Hello, my name is MusiCommentator, and this review was reuqested by youaredoomed from https://musescore.com/user/27935096#.
Pitbull…that’s a name I haven’t heard in a while. For those who don’t know, Pitbull is a Cuban-American rapper who used to be one of the biggest names in the pop-rap scene. Songs like “Timber” and “Time Of Our Lives” helped propel him to stardom, and he has since gained a reputation for making cheap party rap for the lowest common denominator. I’ve never been too big a fan of his music, and considering he hasn’t had a real radio hit in years, I guess most people agree with me. Even though Pitbull appeared on my Top 10 WORST Singles of 2018 list, the controversy around this song is the first time I’ve heard people talk about Pitbull in ages. But, I guess we have to dive into “Ocean To Ocean” to see what it’s all about (and, yes, pun intended).
Well, I guess we should first start with the “controversy” this song has around it, that being the “Africa” sample. This isn’t the first time Pitbull has shamelessly sampled another popular song without so much as changing the original to make the sampling seem inventive (see “Feel This Moment”), but this does seem to be the first time people are genuinely upset about to. The nearly 1:4 like-to-dislike ratio the song has on YouTube proves this. The sampling of the melody from Toto’s beloved “Africa” is hackneyed in, but I like the instrumentation around it. Compared to many of the other lazily thrown-together beats on Pitbull songs, this one actually has some lively energy to it. It does feel quite oceanic, which fits in well with the fact that this is a single off the “Aquaman” soundtrack. I also appreciate Rhea’s singing of the chorus. Again, the chorus is just straight ripped-off from “Africa”, but her soaring voice does a very good job singing it, especially when the vocals are layered. When it comes to Pitbull’s lyrics, though…there’s definitely a decline in quality.
“They tried to get rid of me
But from ocean to ocean
They gon’ have to deal with me”
Why does he say this like it’s a good thing? There’s a reason people are trying to get rid of you: it’s because your music sucks!
“I been overlooked, slept on
Stepped on, left for dead”
Overlooked? Who’s overlooking you? Let’s not lie to ourselves, you don’t make great music. If you were still relevant, I’d call you overrated, but you’d have to be popular for that to be true.
“Always against all odds like Pac said”
…Please, don’t ever compare yourself to 2Pac again. That’s like Ariana Grande referencing Biggie on “7 rings” (shameless self-plug, see that review here).
“I’m the living Great Gatsby”
You know Gatsby died in that book, right?
“But these boys are watching quick and disappear like Banksy”
Yeah, I bet all your fans are going to get that reference.
For as excruciating as going through those lyrics seemed, the first verse is actually quite short. The song barely has time to start before this verse is over and it transitions to the chorus. I guess now would be a good time to point out, too, that the chorus has nothing to do with the verses. The chorus is a powerful statement on what someone would do for love, and the verses are awful brag raps. Don’t you just love Pitbull songs?
“Still got love for these beats, that’s why I spit this fire”
You, sir, do not spit fire.
“You can catch me on a beat, ‘specially on a island”
Yeah, I’ll get back to you when that line makes any kind of sense.
“Getting paid more than athletes, man, life is sweet”
You? Getting paid more than athletes? That’s some nerve coming from a washed up rapper. I bet your net worth is less than a million! I’m going to look it up…
Whoa! 80 million? I did not see that coming? Where did you get all that money from? That’s more than all of the Migos combined! Damn, maybe you aren’t as washed up as I thought. You still make pretty bad music, though.
“Nas say sleep is the cousin of death so I don’t sleep”
What’s up with you name-dropping legendary rappers like you stand toe-to-toe with them? Being around a long time doesn’t make you a legend. Maroon 5 has been around for a while and a lot of people hate them.
“They wouldn’t bust a grape at a food fight”
This line would be clever if I hadn’t heard it used in a dozen other rap songs that are better than this.
Overall, I’m not going to deny that this song is a piece of pop-trash, because it definitely is. The lazy sampling and awful Pitbull verses are enough to prove that. However, I saw many people place this as one of their least favorite songs of 2018, and I don’t think I can agree with that. The beat is still good for what it is, and I love Rhea’s singing. I mean, let’s not lie, if the “Aquaman” executives had actually gotten someone that is relevant in the mainstream to rap the verses, this would be seen as a meme song and would be played so hard it would reach the top of the Billboard charts. Plus, this song also got me back into the original “Africa”, which is ten times better than this track, so that’s a plus. All that said, I’d give this a 2 out of 5. Do you agree?
Thank you for reading my “Ocean To Ocean” song review. If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep on listening to good music! I know I will.