When Cuban rapper Pitbull first hit the scene, he grabbed the attention of everyone in the game. Whether he’s keeping it Crunk in the club or getting grimey in the street, one fact still remains - he’s keeping it true to himself.
No one can dispute that fact that the now red hot talent has definitely had to struggle to reach the point he is currently dominating. From almost inking a deal with Murder Inc. to linking up with legendary bass-master Luke, his journey has definitely been one to grow on.
Now with the release of his mainstream debut album M.I.A.M.I. (Money Is A Major Issue) and the signing to Crunk label powerhouse TVT, Pitbull definitely has a lot to say. He is ready to show everyone in the game that he is a true legend in the making as well as future business man.
AllHipHop.com: For those who haven’t copped you new album M.I.A.M.I, what is the concept behind it and the title?
Pitbull: The concept behind the album is to basically explain and describe Miami from every angle: whether it be the streets, the women, or the club. It basically shows Miami and it’s different sounds and cultures as a melting pot. So on my album you have different types of beats, you have Caribbean type of beats, up-tempo, Crunk records and dirty records to show as much about Miami’s cultures as I can. As far as the title, I chose the title so that people would look at Miami under a whole new light and not just stereotype it as a booty shakin’ town like they were before.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel the Crunk scene is or will blow up in Miami to the stature of Atlanta’s Crunk scene?
Pitbull: Miami has always been Crunk like ATL. Atlanta just defined what Crunk was. All Crunk music is, is Bass music slowed down. You know the 808 clap, the 808 bass, the 808 snare, it’s just all slowed down. But the reason why Miami...not even Miami, Dade County and Atlanta get it on like we do [in the club] is because Crunk music is bass music, that’s what it all boils down to.
AllHipHop.com: Now on the flip side, how do you feel about crunk music being criticized as not real Hip-Hop, especially with you coming from an underground battle background?
Pitbull: I think they are full of s**t, to be honest with you. I think they are just mad because Crunk music is taking s**t over. Coming from the South everything is emotional, I mean here you have Cubans who escaped a so-called revolution from a county that was Communist - you have Dominicans coming over, you got Puerto Ricans, Haitians that are fighting for their country coming over, Black people that went through slavery, and I get so deep into it because that’s why we are so emotional and that is where the music comes from. So when the South makes music, it’s for muthaf***as to get loose and free and…Crunk. That’s why when we are in the club, we don’t just stand against the wall and mug muthaf***as, we get Crunk and bounce around. Women get loose and bounce around, ya know because to be honest, we just don’t give a f**k.
AllHipHop.com: You once could have been signed to Murder Inc. You actually said in an interview that you look at the situation now as a blessing in disguise, do you still feel that way?
Pitbull: Oh yeah, of course, all day. But I do want to say that I do respect Irv Gotti, because everything he said he was going to do when he was pitching to me, he did. I mean also look at the fact, that after all the controversy and bad publicity, they are still a major force in the game...even after all that s**t, so I definitely have respect for Irv and Murder Inc. Now as far as me not signing why I feel that it is a blessing, because missing that opportunity, I linked up with a lot of people like Luke, who showed me the ropes. So now I am coming into the game with a full understanding of it and not just another dumb ass rapper thinking that I have something and don’t have s**t.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about being Hip-Hop’s first Cuban artist on the Crunk scene?
Pitbull: It’s an honor and blessing for me to be involved in everything that I am involved with. I mean I am involved in everything down south from Crunk, to Reggaeton, to Latin music. I’m in everything.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel like coming in with such a Crunk record that you are going to be stigmatized as only able to do Crunk music?
Pitbull: No, I am not really worried about that because my album has different types of music. And I keep putting out mixtapes, I keep doing me as if I don’t have s**t...I stay hungry, humble and grounded.
AllHipHop.com: How is it working with Lil’ Jon because I know you worked a lot with him on M.I.A.M.I.?
Pitbull: Yeah, Jon is executive producer on the album. Working with him is cool, I actually have known him for about four years now. That’s when he had given me the opportunity to work on the Kings of Crunk. He had heard about me doing my thing in Miami, so I got introduced to him through an old school cat that used to make bass music named, Danny B and truthfully, that was before he really blew up. So I look at him now, and he is still the same person - all about the music.
AllHipHop.com: Now touching on another issue, you say ‘N***a’ a lot in your rhymes and I read in an interview that you said ‘it’s because you grew up around a lot of Black people and to you it’s just a word’, are you afraid of receiving a backlash about saying the word? I know we have Spanish artists like Fat Joe and NORE that say it and it’s cool, but then J-Lo said it and was chastised…
Pitbull: The difference between me and J-Lo, is that J-Lo isn’t built like me. It’s a different type of n***a coming out of her mouth, than coming out of my mouth. Where I’m from, and where I grew up, and how I grew up, it’s just a word. You know like they call me ‘chico’, I don’t take offense to it, because that’s just what they call me if they know me. Because before, in the Spanish community it used to be a real problem when Spanish n****s was callin’ muthaf***as chico, because we looked at it like we aren’t little boys, but now we ain’t really trippin’ over that s**t when then it was a real prison battle. I mean everybody has struggled. When I say ‘What up my n***a?’ or whatever, I’m not saying it to hurt you or anyone. So I think that anyone that gets offended at me saying n***a is living in the past, especially when I am not saying it to disrespect anybody.
AllHipHop.com: What’s next for Pitbull?
Pitbull: Next on my agenda... I will be doing an all-Spanish album soon and I am doing a few compilations. I just dropped my mixtape Unleashed Vol. 4 and I am working on Volume 5, but my goal is to be in an office soon. Everyone knows as an artist you are a slave to the game, so I just can’t wait until I am in an office somewhere making executive decisions and giving other people a chance to get on.
AllHipHop.com: What is your advice for a newcomer to the game?
Pitbull.com: My suggestion to a new artists in the game is go to an independent, f**k a major. [laughing] Damn, the labels are going to love me.
AllHipHop.com: Well a lot of artists say that now....
Pitbull: Yeah, but the difference is they say it after they have already been f***ed in the game, I am saying it before they got a chance to f**k me.
AllHipHop.com: Lastly, what do you want to say to the people?
Pitbull: I appreciate all the love for those who support me, because if it wasn’t for their support, I wouldn’t be s**t. So thank you and get ready because we are about to take it to a new level. pick up my mixtapes at Pitbull.com or 305hiphop.com. Also for the people trying to get into the game, patience, perseverance and passion equal success.