Rapper Pitbull has been constantly evolving since his 2004 debut album M.I.A.M.I: Money Is A Major Issue. From crunked-up club jams to catchy crossover tunes, the Cuban MC put the full range of his catalog on display last night (June 24) when he performed live at the Nokia Theater in New York City.
For this spot on his aptly titled Mr. Worldwide’s Carnival Tour, Pit rolled into town with an elaborate stage set, a live band, and dancers on stilts and in masks providing a distinct Caribbean feel. Mr. 305, who traded in the more traditional hip-hop look for a black suit and cummerbund, started his hour-plus set with “Can’t Stop Me Now” off of his 2009 album Rebelution. After throwing shots at his former label TVT Records and rappers who lie about their criminal past, Pit launched into an acapella freestyle with a political twist. The verse drew the loudest applause when Pit spit, “My mother worked hard to become a U.S. citizen/Someone tell the lawmakers in Arizona, they ignorant, because America was built by immigrants.”
After, Pitbull went back to his crunk roots and performed songs like 2004’s “Damnit Man,” “Toma” and “Culo” from his first album, as well as his verse off of the Ying Yang Twins’ “Shake” and his 2006 single “Bojangles.”
As the night drew to a close, Pit— who preached positivity all night, had security escort a disrespectful concertgoer out of the theater. “We won’t have no ignorant shit at my shows,” he said before going into his popular club hit “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho).” With his set seemingly over, the rapper reemerged for an encore and performed “Hotel Room” before closing out with his latest Lil Jon-produced single “Krazy.”
The house lights came on and by the end of the evening Pitbull had proven, though he may have switched-up his style from when he first came into the game, the lil chico still gets down. —Rob Markman