Pitbull is officially a free man! The Cuban rapper has parted ways with TVT Records after a notoriously rocky relationship with the now-bankrupt label, and he couldn't be more hyped: "I love it, baby!" Now he's hustling harder than ever, with a new singles deal through The Orchard, a second season of his hit mun2 show La Esquina (the season 1 DVD is out now) and "American War," a controversial single blasting President Bush on his recent mixtape, Free Agent. We called the man himself for a full update.
So first, congratulations on being a free agent! What's your label situation now?
I'm off TVT, dealing with The Orchard--so far, it's great. What we got with them right now is a singles deal, and we'll see if I end up working with them or if I'm going to go off into a major label. But I have to give them a hundred million thousand thanks to them for allowing me to get off of TVT.
Why did you decide to do another season of La Esquina?
For one, I wanted to tap into the audience that mun2 has created. When they cut a deal with Comcast, they quadrupled their audience from 6 million to 24 million. I feel like we have more content this year. We've got a great crew lined up and I have more experience. So we can really take this show to the next level.
Is it true that you're bringing your brother on the show?
Yes, I got my older brother Joe Perez involved doing this cartoon, Rock Pepe Scissors--we're trying to break it like Tracy Ullman broke The Simpsons. We've never worked on nothing together before. My brother has always been a loose cannon. He's very talented and witty, and a great artist. He's the one that came up with the whole concept of the show. So I wanted to show him that his ideas can be successful...work with him, inspire him, get him motivated...which he is, so I'm very happy about that. I think it's just something that my father would be very proud of me for doing.
That's great. Are you making any other changes this season?
Yeah, I'm also gonna be looking for a Miss 305 throughout the whole show.
Miss 305...like a beauty pageant?
Ladies can call and leave me a message--the number is 305-600-3431--and describe why they should be Miss 305. What we're looking for is somebody that's intelligent, ambitious, sexy, classy and knows how to hold her own. And hopefully we
can brand her in a way where it starts off her own little career for her. I listen to the messages, sometimes when I'm on the plane--five here, five there--and I try to get back to 'em.
We're also doing a thing called Making The Bums. You know how there's Making The Band? I'm trying to do Making of the Bums. So we interview a bum, I see him sing, see what he can do and hopefully by the end of the season we have one bum or two bums that we can form a group with.
Like a bum barbershop quartet.
That's got spin-off written all over it. So what makes the corner in Miami different from other cities?
For one, the heat [laughs]. Nah, I would say a corner in Washington Heights is like the corner in Little Havana. Only thing is you got Dominicans in the Heights versus Cubans, El Salvadoreans and Nicaraguans in Miami. The corner in Miami is like a melting pot where you're gonna hear about different issues--you know, "I need a fake social security number, fake passport, fake birth certificate so I can get this job, or someone that can help me get my sister into the country." The Miami corner is international.
You just leaked a new single, right?
Yeah, it's called "Krazy." The record I'm touchin up on this one is "Cream," by Federico Franchi. Lil Jon got in the studio and put the 808's on there and made it ghetto flash techno. I'm thinking about doing a Busta Rhymes, "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" type of video with a fish-eye lens. A real crazy, colorful look.
You've also got a song called "American War" on your Free Agent mixtape that blasts President Bush pretty hard.
Man, that's a record I did back in 2004 when Bush got reelected. For my mixtape, DJ Noodle took my old a cappella and put it on the "American Boy" beat. It got a great response on the internet. We put together a video out of clips from a movie about 9/11 that really impressed me. It's called Zeitgiest. I encourage people to go see it.
I just want people to know that I do have views--just like I cut that record about Castro, "Ya Se Acabo"--I do have political views and I'm not afraid to speak on them. I feel that since the day I was born I've been politically incorrect, me being Cuban American. And politics have always been a major, major part of my life. That's why I thought it was a great idea to just put it back out there and rekindle the flame again with me being, you know, away from TVT.
You spit a line in that song: "I smell a revolution, not that Ché Guevara-Castro shit, that's asshole shit." What do you mean by that?
know, Castro and Ché were very smart people. They were geniuses. And Ché had a history where he's helped a lot of countries. But when you speak of a revolution, it's beautiful on paper, it's beautiful on television, it's beautiful when you speak about it at a ceremony, you know--"He's gonna have the same as you, and we're gonna do this, okay, great." Well my grandmother fought in the revolution, and my aunt was also a revolutionary prisoner. A prisoner of war with Castro. And Castro sold them this idea. They saw that it wasn't done. They were killing people, taking their land, and Ché was a part of that. So I said it because a lot of people feel that they were revolutionary, and in my eyes they weren't.
Will your next album have more political content?
Oh definitely. See, I haven't had the chance to give the public what I really want. I knew the situation I was in at TVT, they couldn't promote me the way I wanted to be promoted, or they were just doin' things out of spite. The only way I was able survive right then is by giving the public what they wanted in order for TVT to give me what I wanted. Now I'm gonna make that classic that I never got a chance to do. And the name of this album is gonna be called Rebelution.
When is it dropping?
I'm not dropping it for at least a year. I'm just gonna be on everybody's records now, take over the Spanish world, do things that I wasn't able to do before. And once I heat up to the right point, I'ma drop that album on them.
So you haven't started recording songs for the album, then.
I haven't yet; I just have ideas.
Okay. Well, we still have to touch on the subject of women, otherwise this wouldn't be a complete Pitbull interview. So who are your top three sexiest Latinas?
I love Ana Carolina Da Fonseca - I just think she's very sexy, very humble, and she's got that very intimidating look to her. She don't talk much, but she makes you think a lot. I like, um...Sofia Vergara. Very sexy. And my last pick would be...well no, I have two more, so let's do four. Mayra Veronica and Eva Mendes. I love them because they're women who are sophisticated and ambitious. When you look at them, you can just tell that they know what they're doin' in all aspects.