You know you want him. Miami rapper Pitbull is in high demand, and he’s out for world domination. The 29-year-old cubano is readying his first Spanish language album, Armando, just in time for summer, and soon he’ll land stateside for a tour that’ll take us from his mixtape days to a dance club daze. Latina.com recently had a chance to get the 411 from Mr. 305 himself about his new plans. Here’s what he had to say:
“I Know You Want Me” has gone double platinum. Congrats.
It’s about to go triple platinum. It’s already way up there. I think it’s the number one video ever in the history of You Tube. It embodies the true meaning of music as a universal language. It’s a song that’s a hit all over the world. Even if people don’t understand, they like it. For me that’s the power of music.
Your first Spanish language album, Armando, is dropping in June. What can we expect?
You can expect a record with a lot of global sounds. We’re going to have mambo in there. It’s dedicated to my father who passed away three years ago. And the reason I named it Armando is because his favorite song was Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” and I feel like I’ve done it my way in the music business. I want everybody to feel good with this album.
Is the Planet Pit album coming out in the fall?
Planet Pit will be coming out late this year or next year for sure. We’re already working the pre-single, which is the single before the single, which is “Alright” featuring Machel Montano. It’s another record that will be full of world music. I got a chance to see that with Rebelution because at [my former label] TVT they would block my music from being international. Now I see the bigger picture.
How do you juggle it all?
You have to strike while the iron is hot. I feel like that’s what I’ve been training for. All those years of learning how to survive in the music game has got me ready to go to war and step up to the plate and hit a home run. This is what I’ve been working so hard all these years for, to be ready for this type of moment.
What’s going on with the Mr. Worldwide’s Carnaval tour?
It’ll be in the U.S. from May 25 through June 27. It’s the evolution of Pitbull. It’s going to start the way I started, through hip-hop, through crunk and then go into everything I’ve been through with music so that people can understand how hard I’ve worked. People can see that it’s not all club music; that I’ve done all kinds of music and survived. My school of hard knocks 101. We’re going to have carnival dancers, jumpers, and that carnival feel.
Are you surprised by the reaction people have to your music?
Definitely. I’m on my way to Europe. And then I’m on my way to Asia—to some countries I can’t even pronounce. It’s a great feeling to go somewhere and see people enjoy music that they can’t even understand.
What happens after the tour?
I’ll be taking August off. I love the water, the ocean. My goal in life is for my kids to have a future and for me to live the Corona commercial every day of my life. You know the one, he reaches for the Corona and by mistake he gets his phone and makes it skip in the ocean. I want to do that every day of my life. Ha ha. But instead of a Corona, it’d be a Ketel One with water and a lot of lime. That’s my drink.
You collaborated on Cypress Hill’s “Armada Latina”; were you a longtime fan?
Oh man, Cypress Hill opened so many doors for us Latin rappers in the game. I don’t even like to use that word, Latin rappers, I really don’t, but a rapper who happens to be Latin. To be able to work with them was an honor, for one, and for two, they’re cool as fuck; they’re just real people. To be able to have the voice of Marc Anthony took the record to the next level.
You’ve done a lot of collabos; how do you choose who you work with?
I really don’t to be honest with you. If the song’s jamming—whether it’s Juanita, Pepita or Janet Jackson—I definitely want to be a part of it.
Anyone you really want to work with?
I had always wanted to work with Celia Cruz, may she rest in peace. Azucar.
I read you were doing something?
Hopefully with technology, I’ll be able to make something happen. Another person that I’d love to collaborate with would be Jay-Z. I’d like to see our worlds meet. I think it’d be something real special.
You’re all about bringing cultures together. Why is that?
I come from a city that has a bunch of different cultures. To be able to live in a city like that, you have to adapt to the environment and know how to be part of a community. Music has allowed me to do the same and bring cultures together like the city I was born and raised in. It’s second nature.
You recently received the key to the city of Miami and were also crowned King of Calle Ocho; how significant is that?
To me it’s two of the most significant things that have happened in my career and in my life. I grew up watching people who weren’t even from Miami get the key and thinking ‘why don’t we give it to someone from Miami?’ And then to be able to see people like Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan, Willie Chirino on Calle Ocho and then be the King of Calle Ocho. It’s a fairytale. It means so much because I’m born and raised here, and bleed, breath, shit 305.
What’s the most important lesson you want to pass on to your four kids?
The appreciation of hard work. The appreciation of opportunity. The appreciation of freedom. I want them to understand what it is to be a Cuban-American, a Latin American and how many people are losing their lives trying to get to the United States, trying to enjoy the American dream, the freedom that we have. I want my kids to know how hard I’ve worked for them. I want them to never lose their culture and never lose their hustle.
How do you keep the Cuban side alive in them?
Through food, through music, through language. By teaching them different sayings my grandma used to tell me: Dime con quien tu andas y te dire quien eres. Those couple of words really mean something. I’ll always have their culture in their veins, in their blood, in their hearts.
Anything you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
I’m dying for Cuba to be free so I can go over there.
What about career-wise?
2009 was my first free year in the music business; 2010 is the invasion; and 2011 is when we’re going to create the empire. I’m dying to get the pipeline up and running. You work so hard for the money and now it starts to work for you. That’s what I’m dying to get to.
You’re always dressed sharp; do you have a stylist?
My stylist is Armando Christian Perez, me!
What do you do for fun?
Like I said, I love to be by the beach, music and my little drink, and I’m good to go. Oh and a hot woman of course. That’s all I need.
Are you single?
I’m single, bilingual and ready to mingle.