Hustle and Row: All Aboard
1/16/08 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview (first
Hustle. It's a word that comes up often in discussion with
Armando Perez, and anyone who has ever spoken with him about
business understands his intense work ethic. The son of
immigrants, el Cubano better known as Pitbull came up in Miami
and established his name after proving himself worthy to
several Hip Hop industry heavyweights. Pit has since released
two successful albums, scored a show on Mun2, and founded a
non-profit organization to provide college scholarships to
first and second generation immigrants.
In our third interview, Pitbull speaks on his new album "The
Boatlift", an 18 track voyage which moves in new creative
directions from past projects. It's guest list is a veritable
who's who of Hip Hop and urban Latin music. Pitbull speaks on
his latest project and what's in store for the future in our
LatinRapper.com: The Boatlift marks a departure from what you
did with El Mariel, can you discuss what makes it different
and what your motivation was?
I didn't really get a chance to work on an album of my life,
so therefore I haven't had a chance to give people what I want
to give them. My s**t's been a straight hustle, straight
grind, always on the road, always trying to further the
movement due to the promotion I get. I'm not on a major label,
so as far as the Boatlift, I just tried different types of
On this one I tried a little bit of house, little bit
of techno, little bit of R&B, but still kept the essence as
far as what Pitbull's known for, the uptempo club classics.
Which you got on here, like the Anthem featuring Lil Jon,
that's probably gonna be the biggest record in the club going
How would you describe The Boatlift in one word?
Speaking of diverse, you've got producers like Echo, Lil Jon,
Mr. Collipark, but also guys that we haven't really heard of,
how did the less established producers get involved?
To me, production don't really have to do with a name, it just
gotta to do with good music. These are the people from Miami
that got good music, beats that I generally felt. I always
like to give a chance and opportunity to those that normally
don't get that. That's how they ended up on the album.
What's your personal favorite cut on this album?
My personal favorite would have to be "My Life", and that's
produced by a local cat named Drop, Drop Dead Beats.
A year ago you talked to me about releasing Armando, which was
going to be an all-Spanish album.
But Boatlift has the same producers that you told me would be
on that album, so what happened?
What happened is that I put out a number one single in Mariel,
which was "Dime" featuring Ken-Y, and I was number one for 17
weeks on the Spanish Billboard Charts. And my label didn't
want to shoot a video, didn't want to promote it. So I said,
if y'all can't promote a number one single in Spanish, what
the f**k am I gonna give y'all an all-Spanish album for
That brings up a question. Back in October I hit up TVT
Records, they didn't really want to comment on the whole
Slip-N-Slide situation but said they were happy to be working
on The Boatlift. Is that something you can finally talk on?
Slip-N-Slide situation, it's nothing for me to really talk
about, I'm not really involved in it. I am but I'm not, that
was something in between companies, that they decided to go at
it. I guess its about to come to an end, by the end of this
month you'll have a verdict or for sure on what's going on.
That's the most I can say, really.
So as far as this album, you're touring, you're getting the
right kind of promotion for it?
I don't feel that I'm getting the right promotion for the
album. But to me, I'm not somebody that sits back and makes
excuses. What I do is I just learn from it, and do what I
feel. Team Pitbull is doing a lot to promote this album. TVT
is doing what they can, you know. They're understaffed right
now, there's a lot of things going on in that building.
that's their problem. Team Pitbull, Big Mouth Promotions and
Famous Artist Management is doing what we gotta do to make
sure this album goes to the top. This album will end up
selling 500,000 copies, that's if TVT Records can continue to
put the records in the stores (laughs).
For those who aren't familiar with your show La Esquina, can
you fill them in on what they've been missing so far.
I'll fill them in on this much, it was number one at Mun2 for
the first season, we're renegotiating for the second season.
It was a way of twisting comedy with real life issues, and
real life things that are going on with everyone's
communities. Not just the Latin community, I think it's in the
Black community, or anything that has to do with a minority
With that, we spoke on homosexuality, we spoke
immigration, we spoke on thinking outside the block. All they
do is is hang out on their block all day, so they never see
nothing else. So we're touching real issues, but in a way that
I think the youth can relate to it.
