer the music from other artists is mind-boggling. “El Taxi” is note for note the classic reggae jam “Murder She Wrote” by Chaka Demus & Pliers. Change the focus of the song from “Maxine” to fucking “EL TAXI” and you have an entirely new song because that’s how art works, people.

98. “Candyman” ft. Twista
97. “Give Me Everything” ft. Ne- Yo, Afrojack, & Nayer
96. “Ying & Yang”

95. “Celebrate”
This is a cheap imitation of a feel good disco song. Perhaps it’s no surprise that it’s off of the Penguins of Madagascar soundtrack. It’s a diluted, PG dance number fit for children and snarky, animated penguins. Where's a hungry polar bear when you need it?

94. “Call of the Wild”
93. “Amorosa” ft. Papayo & Mc Marchinho
92. “Dukey Love” ft. Fabo & Trick Daddy
91. Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)” ft. T-Pain
90. “Triumph” ft. Avery Storm

89. “Castle Made of Sand” ft. Kelly Rowland & Jamie Drastik
Pitbull molests the sacred memory of Jimi Hendrix’s beautiful and glorious ode to the frailty of life with “Castle Made of Sand.” The only redeeming quality this herpes sore of a song has is a lovely chorus by the underrated Kelly Rowland. That’s it. Fuck this song.

88. “Mami Mami” ft. Fuego
87. “Full of Shit” ft. Nayer
86. “Where Do We Go” ft. Jamie Foxx
85. “I Don't See 'Em” ft. AIM & Cubo
84. “Que Lo Que” ft. Papayo & El Chevo

83. “Oye Baby”
Produced by Nicola Fasano, “Oye Baby” is a perfect example of the type of mindless big room dance track that often fills the spaces between the radio hits on Pitbull albums. It’s super meh, but even if people’s heads were removed, songs like this would keep their corpses moving.

82. “11:59” ft. Vein
81. “Un Poquito” ft. Yung Berg
80. “Rock Bottom” ft. Bun B & Cubo
79. “Get on the Floor” ft. Oobie
78. “Took My Love” ft. Red Foo, Vein, & David Rush
77. “Mr. Right Now” ft. Akon
76. “Outta Nowhere” ft. Danny Mercer
75. “Sexy Beaches” ft. Chloe Angelides

74. “Guantanamera”
Along with the rest of Armando, the record this song comes from, Pitbull takes classic Latino, Miami bass, and old-school hip-hop jams and takes a giant, steaming dump on them with his signature cat calls and husky, bilingual vocals he thinks are slick, but reek of Cool Water cologne from middle school.

73. “My Kind of Girl” ft. Nelly
72. “Voodoo”
71. “Chi Chi Bon Bon” ft. Osmani Garcia
70. “Midnight” ft. Casely
69. “Shake It Up” ft. Oobie
68. “No Puedo Más” ft. Yandel
67. “Hustler's Withdrawal”
66. “Miami Shit”
65. “Get It Started” ft. Shakira

64. “Something for the DJs”
In the span of three minutes, Pitbull manages to shit on not one, but two nursery rhymes, including “If You’re Happy and You Know It” — changing “happy” to “sexy” — and “How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck,” insinuating that the “wood” is his dick. Clever. Your childhood hasn’t been this warped since you realized that Bugs Bunny was a cross-dresser and that Elmer Fudd was probably attracted to it (why else would he keep “chasing” Bugs?)

63. “Hope We Meet Again” ft. Chris Brown
62. “Que Tu Sabes D'Eso” ft. Fat Joe & Sinful
61. “Party Aint Over” ft. Usher & Afrojack
60. “We Are One (Ole Ola)” [Official World Cup 2014 Song]
59. “We Don't Care Bout Ya” ft. Cubo
58. “Get Up / Levantate”
57. “Born & Raised” ft. Lil' Jon, & Trick Daddy
56. “Pause”
55. “Blood Is Thicker Than Water” ft. Redd Eyezz

54. “Wild Wild Love” ft. G.R.L.
Remember that one time I mentioned how Pitbull needs to make every genre his bitch? It turns out that even folk-pop isn’t safe. He employs the now-disbanded girl group, G.R.L., to sing a folksy chorus complete with a foot-stomping beat and rhythm Of Monster and Men might recognize. The rap verses, however, are set over bleak electronica resulting in a song that doesn’t quite know what the hell it is.

 
53. “International Love” ft. Chris Brown
52. “Dirty” ft. Bun B
51. “Tchu Tchu Tcha” ft. Enrique Iglesias
50. “Shut It Down” ft. Akon
49 “This Is Not a Drill” ft. Bebe Rexha
48. “Esta Noche”
47. “That's Nasty” ft. Lil' Jon & Fat Joe

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46. “Juice Box”
There are several reasons this is a throwaway filler track from Rebelution. Aside from proudly proclaiming his Cubanness for the thousandth time and shouting out the Gunshine State, there’s one unforgivable crime committed on “Juice Box.” The chorus: “That juice box wet, she keep that juice box juicy, I like.” Let’s forget for a moment that Pitbull calls a woman’s privates a box; let’s focus instead on the word “juicy.” That’s enough to make us flinch the same way the words “dripping,” “moist,” and “squirt” tend to. Language like that is only acceptable in shameful, solo activities like porn — or romance novels.

