It’s tough to find good, independent music these days. We live in an era where everything is processed and filtered and we give Grammy’s to the faces that promote the songs instead of the robots that worked hard on them.
That’s why we’re lucky to have rappers like Pitbull and Flo Rida, two men who bring honesty and truth to their music, who aren’t just in it for the pay check, but in it for the love. However, there can only be one king among men.
Who’s a better rapper, Mr. Worldwide or The Only One Rida? Let’s compare their strengths and weaknesses and find out.
I’ll be basing my conclusion upon five categories. The first is “Rap Skills”, where I look at both rappers’ abilities to string words together coherently. The second is “Personality”, examining their likability. The third measures the “Quality Of Their Collaborators”, comparing the respectability of the people they’ve worked with. The fourth category is “Endeavors Outside Of Rap”, which looks at how entertaining they are when they’re taken out of their natural habitat. The fifth and final category is “Music Videos”, which measures how well they perform when you actually see them.
Flo Rida doesn’t like variation. He is the human equivalent of a metronome, keeping tempo with whatever party beat has been handed to him. This works extremely well in his favor, since Flo Rida has only one tempo that he uses in every single song. Comparing Flo Rida verses is like comparing shades of white. If Flo Rida wrote a song about ceiling fans, you wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from his verses in “Good Feeling.” One of his sponsors in simply the word “club.” A lot of rappers try to end their couplets with clever punchlines, but not Flo Rida. Flo Rida picks the first, easiest word to rhyme with the end of the last line and works from there. If you handed Flo Rida a blank piece of paper and a pencil, he’d hand it back to you, because why ruin what’s already perfect?
On the opposite extreme is Pitbull. You could tweet the lyrics of an entire Pitbull album and you still have time to add “#dale” to the end. He used to rap more in his earlier releases, but ever since he took the attitude of “Fuck you, pay me!” (a line he adds to the end of some of his verses when he simply becomes too bored to finish a song), his rarely ever does more than six-to-eight lines per verse. And even this little of an amount is inconsistent, as often, Pitbull just stops rapping in the middle of the line, like he can’t even be bothered to finish the song he was probably contractually obligated to record. Pitbull never receives an “A” for effort, only “Incomplete’s.”
Also, Pitbull’s use of metaphors and jokes usually hamper whatever he was trying to say. He often laughs at his own lines. For example, in his song “Something For The DJs” he rhymes, at the beginning of each fucking verse, “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck/if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Haha!” First of all, that “line” isn’t even his own. Secondly, most of the lines in Requiem For A Dream are funnier than it, making his laugh at the end seem forced, which is saying a lot, since most rappers imagine humor as this weird thing that people do whenever they’re not as good as them. And third, it has no place within the context of the song. Pitbull simply remembered it and decided that it would fit perfectly in a rap song that doesn’t have anything to do with it.
Overall, Flo Rida has more rap skills. He’s still not a fantastic rapper, and his verses are all pretty interchangeable, but at least they maintain some sort of coherency. Pitbull writes songs like his left and right brain sides are arguing.
Flo Rida: 1
Flo Rida doesn’t necessarily ooze charisma. Since even his songs about national tragedies turn into songs about how great being rich is, he never really has time to branch out into petty things like “personality” and “flavor.” Flo Rida is so bland that he asks his date to ask him how the date is going.
Pitbull, however, is all personality. There is no one more excited about nothing in particular than Pitbull. Just look at the man’s Twitter account. He could be taking a shit and still feel the need open up a bottle of his brand of Voli vodka and give a shout out to his fans. Also, his insistence to finish every statement with his trademark “Dale!” never fails to turn even the most boring things into bizarre tributes to his own happiness.
Overall, Pitbull has more personality, which was kind of a flawless victory on his part. It’s not hard to top someone on the likability charts when that someone’s spirit animal is a champagne bucket.
Flo Rida: 1
Quality Of Collaborators
In terms of people who have appeared on their own songs, Flo Rida and Pitbull are fairly even. They both love to have Akon be the most annoying part of their music, and if they don’t work with David Guetta at least once a year, the doomsday clock ticks one count forward towards oblivion. Pitbull often works with Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias, while Flo Rida aims directly at the heart of disappointing hipsters by letting Ke$ha and Timbaland feature.
Flo Rida usually takes the center stage in all of his songs, though there aren’t a lot of qualifications to have Flo Rida feature on your song. Are you a person? Do you have a voice! Congratulations! You too can coerce Flo Rida spit a verse in one of your tunes! The people who have had Flo Rida add to them include Brooke Hogan, Aaron Carter, Cody Simpson and Olly Murs. While Pitbull often is included on tracks with rappers of the same caliber, at least he gets interesting results. When Flo Rida features on a song, it’s like asking the person on the Subway line to top you off with more bread.