Does this signify a move for you outside of music, something
you're getting a taste for?
Nah, I think that any businessman has to have a portfolio
that's diverse, you feel me. I'm just trying to make sure that
I gotta hustle in every aspect. I gotta hustle 10 times harder
what the regular artist gotta hustle, whatever TVT don't
promote, I gotta find someone that's gonna cross-promote with
me and catch up for what TVT didn't do.
I'm hooking up with a
bunch of companies right now, we're building Pitbull not only
as an artist, but as a brand. With that said, you're gonna
have Mun2 cross-promoting, you're going to have these other
brands that I haven't finalized the contracts with, but
they'll also be cross-promoting. So it's like Pitbull's
everywhere without a label push.
As far as your own taste in music, if you could only have one
CD, what would that be?
If I could only have one CD.... S**t, it would have to be
Biggie, Ready to Die.
That album significant to you?
Yeah, very significant.
Yesterday, Fidel Castro hinted that he might possibly retire.
With guys like his brother Raul and Carlos Lage who are more
open to talking with the U.S., what do you think that means
for the future of the island in the next few years?
Cuba itself, Havana spawned the idea for Las Vegas, so there's
obviously a lot of money to get from Cuba. Another thing is
with the sugar cane they produce, and the ethanol, the natural
gas that everyone's starting to invest into due to the oil and
gas prices and how it affects global warming. So everyone's
investing into ethanol, so instead of in Colombia, it's in
I feel if it does open up, I feel that the U.S. has more
of a reason to go over there. Before, it was like, let Castro
play tough guy, but we really have nothing to go over there
for. What are we going to go over there for, tobacco, rum and
sugar cane? So it really didn't make sense to them before. I
feel like now they have a reason to go take over the island.
The U.S. at the end of the day, were the land of the hustlers
and thieves. If you got something we feel we can hustle (snaps
fingers) we're gonna go over there and take it. Now, the only
thing I feel we have to watch out for is Hugo Chavez, 'cause
he's also somebody whose trying to take over that island.
As far as your own career, you've gone Gold, you've got a show
and a name for yourself. Have you set any new goal for
yourself to reach?
To be honest with you as far as my goals now, as far as me a
recording artist, I still have a lot to prove. I still haven't
gave the people my classic. I'm not the type of person that's
gonna tell you every album, oh yeah this is the best thing
I've ever done.
Bulls**t, I haven't even done the best thing I
thing I feel I can can do, 'cause I've never got the chance to
sit down and put my mind to something, due to the way I gotta
hustle and grind. But it's taught me everything I need to know
about the game, the situation that I'm in.
So as far as an
artist, I feel that I got a lot more to prove, because the way
people try to categorize me. Oh he's reggaeton, oh he's a
Latin rapper, or he's this or he's that. At the end of the day
I do music and feel that I can rap with the best of them,
doesn't necessarily make me a Latin rapper, you feel me.
With that said, in my goals for - let's say 2008 - 2008 is to
get the Boatlift where it needs to be. It goes to show you
that it don't matter where you start, but where you finish.
That's my goal for 2008, which we gonna do it, because the
Anthem is gonna blow the f**k up, it's gonna take over
worldwide, with God's help of course.
And as far as that, I'm
also putting together a label and a publishing company. So I'm gonna have my own artist, I signed a cat named Sincero, a
Mexican cat that can also spit bilingual. Very talented cat,
he will be coming out. I got a cat out of Broward county named
Cornbread. He will be coming out also, and I'm signing up
producers as we speak. I'm trying to build my own empire
without having to be attached to an empire.
How can people learn more about Cornbread and Sincero?
Cornbread, you can go to his myspace and Sincero also.
Any last thoughts for people as far as The Boatlift?
As far as The Boatlift is concerned, once again its Pitbull
giving you all types of different music, me being diverse and
versatile. And just know that I haven't gave y'all that
classic yet, I haven't gave y'all that classic.
going to be in Spanish whether that's gonna be in English,
haven't gave y'all that, so just keep that in mind. But does
the records have hits? It has hit records for s**t sure. So
the boatlift in stores right now, make sure y'all go get it. I
appreciate the love because without them I aint s**t at the
end of the day.
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