Money Isn’t the Only Issue
Reggaeton, a mixture of Latin hip-hop and the newest genre of cadera (waist) moving pop, fills the debut album by Miami’s Pitbull – M.I.A.M.I. (Money Is A Major Issue). Like many reggaeton artists, the album is filled with head-bopping bass beats highlighted in radio friendly tracks such as “Culo”and “Toma.” Working in conjunction with beat master Lil John, infectious rhythms and quasi flows make the album overwhelming and slightly repetitive. In using Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam’s beats and refrains from her classic 80s club hit, “I Wonder,” Pitbull manages to effectively remake this hit, creatively titled, “I Wonder.” The album appeals to a youthful and Latino demographic that seeks humorous rhymes they can easily lip-synch when out at the club. Lyrically it is a miss. Listening closely to Money Is a Major Issue is a major problem. The listener will not find slick or thought-provoking flows in this Latin hip-hop artist. What they will find, however, is an album that echoes sounds from the 90s such as deep house beats and samples of classic “Aqua-Net” songs. This appeals to those who were once a fan of the 80s and 90s Latin-inspired pop culture because of artists such as Stevie B. and Debi Deb’s synthesized rhythms.
The album follows up with another creatively titled Money Is Still a Major Issue remix disc. Pitbull’s remix tracks are again filled with echoes of deep house and have reggaeton tendencies but with more Spanish singing. Refrains such as “She’s hot, she’s blazin’, everybody wants to know her name” make for unimpressive and elementary verses. When songs are titled “Get to Poppin” and “Oh No He Didn’t!” and are featured on a remix album, expectations of flows and rhymes, for the most part, remain low. Money is obviously not the only problem on this album.