Pitbull: Thicker Than Water

While the new faces of Rick Ross, Dre, and Plies have popped up in Florida, another rapper has scouted the real estate of Miami success for the last four years. Although his album, El Mariel did not hit shelves until 2006’s fourth quarter, the presence Pitbull saw primetime exposure by way of “Born N’ Raised” from DJ Khaled’s album, which recently snagged an Ozone Award.

But reppin’ the 305 isn’t what Pitbull is all about. On an album dedicated to his father, Pitbull talks a lot about other issues, including loyalty, street ethics, and his heritage. That last element comes to the surface heavily, as Pitbull addresses some criticism he recently faced from dead prez affiliates, A-alikes. Pitbull neither barks nor bites, but when he opens his mouth, he makes it clear that his jaws could lock very easily if he so wanted.

AllHipHop.com: With the release of M.I.A.M.I. the city of Miami was not in the limelight like it is now. Dropping late in 2006, now that the city’s on the global radar, how do you think that El Mariel will benefit from that exposure alone?

Pitbull: I don’t look for the record to benefit from the exposure, to be honest with you. I try to add to the exposure. As far as my movement, you saw that I named my first album M.I.A.M.I., so I jumped out with the whole 305 s**t. I remember when nobody was really reppin’ like that. So, for me, it’s beautiful just to see the city blossom the way that it is, and to see how unified the city has become. Everybody that’s comin’ out…the Khaled’s, the Ross’, the Dre’s, I’m happy to be a part of the movement.

AllHipHop.com: Ozone magazine really gave it up to “Born N’ Raised” at their awards. It’s on your album, as well as Khaled’s, but tell me what a song like that means in your catalog?

Pitbull: Yo, to do that record there, was a blessing. To be there with Trick [Daddy] and Rick Ross, and just the whole idea behind the record. The city needed an anthem. That’s basically gonna go down in history right there, I don’t think you gonna get a better one than that. It was just a blessing and an honor to work with them boys.

AllHipHop.com: I really like this song “Blood is Thicker than Water” on the album. Mack 10 and Fat Joe made a whole movie back in the day, based on that adage. I think they had different reasons in mind. What’s that statement mean to you? I know a bunch of this album is a dedication to your father…

Pitbull: “Blood is Thicker than Water”, the reason I made the record was to describe my life to the audience, letting them know what I’m feelin’ like as far as takin’ on my career and my success. “Blood is Thicker than Water”, a lot of people talk about that as far as family, but as soon as them Feds come around, people get some money, people start to change. That’s how I came up with the concept.

AllHipHop.com: On “Come See Me”, you talk about dreaming of becoming Scarface. Now, that’s film close to Hip-Hop’s heart. Looking at your heritage, when you were a child, what were other people you had to look up to?

Pitbull: Wow. As far as my heritage, you had [Salsa singer] Willy Chidino, you had Celia Cruz, and there were some street legends in Miami that were huge in the game, but I just don’t mention they names. I just don’t that type of s**t. [Laughs]

AllHipHop.com: A couple weeks ago, I interviewed a rap group named A-alikes. They’re from Tallahassee, now in New York, and as Socialists of dead prez’s RBG movement, they expressed displeasure with your support of Fidel Castro’s sickness, and comments perhaps taken from the song “Ya Se Acabo (It’s Over)”.

Pitbull: As far as the A-alikes, everybody has a right to their opinion. I don’t disrespect nobody or nobody like that. As far as the A-alikes, my family was forced to leave Cuba, okay? Now why would somebody wanna leave such a beautiful island, I have no f**king idea. So you have an idea of what goes on, on that island. My grandmother was in the so-called Revolutionary War between [Fulgencio] Bautista and [Fidel] Castro, with Che Guevara. My grandmother has pictures with these people… my grandmother holding a f**king machine gun and s**t, you understand me? My grandmother had to send over my mother on a movement called the Peter Pan to live with an American family. Before she saw her mother again, it was five to seven years. Now, with my grandmother going through that, you think anybody would want to send their kids to the United States? Anybody who has kids, the last thing you wanna do is send your kids somewhere. That’s because of all the things that were going on in Cuba. Castro snatched peoples’ property, assassinated people, murders, a lot of things were going on in Cuba.

