Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Pitbull – I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)

Ludicrously prolific rapper hits paydirt…


Jordan Sargent: One thing I really admire about Pitbull: he never resorted to lazy ringtone rap in order to stimulate his flagging career. “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” is rightfully reigniting interest in his music, and I’m not sure if anything is going to sound better this summer than its combination of flamenco guitars, sweat-drip keys and Pitbull’s endearing croon.

Al Shipley: Pitbull peaked on his debut to such a severe degree that his last two albums didn’t even sell as much as the remix EP for the first. So it’s kind of confusing that he’s come out of nowhere with three consecutive top 40 singles lately, the latest being the biggest. And as for the song itself, it’s not giving me any clues to explain its mysterious popularity, as dull and midtempo as it is compared to his best dance tracks.

Alex Macpherson: If anyone deserves to take his schtick to a yacht deck after half a decade in sweaty basement danceries, it’s Pitbull, but I’m only half-feeling it. Partly, this is because there are so few things better than Pitbull going hard over dirrty, banging beats (preferably with Lil’ Jon shouting in the background) that even with samples blending as nicely with summery guitar as they do here, “Calle Ocho” inevitably pales in comparison to the rest of his canon. Mostly, though, it’s because he spends too little time rapping in the verses, and too long fucking around with a dull chorus and pointlessly extended bridges.

Michaelangelo Matos: “Watch me make a movie like Alfred Hitchcock” — let me guess, The 39 Steps? Marnie? Topaz? “Even got a king-sized mattress where we can lay” — Pitbull, you Lothario, you! And the horns from Chicago’s “Street Player” punctuating the chorus — bet he heard it from the Bucketheads’ “The Bomb!” too, just like everyone else who ever walked into a club over the last 15 years. Irresistible.

Rodney J. Greene: Perhaps the most interesting thing about Mr. 305 is how he sits at the intersection of all Miami’s myriad musical currents, at ease sifting between crunk, reggaeton, bass, and superclub house, or stirring those elements into a sexually-charged melange as he does here. He is the sound of the city.

Martin Skidmore: I really like Pitbull — he sounds like he’s having fun in English and Spanish, with a bouncy party energy that is completely irresistible — I’d love a prime-period Basement Jaxx remix of this. It sounds the kind of thing you could dance to all night (if you’re much fitter than me), and be happy doing so. A total delight.

Briony Edwards: I kind of like this song, because it reminds me of the harrowing all-ages discos I used to frequent on family holidays to Majorca back when I was in my early teens. It’s like Ricky Martin meets Xzibit — I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or not. Probably not.

Frank Kogan: Guy is an easy talker who usually leaves me chilled. Reminds me of Fabolous in that regard. My points are mostly for the percussive “ping” on the two-AND beat.

Hillary Brown: I can’t help liking Pitbull’s voice, although he seems to produce the same thing over and over again (indeed, one could say that happens on a micro-level within this song in addition to on a macro-level throughout his oeuvre). It’s still kind of beachy and rambunctious, but it wears thin after a couple of minutes of that horrible pinging noise.

Additional Scores

Martin Kavka: [5]
Ian Mathers: [3]
Edward Okulicz: [5]

4 Responses to “Pitbull – I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”

  1. had high hopes for this one

    good blurb rodney

  2. Yeah, Rodney’s blurb is so concisely OTM. I was gonna give this a higher score but itunes started playing loads of old Pitbull trax after this and I realised I’d never choose to listen to this first.

  3. I certainly agree that he’s done much better, but this is quite a bit of fun in its own right.

  4. I like Pitbull a lot – he’s very ingratiating, and I mean that in a good way – but this track feels like it’s just the same two monotonous refrains chanted over and over again. There’s never a chance for his personality to come through, and without that this song is pointless.