Interview by: Breez
Pitbull has been part of the struggle Latin and Mexican Americans face with immigration since his late father boarded El Mariel in 1980 bringing 600 Cubans to America in search of freedom. When Pitbull joined Wyclef for the National Anthem in Spanish in 06’ speaking few but powerful words in Spanish people recognized not just a rapper but a strong Cuban leader to the Latinos. Pitbull strongly disagrees with the fact that America can use immigrants to build their country, but then strip them of their rights when they came in search for the so called home of the free and land of opportunity That is only Pitbull’s opinion, “I am an American, therefore I have a right to my opinion”. Pitbull states, “Don’t tell me you wanna do the National Anthem in English Mr. President but when you’re going out there to get votes you’re quick to speak Spanish, you understand me? So there’s something going on. Now why was I involved with it (National Anthem in Spanish) cause my fucking family is immigrants. I’m a first generation Cuban American. Cubans have different rights. Look what happen to the Bay of Pigs, America fuckin sold us out. America says they have our back we all jump in there head over to Cuba and at the last minute they pull out. So their way of telling us like they told the Indians here you can have casinos tax free, your own little piece of land, and you can all be citizens. Thats our treat our gift for how they sold us out on the Bay of Pigs. So thats why I made that record and I don’t give a fuck what nobody says. We have hunger strikes, rallies, all this don’t nobody say shit all of a sudden I do the National Anthem in Spanish and everyone wanna start trippin, ‘Oh he did the National Anthem in Spanish, oh thems spics he can’t do that….’ get the fuck out of here with that shit when half of us are the ones doing the jobs they won’t.“
Do you feel you took a stance that day?
Yeah, its all about taking a stand. I became the most loved and the most hated in this country you understand me but I don’t give a fuck at the end of the day cause if you don’t think out the box and you don’t really understand what people are going through then you don’t know struggle, go back in yo muthafuckin family tree and you’ll see that there’s immigrants and they paved their way for them to live their lives good and thats all were trying to do make sure our families live life good, get our eat on, the American Dream. So thats why I feel so heavy about that shit, so as soon as they asked me to get involved I was wit it 150% no problem, whether it hurts me, it’s not about Pitbull, talk to me about the album, I’m not promoting me I’m promoting the issues. They gonna see what type of clout what type of voice what type of power Latins have in this country. We’re gonna take a stance economically.
How do you feel coming from the streets to this where you at now?
Pitbull: Its a blessing dog and to see the people embrace my album the way they do, that why you see Pitbull the way you do. You don’t see Pitbull with no chains, no rims, no none of that shit, “I don’t ride 26’s I ride 22’s they’re too big. I came out here and I give you me. I feel alot of these rappers hide behind their chains, their gold teeth. I ain’t no rapper I’m a business man. I told Diddy about Chingo Bling that’s my nigga. I told him about reggaeton, that its here now but it won’t run the marathon, invest in Spanish muthafucka’s that could spit. In 10 years I want to be in Diddy’s position if not bigger, he’s a man I really idiolize and respect. I really appreciate the opportunity he gave me, Bad boy Latino didn’t work but I respect him as a business, I’m gonna do my own thang.
What’s your definition of hip-hop right now?
Pitbull: Hip hop right now, it’s commercial. It’s not what it used to be, but you know you gotta be a business man. . . you gotta go get this money. I think the hip-hop community has A.D.D., they need what’s next, what’s the new shit?. . . what’s this? . . . what’s that? . . . .that they need to be hearing that and basically what’s happening right now, but its gonna turn back around watch!
Do you feel like you brought some of the street feelin back, that grit and grind?
Pitbull: Not as far as with my records, if you listen to my mixtapes its a different story but as for my records I got out in the mainstream they all for the clubs. I don’t feel like thats nothin for the streets, but I’m undoubtably gonna drop a couple. Well the only one I dropped that got airplay for the streets was Dammit Man, you got your Tomas, your Culos, Shakes that ain’t street at all… that for the club for the women to have a good time, but what we lined up on El Mariel, watch out.
When I heard your track wit Twista. Twista keeps it gangsta and you can both flip it, I expected something a little more hard core than a booty shaker?