45. “Everybody Fucks” ft. Akon & David Rush
44. “Hoy Se Bebe” ft. Farruko
43. “El Party” ft. Micha
42. “Give Them What They Ask For”
41. “She’s Freaky”
40. “Tu Cuerpo” ft. Jencarlos
39. “Hey You Girl”

38. “Shake Señora” ft. T-Pain & Sean Paul
On “Shake Señora,” Pitbull sticks to a familiar formula: sample the hell out of an old, silly song — in this case Harry Belafonte’s "Jump in the Line (Shake, Senora)" – and update it with some modern touches for a 21st-century version of a new, silly song. The updates here include combining progressive house, reggaeton, and plenty of auto-tune. It’s sort of awful… and still somehow works. Pitbull is a wizard of the gaudiest kind.

37. “Feel This Moment” ft. Christina Aguilera
36. “Raindrops” ft. Anjuli Stars
35. “I Wonder” ft. Oobie
34. “Piensas (Dile la Verdad)” ft. Gente de Zona
33. “Across the World” ft. B.O.B.
32. “Drive You Crazy” ft. Jason Derulo & Juicy J

31. “Fun” ft. Chris Brown
This is an especially frustrating song. In truth, “Fun” is a blatant and cheap rip-off of everything good the Miami Sound Machine ever produced. It combines the pastels of Miami Vice and the loose R&B of early '80s Michael Jackson. Also, Chris Brown is a fuckboy that should be in jail. For all of its obviousness and its degenerate guest vocalist, I want to hate “Fun,” but I can’t. Or actually, I can. I hate how good of an imitation this phony-ass song is.

30. “Don’t Stop the Party” ft. TJR
29. “Echa Pa’lla” ft. Papayo
28. “Jungle Fever” ft. Wyclef Jean
27. “305 Anthem” ft. Lil' Jon
26. “Come See Me”
25. “Rain Over Me” ft. Marc Anthony

24. “Preguntale”
Every so often, Pitbull joyfully raps exclusively in Spanish. When he does, as on the Spanish-only album Armando, he does so very well. “Preguntale” is a prime example of this. His flow is easy and smooth and the music is thoroughly menacing, allowing him to excel in that age-old hip-hop tradition of cocky, self-inflating shit talking.

23. “Day Drinking” ft. Heymous Molly
22. “Como Yo Le Doy” ft. Don Miguelo
21. “Be Quiet”
20. “Vida 23” ft. Nayer
19. “Yo Quiero (Si Tú Te Enamoras) ft. Gente de Zona
18. “Melting Pot” ft. Trick Daddy
17. “Fireball”

16. “Drinks For You (Ladies Anthem)” feat. Jennifer Lopez
Taken from his 2012 record, Global Warming, “Drinks for You” is a surprisingly gentle affair that seeks to respect women and the time off they’ve earned. Considering his lyrical history, it’s difficult to take any line Pitbull directs toward women as anything less than pandering, but this number comes off as mostly legit. In addition, it’s got a very cool, downtempo beat reminiscent of '90s trip-hop meant more for a lounge than a sweaty nightclub. J. Lo turns in a solid hook that lends the song an element of elegance. If only Pitbull could refrain from poisoning the track with that goddamn ridiculous yelp.

15. “Ay Chico (Lengua Afuera)”
14. “Time of Our Lives” ft. Ne-Yo
13. “Haciendo Ruido” ft. Ricky Martin
12. “Hotel Room Service”

11. “Baddest Girl in Town” ft. Mohimbi and Wisin
Pitbull’s Grammy-winning ninth LP, Dale, was his second Spanish-language effort and the superior successor to 2010’s Armando. This is thanks in large part to all his friends that drop by: Don Miguelo, Gente de Zona, and Ricky Martin. It’s a party record through and through and one of the standouts is “Baddest Girl in Town,” featuring Wisin of Wisin & Yandel and Swedish dancehall vocalist Mohimbi.

10. “Go Girl” ft. Trina & Young Bo$$
9. “Bon Bon”
8. “The Anthem” ft. Lil' Jon
7. Jealouso
6. “Dammit Man” ft. Piccallo
5. “Fuego”
4. “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”

3. “Descarada”
Back in 2006, Pitbull’s penchant for mashing up Caribbean dance music and dirty south rap was still a novel idea and his first two records, M.I.A.M.I. and El Mariel, executed this trick flawlessly. He still came off as a slightly dangerous Miami thug who really just wanted to party and have a good time instead of the product-pushing hack many know him as today. “Descarada” was, pure and simple, a song to get down to and an excuse to grind your naughty bits against someone else’s naughty bits. Let's hear it for naughty bits. 

2. “Toma” ft. Lil’ Jon
One of the first indicators that Pitbull wanted to be Miami's next true hip-hop legend — spoken of in the same breath as Uncle Luke and 2 Live Crew — was “Toma,” a song that could’ve appeared on As Nasty as They Wanna Be had it been a bilingual album. Essentially a track about Pitbull spitting game at a girl he wants to go down on, “Toma” is enough of a booty-music thumper that it transcends its unabashed oral sex-themed lyrics, and even, for a brief moment, eases the discomfort one feels when picturing Pitbull going down on someone. 

1. “Culo”
No song of his will ever top Pitbull’s ass-worshipping classic, “Culo.” It still pulls booties to the dance floor nearly 15 years after it debuted and for good reason. It’s catchy and combines two of the most infectious styles of music, hip-hop and salsa. Plus, no matter how dumb we all looked, an entire generation of clubgoers shouted “CULO!” at the top of their lungs, regardless of ethnicity, politics, race, or religion, which goes to show that Pitbull knows one thing: The admiration of a nice butt brings us all together in harmony, peace, and a rumpus-shaking good time. Take that, Trump. Pitbull 2016!


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