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Pitbull

Original Hits

Original Hits cover

Kudos to the Orchard label for labeling this set properly as Original Hits, which covers pop-rapper Pitbull's early years, the ones he spent on the now defunct TVT. That means this is the Miami man's 2004-2008 era where his evolution from reggaeton to Latin pop to Latin pop-rap-dance is on display with names like Lil Jon, Lil' Flip, Fat Joe, and the Ying Yang Twins all on the guest list. Big hits here include the spicy crunk anthem "The Anthem," the hypnotic reggaeton floor filler "Culo," and the raw, pounding "Bojangles," all of them sounding flashy, big, and like the start of a penthouse pool party where every beer has a lime on top. Rounding out the set are a bunch of strong second-tier singles including the "Din Daa Daa"-sampling "Shake" and the Trina feature "Go Girl," plus some very strong choices when it comes to album cuts, including "Descarada (Dance)," with dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel and the "Rock Lobster"-sampling "Hey You Girl." Hardcore fans will appreciate the three bonus tracks tacked on at the end of the set: the mixtape cut "Lemonhead Delight," the rare "Guilty by Association," and the anti-Castro "Se Acabo" show the compilers were well aware of the artist and his desirable extras. Don't expect the major-label flash of 2009's "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" and all the hits that came after, but that sly smile on the cover is no lie, and when you get so much party music along with some danceable, uplifting "free the people" music, that's totally "Fuego."

Review by David Jeffries

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