Pitbull dropped his eighth album, Globalization, on Tuesday, and continued his jolly romp across the universe as the most charismatic man alive. After his super-enthusiastic turn as American Music Awards host (second time!) and guesting on The View (also second time!), he hit Jimmy Kimmel for a pair of rousing-ass performances of Globalization's singles, and it was the greatest show on earth.
First up: "Time Of Our Lives," with Ne-Yo, which I believe to be one of Ne-Yo's greatest hooks in recent memory—maybe it's the warm synths of the beat, by Dr. Luke, but on it he gets the tone and emotion of his very first (and still best) song, "Stay." (Cut during that brief stint when Peedi Crakk tried to convince us he was now to be called Peedi Peedi.) As for Pitbull: this, too, is what he does best: recognizes that most of his audience consists of the proletariat and tries his damndest to get us to have a good time. (The song begins: "This is the last $20 I got/ But Ima have a good time ballin' or not/tell the bartender to line up some shots/cause Imma get LOOOOOSE tonight.") Pitbull johnny-come-latelies might be like, "uh, why are you ascribing politics to a man who named his freaking album title Globalization," to which I would respond, "EXACTLY." His first several albums dealt heavily with Cuban immigration (see especially second album El Mariel), and his aspirations to be Mr. Worldwide are rooted in a desire for cultural unity, a philosophy that is found in the nuances of his production and overall musical approach. So, "Time of Our Lives":
Not to lose focus: Pitbull's last three albums, since global EDM-aspiring Planet Pit, have been primarily focused on the party, and he's not trying to cure global hunger or anything. (He did, however, open a charter school for impoverished at-risk kids in his hometown of Miami. Just saying!) There is still a track on Globalization called "Sexy Beaches" that boasts the scintillating chorus, "Sexy beaches/ hotels." And that is why Pitbull is the best partystarter pop music could hope for: he distills the party-and-bullshit fantasy to its core, conjuring a Platonic ideal of the club and positing himself as master of ceremonies. Even his more "salacious" lyrics about pursuing beautiful women are broadstroke enough scenarios that he is still considered an artist for the whole family. "Celebrate," his first single from Globalization, is actually the theme song for the animated kids movie Penguins of Madagascar. He performed that on Kimmel, too, with his cadre of multicultural Latina backup dancers, whom he names and credits—a rare move for any pop musician—and has christened "The Most Bad Ones":
In short, Pitbull is the greatest entertainer on earth, and he will only continue to dominate the world charts because he is also one of the best people alive.