Pitbull: Smirk sent me the record from Mr. Collipark. I knocked out the hook, I knocked out my verse and you know to be on a record with Twista’s an honor. He’s like feature king and like I said you gotta adapt to your environment, if you move to a city and you know that certain shit is whats happening. (Then you gotta do it, you move to a city nigga and coke don’t move. Its mothafuckin crippin, then you gotta turn to crippin, you move to another city and it’s crack and heroine then you gotta move heroine or whatever it may be so basically its all about feelin the rhythm of the game, but Pitbull definitely has his own lane he can jump the rope fuck with the black folks, fuck with the latin americans, only one that spits English and Spanish. You know all types of shit thats what we come to do on this album. I dropped an English album called El Mariel and in Spanish called Armando for my Pops who passed away, so its about to get real ugly.
Pitbull: I don’t do the beef shit, I done had my altercations but I handle my beef different if I don’t like a nigga I see him in the club I buy him a drink. Call me what you want but you don’t touch my family or my money then we don’t have a problem. I don’t give a fuck about you. I don’t have problems, but there are some muthafucka’s I lost respect for in the game and I told em. I lost respect for you as a man. If I can let you know how I feel about you without shootin and all that its bigger. There’s something I always think about that Jay-Z said. . . he said if you kill somebody and they not breathin you ain’t saying nuthin, but if you kill somebody and they still breathing now you saying something. And thats the game in Spanish, we call it “Galletes Hermanos” like smackin someone without hittin’ em but you feel it, you know… niggaz get the hint. Niggaz out here act like they got something to prove get on camera showin guns and showin dope thats like snitching on yourself. You think these feds ain’t watchin our shit. Are you fuckin crazy? That’s why my albums, on El Mariel I’m totally different. I got a song “Come See Me”. I’ll admit its cool to flip birds but don’t bring that shit around me! That’s why I got into music I don’t wanna be a part of that shit. Thats old news. I ain’t sold dope in about 3 years nigga. If you rappin’ and you still hittin’ the block you got a muthafuckin problem.
What’s next for Pitbull? You’ve changed the game brought that Latin love to the game…
Pitbull: Norega, Big Pun, Fat Joe, they opened alot of doors. As far as Pitbull we got a couple movies I’m doin. Always think of Pitbull as the underdog that low key muthafucka. While these muthafuckas out here thinking they’re king I’m sneakin through the backdoor. Thats the way I do it. Its gonna be a good year with God’s help we gonna get past all the negotiations, I’ll pull it out my pockets if I have to. All I wanna say is the fans especially if it wasn’t for the fans after shows I go take pictures sign autografs cause if it ain’t them supporting me I ain’t shit at the end of the day. I thank the fans, thank God and just get ready cause I got all types of shit lined up.
Who haven’t you got with that you want to get with out there like with collabs?
And thats the game in Spanish, we call it “Galletes Hermanos” like smackin someone without hittin’ em but you feel it you know niggaz get the hint.
Pitbull: I don’t look forward to working with people, I usually just work with people that want to work with me. The reason me and Lil Jon make good records, cause we get in the studio and clown and say that shit’s tight, that shit’s awful. He tells me, “Chico (cause he calls me Chico) you should do this, you should do that” and I say, “yeah good idea, let’s do this, let’s do that” and that’s the reason you know, we just send each other records and jump on records and shit like that. But, I really just look forward to working with anybody, I like to work, bottom line. So, if they want to work with me I’m willing to work.
Appreciate your time Pit….
Pitbull: No I appreciate your time (and pounds his chest with a sign of respect)!!!
Pitbulls vibe with Lil Jon’s Latin meets crunk has taken hip-hop to new heights. Pitbull has proved success with his first two records M.I.A.M.I. and El Mariel. If ya’ll don’t know what El Mariel is watch the first scene of Scarface. “El Mariel” the album has definitely landed Pitbull in the land of opportunity and at the top of the Billboard charts. Now with his third album “The Boatlift” in the streets he explains the tough ride of a Cuban staying consistent to the rough waves of an American dream, “The Rap Game.” Too hip-hop for Latin and too Latin for hip-hop.