Gabry Ponte feat. Pitbull & Sophia del Carmen – “Beat On My Drum” – (2012)

Gabry Ponte is an Italian DJ and was part of Eiffel 65 (so his cred obviously check out). Pitbull is an American rapper who would like you to think he was raised on the streets of Havana. He is also featured in every song ever. Sophia del Carmen is a half–Costa Rican half –Guatemalan singer who hasn’t made to many waves internationally. But her Spanish vocals in this song (and their oh-so-subtle innuendos) are pretty good. And I have to admit, Pitbull’s rap is quite awesome. Especially with this beat – which I always picture as some guy (Ponte, presumably) pounding back and forth on a set of bongos. He must’ve had fun with the drum mixer when making this song. Oh yeah, and there’s brass to boot. Good stuff.

Shakira feat. Pitbull – “Rabiosa” – (2010)

Shakira songs always seem to have a fun feel to them. But that’s probably due in part to her being Latin. The beats help too. “Rabiosa” was the third single from Sale el Sol. The Spanish version (there’s always a Spanish version) features Dominican rapper El Cata and the English version features Pitbull, who also speaks Spanish (both rappers are unnecessary on this song). The combination of Shakira’s Spanish (there are still Spanish vocals in the English-language version) and the horn section – along with the beat – make this a perfect summer song. Also, the video rocks if you’ve ever wanted to see Shakira dance on a pole. And I love when she says “ratata.”

Pitbull feat. TJR – “Don’t Stop the Party” – (2012)

We featured TJR’s tune “Funky Vodka” a few months ago and I said how incredibly catchy it was. Well, a catchy house track is the perfect jumping off point for a Pitbull hit, as history shows. Of course, TJR sampled “Funky Kingston” by Toots and the Maytals. And at least Pitbull “featured” TJR on this single. I will say though, this song is still incredibly catchy. Pitbull didn’t ruin it. He turned it into what can only be described as a party anthem. The song is kind of repetitive, but it’s easy to bounce along to. It’s a good summer party song.

Pitbull feat. Chris Brown – “International Love” – (2011)

Well here’s two popular performers that people don’t seem to like all that much. The reasons are very different. People don’t like Chris Brown as a person and Pitbull has recently garnered his own special sort of disdain. That is, his unoriginality. He has taken song sampling to a whole new level. Granted, he has been very successful and has made a lot of money – and I kind of like his unique voice. This song doesn’t have any samples in it, but recently it seems that Pitbull (and Flo Rida, who has made a career out of it) just take popular electronica or dance tracks and then rap over top of them. This was a big hit in the U.S…. and well, internationally.

Pitbull feat. Marc Anthony – “Rain Over Me” – (2011)

Marc Anthony hasn’t done a lot of business on mainstream U.S. radio since, umm, about 2000. Nowadays he’s more famous for having married Jennifer Lopez, but he kills it in this song. Pitbull has been about everywhere since about 2010 and as time has progressed, I’ve noticed that when he starts rapping (or whatever) in Spanish, it seems to be more and more “phoned it” every time. He just kind of mumbles. I’m jealous he’s making a career out of mumbling (“ya tu sabe”). This video is classic Pitbull: a white suit, hand motions with fingers spread, reflective sunglasses, the sun, beautiful women, and him – at some point – throwing his arms in the air and spinning as the beat drops. But Marc Anthony really makes this song – he’s still got the pipes he did 10 years ago and it really helps make this dance track more pop-y.