Pitbull appears on a lot of Spanish rappers’ songs, such as people like Sensato, and the product you get to listen to is this weird mix of Spanish and English. Spanish is Pitbull’s first language, but, even if every other song that the other rapper has done is completely in Spanish, as soon as you hear “Yeeeeeeaaaaooooooo”, you’re barraged with broken English from both parties.
The victor here is Pitbull. While Flo Rida once again succumbs to his inability to take part in anything that you’d feel uncomfortable taking shots to, every Pitbull song, regardless of who’s in it, will always be a curious experiement.
Flo Rida: 1
Endeavors Outside Of Rap
For Flo Rida’s endeavor, I’ve selected this clip of him, backstage, at Wrestlemania.
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon knows that people work their entire lives to take part in the grandest showcase that pro wrestling has to offer, Wrestlemania. That’s why he often fills the show with people entirely unrelated to it. Here, perennial loser Heath Slater is seen in a comedy segment with Flo Rida. Heath doesn’t quite know what comedy is yet, and he’s been given the task of leading Flo Rida through a sketch, which is kind of like learning to drive by standing in an empty parking lot.
Heath Slater starts off by repeatedly calling Flo Rida “Florida,” and it’s instantly awkward when Flo Rida enters, forgets that he’s supposed to be acting, and immediately starts to hate everything that this pale, red-headed man in front of him stands for. Flo Rida never says much except when correcting Heath and disagreeing with every stupid set up that Heath can come up with, and the suspense builds, because Heath looks like he’s trying to joke his way out of a curb stomping.
After Heath has embarrassed himself as much as one normal human can, he stands up to Flo Rida. Flo Rida responds with the most enthusiasm that he’s shown in this whole segment. Unfortunately, this enthusiasm is channeled into shoving Heath Slater so hard that you’d have to clean Slater’s skull fragments out of the sheetrock. It’s like everything that Slater has ever learned about poise and balance is suddenly forgotten and it appears that Slater’s legs have decided to personally eject his spine from his body. It’s the first time a comedy scene has ever ended because one of the participants personally wanted the other participants dead.
For Pitbull’s endeavor, I’ve chosen his cameo role in the awful, awful action film, Blood Money.
Pitbull is shown prominently on the front cover of the DVD leading me to believe that he’d take a major role, maybe playing a gang leader or a rich guy who’s also good with a gun. This isn’t the case at all. Pitbull features so little in this movie that he almost feels like an editing mistake. And he doesn’t play a fictional character. He plays himself, which must be difficult, considering that Pitbull often seems to lose track of who he is in his own lyrics, so being himself while playing himself must be his There Will Be Blood.
Pitbull sits with one of the primary protagonists in a business meeting, and the biggest question raised is “Why Pitbull?” He was singing the theme to the movie on stage just a few seconds prior, and I sincerely doubt that the gang got together and said “Who should we get advice from about dealing with this situation where other gangs want us dead? I know. How about that guy rapping about Miami?” Pitbull shows up, provides them with guidance, shilling wisdom like “You put your ears to the ground, the street’s will talk,” and then promptly disappears from the rest of the movie. This surprises me, if only because I expected Pitbull’s films to be kind of like Pitbull’s music, so he’d scream his nicknames repeatedly over the soundtrack for no reason.
Flo Rida takes the win in this one. Pitbulls’ cameo is far too short and significantly more boring than watching Flo Rida commit a hate crime on the human skeleton.
Flo Rida: 2
Flo Rida’s music videos never really amount to much. Surprisingly, in most of the them, you can find Flo Rida singing in front of people at a club. There’s never really a story told. Sometimes there are bits that seem to indicate that a narrative might happen, such as in the “Who Dat Girl” video where Flo Rida and Akon play online poker until they spill a drink on the computer and summon a hot girl from the digital netherrealm, but it never does.
Pitbull’s music videos are often made in order to cater towards particular themes and costumes that Pitbull likes. For instance, Pitbull loves the idea that he’s a secret agent, Armando Bond, and his videos often have a surveillance theme, where he’s being watched or has to evade capture. Most of the time, Pitbull is being hunted because he’s secretly in a relationship with another man’s girlfriend. And when I say “most of the time,” I don’t mean just once or twice. Pitbull could fill an entire feature film with times that he’s been boning the wife of some crime boss. It doesn’t matter if the song he’s written is about the Holocaust. Pitbull will inevitably show up dressed as a boat captain or a spy, and he’s definitely going to grind with Eva Braun.
For this category, Pitbull is the winner. He’s an auteur in his own right, even if all that means is that he really, really likes to take part in affairs and wear sunglasses.
Flo Rida: 2
And so, the winner of Best Rapper In History goes to Pitbull. To celebrate, turn on the radio. I assure you, on at least one station, there’ll be a Pitbull song playing.