In the past year, Pitbull has transformed from a local Miami hero to national Cuban representative. His official debut album, M.I.A.M.I. (Money is a Major Issue), is certified gold, but he hasn’t stopped hitting the streets with his underground Unleashed mixtape series. Pit’s so popular right now that a Miami label, Rudebwoy Entertainment in association with 305 Music, has put together an album of some of his previously unreleased material. The album, Welcome to the 305, will be released this May. Although Pit is contractually obligated to TVT and legally unable to discuss the album, we checked in with him to find out what life is like as a star. So your album is gold now, right? Thank God for that. And “Toma” is about to take off. The video just started playing. It’s gonna be the new joint of the day on 106th & Park tomorrow, so that’s huge for me. What’s changed for you over the past year? The deeper you get in this game, the more bullshit you gotta deal with. More money, more problems. You really start to see how greedy people are and how money affects relationships. Anybody that knows me knows that I’m still the same dude. I’m out here working, grinding. There ain’t no big changes in my life, other than my family’s lifestyle. Thank God I’m able to provide for them. Around you, though, everything changes, from the fans to the people within your own circle. Any major purchases in the last year? Property. I bought two apartments in Miami and I’m on my way upstate to buy more property. That’s all I give a fuck about: property. Soon it’s gonna be Pitbull Real Estate. I heard you have a shoe deal coming up with Reebok? Yeah, we’ve got Reebok and Nike on board. We’re trying to figure out who we’re gonna go with. We did some test things with Reebok just to show them we had a market, so now they wanna mess with me or whatever. We just gotta work it out. Not money wise, but movement wise. My movement is a little different because I’m able to touch two different worlds and jump in and out of them. Today, they’re really starting to see the power of Latinos. They see me as a marketing tool. What similarities do you see between Latin culture and hip-hop culture? It’s a lot of similarities. It all comes down to one struggle, and I think that’s what brings hip-hop together. Everybody has struggled to get what they want in life, and that’s what makes everybody relate to each other. We love music, basically. Music is the universal language. When you’ve got records like “Toma” or “Culo,” some people don’t know what the fuck they mean. People are still dancing together; that’s what breaks down barriers and makes the music bigger. Speaking of “Toma,” can you translate the Spanish words in that record for us? The hook to “Toma” basically means, “Crazy girl, come here, move it, move it / You want me to eat you? Open your legs.” Do radio stations edit Spanish words? I think you used to get away with a lot more, but ever since “Culo” came out they’ve been watching what I say. When you see the “Toma” video, you’ll notice that they pulled out a bunch of words.
Words & photo Julia Beverly
Besides promoting your album, what other projects are you working on? We’re gonna drop Unleashed Vol. 5 and then I’m gonna move onto something else. We’re doing more mixtapes and a DVD. I’m doing a bunch of shit this year. I’m also promoting P. Diddy’s new Bad Boy line. It’s me, T.I., and Lil Wayne. I think lyrically, T.I. and Wayne are really putting it down for the South, so it’s an honor for them to throw me in the same class. That just goes to show that I’m putting it down for Miami in a different way. My roots are in booty music, but my movement is different. I can jump on a reggaetone track or a crunk track, so I don’t want people to just look at me as a bootyshaking artist. I might do a record like “Toma,” but I’ve still got four mixtapes out there that’ll show you what else I can do. Do you think reggaetone will blow up commercially? I think they need to throw somebody out there as the king of reggaetone. Booty music had Luke and crunk has Lil Jon, so they need a king. I’m blessed to be able to jump on some reggaetone tracks, but I’m not a reggaetone artist. Puerto Rico holds that torch. OZONE APR 2005
Ozone Mag #33 - Apr 2005