Now, Socialism, Communism, Idealism – whatever Ism you wanna call it looks great on paper. It gets read great in books. It’s great on television. But if you’re gonna tell me that my cousin is in prison doing 25 years-to life for selling meat – meat – meat in Cuba, and tell me that Socialism is the way to go – why, because ‘cause you got a watch and I got a watch, you got beans and I got beans? You think it’s really like that in Cuba? You got kids – oh yeah, they got an education, 13 year-old women get out of school and go out and sell their p***y on the block. You understand me? Just to bring food home. It doesn’t make sense. Not in a book, nor on television, nor in an ideal perspective. So, they have the right to their opinion, may God bless them. But I know the real deal, ‘cause my family went through it. So, like I said, they might want to go to Cuba, do some more research, I don’t know. Like I said, I respect their opinion, no problem, but these are facts, scientifical facts.

AllHipHop.com: Speaking of politics, with the midterm elections recently behind us, what’s your opinion on the state of America?

Pitbull: Man, to be honest with you, I’ve been on a promotional tour, so I haven’t really gotten a chance to follow candidates on what they’re doing and not doing. I ain’t really got a chance to do s**t. I make it a priority though. It’s definitely a must to vote. It definitely can be discouraging after incidents in the last two elections. As a minority, as Latinos – which they’re trying to pass certain laws against us, we definitely have to voice our opinion, and the best way to voice your opinion and be respected is by voting. That one vote can make a world of difference, literally. You’re not just voting for the United States President, or governor, or mayor, or whatever – it’s a domino effect, it trickles down. Whoever we get in office, as you can see, has something to do with the world. Definitely, voting is power. People need to know that.

The reason I couldn’t vote before was that I had a felony [conviction]. Thank God, I got it expunged. My thing is, I can pay Uncle Sam taxes, but I can’t vote ‘cause I got a felony? This don’t make no sense to me. That’s why I fought it. That’s why I do Voto Latino now, because I couldn’t believe… I went to vote, I went to vote, and they were like, “Nah, you can’t vote.” It’s crazy. “You have a felony pending.” I find that very unfair, injust, and hopefully, they’ll find some sort of solution. But definitely, everybody, get out there and vote, ‘cause it’s power.

AllHipHop.com: It’s a busy fourth quarter for Hip-Hop, and T.I. is still the only rapper to go platinum. Your first album went gold. As a businessman, and somebody who’s aware of the market, do you think you can meet that again?

Pitbull: Me gold? Yeah. Whatever it does, it does to be honest with you. I think this new record is a lot better than the first record. I matured a whole lot. At the end of the day, man, as long as there’s progress, I don’t really care what it does. Me, I’m about the fans. I’m a peoples’ person. I’m sure it’ll do a lot better than gold. Maybe it’ll go platinum. Who knows? So right now, I’m happy. I don’t pay no attention to first week sales. I’m on an independent label. I don’t have no monster pushing me. TVT [Records] is an independent label, distributed within itself, so whatever it does, it does. Just know that those are real records, that’s not the label goin’ out and buying 100,000 to make it look good.

AllHipHop.com: Last question. In all the pictures and videos, you’ve always got a bunch of pretty women around you. It’s safe to assume you’ve got a nice life in that department. All that said, has Pitbull ever had his heart broken?

Pitbull: Yeah, I’ve had my heart broken! I’ve had my heart broken by my first baby’s mother, who is the mother of my daughter. Yeah, she broke my heart. It’s unfortunate and fortunate to the women in my life. I have a wall up now. I protect my heart and my feelings and my emotions. That’s unfortunate for the woman – the women in my life now. It’s fortunate because I know how to guard my feelings. Yeah, she broke my heart, but you learn from it, and you move on. Whatever don’t kill you makes you stronger.

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