Pitbull hits all the right notes

Pitbull hits all the right notes
Cuban-American rapper Pitbull and one of his dancers wow the 5,000-strong crowd with sexy Latin moves at his show at the Singapore Expo in Changi.


The Max Pavilion, Singapore Expo

Last Saturday

It could have been just another regular Saturday night of clubbing at the usual party spots.

But with Cuban-American rapper Pitbull in town, clubbers took the opportunity to catch the man responsible for numerous club anthems live in the flesh. Five thousand fans turned up to pay homage at the Singapore Expo in Changi.

Over 70 minutes, the chart-topping hit-maker blazed non-stop through a combination of 36 of his songs as well as sample songs of other artists.

True to his self-given "Mr International" moniker, Pitbull brought together a diverse crowd, from middle-aged women who were probably more familiar with him through their Zumba classes to parents accompanying their teenagers to party girls teetering on high heels.

From the get-go with Hey Baby (Drop It To The Floor), everyone, from the moshpit to the last of the rafters, was on his feet. Arms flailed in the air and bodies bopped to pulsating beats.

Never mind that the stars who regularly appear on his songs, such as pop diva Jennifer Lopez and R&B royalty Usher, were not there to back up the rapper.

Instead, Pitbull, who last performed here in 2010, kept the party going with shorter versions of these songs such as International Love, Dance Again and Get Started, while pre-recorded footage of the singers flashed behind him on the big screen.

While the aviator-wearing rapper had four dancers to add sass to the songs, he showed his Cuban roots, pulling off super-hot dance moves, with thrusting hips and sexy Latin dancing on numbers such as Danza Kuduro and Sube Las Manos Pa'Arriba.

Backed by a band which included a bassist and a Latin percussionist, the 32-year-old also sampled music from other artists such as the American hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling and Swedish duo Icona Pop's I Don't Care.

Without breaking the flow of the party that came with a flashing light show, he would drop well-rehearsed lines, thanking the audience for bringing the energy and complimenting Singapore. At one point, he asked all the "beautiful, hot, sophisticated and power women" to cheer. After which, he said: "Looks like I have to invite a lot of beautiful women to the hotel room tonight." He then launched into one of his earlier hits, Hotel Room Service, about having a fling in a hotel.

It was a cheeky move that delighted the crowd, who were already won over early and cheered his every move.

Pitbull may not be the best technical rapper on the scene and his lyrics may be a little cheesy for the often angry-sounding hip-hop world. But he came across as a cool, nice guy, who just wanted to have a good time. And the charismatic performer put on a show that let the audience have fun and dance without a care.

It was telling that most concertgoers had their hands up throughout the night to dance, rather than take cameraphone pictures of the rapper. It was just too bad that the party ended early, right as the night was getting started.

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