This song samples "Street Player" by Chicago, a track that appeared on their 1979 album Chicago 13. Chicago's version of "Street Player" was a cover of a Rufus number, which was the title track of their 1978 album Street Player. The song was co-written by the then Chicago drummer Danny Seraphine. Another song that sampled Chicago's version of "Street Player" was The Bucketheads 1994 house music hit "The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall into My Mind)."
This song achieved Pitbull's highest position to date in the Hot 100.
This became the highest charting song to date for Ultra Records on the Hot 100. The imprint, which was started in 1995, had previously failed to break into the Top 40. Prior to this its most successful release had been the #46 charting "Calabria 2008" by Enur featuring Natasja.
The title is a reference to the Calle Ocho street in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami.
The song is a remix of "75, Brazil Street" by Nicola Fasano Vs Pat Rich. Pitbull told MTV News that the idea for the track came from a Dominican duo. He explained: "The idea for [that song] is obviously from a riddim called '75 Brazil Street,' but the idea really came from a Dominican guy, El Cata, and the other one is Omega. They're both huge on the mambo side of things down in the Dominican Republic. So he had a record, playing around, singing, 'I know you want me.' So what they do is they record their records while they're performing. So they'll be performing at a club and improvise something and really throw it away. And I told him, 'Hey, dog, lemme hold that.' He ain't even know what hit him [or how big the song would get]. I gave him a percentage for that, put it out, and now he's like, 'Oye, hermanito, I got these hooks. You need another hook? I'll give you another hook. I love you, you love me. How you wanna do it?' So he's happy. But that's basically how I get inspired with music. Go around the world and see different ideas that someone hasn't fully maximized. It was fun."
Pitbull explained the album title to Billboard magazine: "Rebelution stands for a fighter. I feel like I've been fighting in music and creating new ways and new opportunities to make things work even when people thought it wouldn't. It also stands for situations within my family and all the political issues back in Cuba."
There is a narration on the album that gives the impression listeners are taking a tour of Miami. Pitbull told Billboard magazine: "It's a way to further show how I've been raised in Miami and why I have so many different musical influences."
This was Pitbull's first single to be internationally successful. Among the countries this topped the charts in were France, Israel The Netherlands and Turkey. It also spent six weeks at #1 on the European Hot 100 tally.
By July 2010, this was the second best selling all time Latin download song behind Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie
The song was used to soundtrack designer fashion house Lanvin's Fall 2011 ad campaign. Famous fashion photographer Steven Meisel shot the commercial, which finds famous models such as Karen Elson and Raquel Zimmerman dancing around.