Pitbull closing out Las Vegas residency
In mid-April, Pitbull announced that the May 10-25 dates of his Time of Our Lives residency at Planet Hollywood Resort would be the final shows of that residency. What started as a limited engagement has stretched into five years of Mr. Worldwide bringing audiences to their feet inside PH’s Zappos Theater with his signature shout “Dale!” and performing nearly two dozen of his hits, from “Feel This Moment” to “Give Me Everything.”
If the Miami-born rapper expects everything it’s because he gives it right back, from the live concert stage to the Sports Leadership and Management Academy (SLAM) charter schools in Miami and Clark County, Nevada, that he’s played a major role in supporting. He’s remained a prolific recording artist throughout his residency, most recently adding rapid-fire rhyming to Indian singing star Guru Randhawa’s single “Slowly Slowly.” He also lent his voice to Ugly Dog, the best friend of Kelly Clarkson’s Moxy in computer-animated musical comedy UglyDolls, and an audio book, From Negative to Positive: How I Took All the Wrong in My Life and Made It Right and You Can Too.
To cap off that busy schedule, Pitbull was invited to join the main lineup at this year’s 50th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, where he joined a talent roster that included Diana Ross, Dave Matthews Band, Katy Perry and Chris Stapleton. His decision to discontinue Time of Our Lives may have been business related, as he’ll need to reserve more focus for his Mr. 305 Inc. record label now that he’s made a deal for worldwide marketing and distribution of its Latin music releases. His history of self-reference as Mr. Worldwide has turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In other words, Pitbull has taken hustling to its highest level. Encouraged as a toddler by his Cuban father to recite the poetry of revolutionary José Martí, Armando Christian Pérez first made a name for himself as a cornrowed, bilingual rapper named for the most tenacious dog breed he knew of. Lazaro “DJ Laz’” Mendez championed Pitbull on Miami radio station Power 96, and he was signed to Luther Campbell’s Luke Records in 2001.
After Lil Jon recruited him to record “Pitbull’s Cuban Ride Out” on 2002’s Kings of Crunk album, Pitbull’s career took a dramatic upswing. You could not find a club in Las Vegas that didn’t play “Culo” from his 2004 debut album M.I.A.M.I. It would remain on Strip nightclub playlists for years as he released albums and collaborated extensively, but it wasn’t until 2009 that he broke into the Top 10 with the single “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” from his fourth album Rebelution. He would return there four times before his first No. 1, “Give Me Everything,” peaked on July 9, 2011.
He reached the top of the singles chart again in January 2014 with “Timber,” featuring Kesha, but his attention for the near future may turn to garnering No. 1s for artists such as IAmChino, Papayo and Ky-Mani Marley via Mr. 305 Inc. Audiences for the final Time of Our Lives shows will have Pitbull’s full focus, though. Once he goes into “Dale!” mode, he won’t stop the party until he’s given them everything.
Planet Hollywood Resort, 9 p.m. May 15, 17, 19, 22 & 24-25, starting at $39 plus tax and fee. 800.745.3000 Ticketmaster