The southern-flavoured party rap sensation turned 35 this month, continuing to rule the urban radio records and labels. As we continue to enjoy his work, here is a recap that contains a mixture of some of the less-known and well-known episodes from the actor’s biography.
Pitbull was born on January 15, 1981, to Cuban emigrants, in Miami, Florida. His parents filed a divorce when he was young and he was supported by his mother alone. They were first-generation Cuban immigrants who didn’t let their son forget about his culture. They required him to memorize the works of Cuban poet José Martí, and Pitbull understood the power of words right away. Even at the age of 3, Pitbull could recite Jose’s most famous works, with exceptional diction. He believes his high music acumen and popularity comes from the fact that he spent his childhood listening to Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Bass Music, Hip-Hop, Techno, House and Rave. Southern acts like Poison Clan and Luther Campbell were early influences, but as he grew, the young rapper got turned on to the G-funk sound of the West Coast and the New York City point of view Nas brought to the game. He completed his education at South Miami Senior High School and graduated from Miami Coral Park High School. Immediately, he was steadfast on focussing entirely on his rapping skills.
When Pitbull took over urban radio in 2004, Miami rapper and future superstar decided it was time to seek stardom. The way Pitbull saw it, “crunk ain’t nothing but bass music slowed down.” Pitbull got involved in the game himself when he started appearing on Miami mix tapes. A meeting with Irv Gotti resulted in nothing, but soon Luther Campbell called on the rapper to appear on his “Lollipop” single. It brought Pitbull to the attention of the Diaz Brothers management team, who introduced the rapper to the king of crunk, Lil Jon. A Pitbull freestyle landed on Lil Jon’s platinum-selling Kings of Crunk album in 2002, and the rapper’s “Oye” track appeared on the 2 Fast 2 Furious soundtrack in 2003. Ready to take it all the way to the top, Pitbull unleashed his debut full-length, M.I.A.M.I., in 2004 on the TVT label, with the Lil Jon-produced single “Culo” leading the way.
Soon Pitbull was making guest appearances on tracks by everyone from the Ying Yang Twins to Elephant Man. The 2005 compilation Money Is Still a Major Issue collected the best of these collaborations along with some remixes and unreleased tracks. In 2006, the single “Bojangles” prepared fans for his next album, El Mariel. As the album landed on the shelves it was announced that his next effort would be entirely in Spanish and titled The Boatlift. When the end product arrived in 2007, it was an album mostly in English, introduced by the single “Go Girl.”
Two years later he released Rebelution, an album filled with slick club cuts including the hits “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” and “Hotel Room Service”. Featuring the hit single “Bon Bon” in his all-Spanish-language album Armando followed in 2010. In 2011, his Planet Pit album arrived, featuring the singles “Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)” and “Give Me Everything.” Both the singles collection Original Hits and I Am Armando – a “reloaded” version of Armando, arrived in 2012 along with his seventh studio effort, Global Warming. The latter album featured the hits “Back in Time” and “Feel This Moment,” and when a deluxe reissue appeared in 2013, the single “Timber,” with special guest Ke$ha, was added to the track list.
In early 2014 Pitbull released the single “Wild Wild Love,” which featured vocals from girl group G.R.L. and debuted at number 30 on the Billboard Top 100. A few months later he announced the release of an eighth studio album, Globalization, which appeared near the end of 2014 and featured Chris Brown, Sean Paul, Dr. Luke, and other guests. Dale, his second Spanish-language album, followed in 2015, the same year that he launched his satellite radio station, Pitbull’s Globalization, on the Sirius XM network.
Sterling Music wishes him a wonderful year ahead and is proud to feature him as a part of the #ArtistsThatMatter initiative.