Pitbull's influence is worldwide
When Pitbull first launched his Time of Our Lives residency at Planet Hollywood Resort in 2015, it was for just seven shows, clearly testing the waters to see how Vegas would respond to the Miami-based rapper. Even Pitbull himself may have been surprised at how well things have gone for him in Vegas in the past three years, and when he returns for his latest round of dates, it’ll be as a burgeoning Vegas institution, on par with the other pop-music stars who’ve made the town their second (or even first) home.
It would be hard to imagine Pitbull ever giving up Miami as his base of operations, since his musical persona is so closely tied to his love for and promotion of his hometown. There’s a reason that one of his nicknames is Mr. 305, a reference to Miami’s area code. Pitbull carries Miami with him wherever he goes, but his other nickname is Mr. Worldwide, and he’s brought the sounds of the city where he grew up to fans around the world.
Pitbull started his career with a guest appearance on rapper Lil Jon’s 2002 album Kings of Crunk, and Lil Jon gave him another boost by lending his production and vocal skills to Pitbull’s 2004 debut album M.I.A.M.I., including on hit singles “Culo” and “Nasty.” It wasn’t long before Pitbull was racking up hits on his own, including “Fireball,” “On the Floor” and “You Really Want Me,” all of which have been featured in his Time of Our Lives show.
Over the years, Pitbull has collaborated with a range of hip-hop, Latin and pop stars, from Pharrell and T-Pain to Marc Anthony and Enrique Iglesias, as well as Kesha and fellow Planet Hollywood resident headliner Jennifer Lopez. His upbeat, party-heavy sound, featuring lyrics in English and Spanish (including on his 2010 all-Spanish-language album Armando), appeals to a wide audience, and it’s pop-friendly enough for mainstream radio while remaining authentically connected to his reggaeton roots.
Pitbull’s most recent album, Climate Change, was released last year, featuring collaborators like Lopez and Iglesias alongside artists from rock (Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, blink-182’s Travis Barker), reggae (Stephen Marley), pop (Leona Lewis) and indie (Stephen A. Clark). It’s launched two hit singles in “Messin’ Around” (with Iglesias) and “Greenlight” (with rappers Flo Rida and LunchMoney Lewis).
Since debuting his show in Vegas, Pitbull has set down roots in town by opening a location of his Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM) charter school in 2016, and he plans to strengthen his ties to the community. “Vegas is something that is deeply rooted in culture for me and, I would say, my family, but to also be a part of what I would see as the (entertainment) elite in Vegas is amazing,” he told Las Vegas Magazine as he was getting ready for shows in March 2016. Since then, he’s only further cemented his place among the Vegas entertainment elite, and it seems pretty clear that he’ll be here for years to come.
Planet Hollywood Resort, 9 p.m. April 27-28, May 2, 4-5, 9 & 11-12, starting at $39 plus tax and fee. 800.745.3000 Ticketmaster