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Armando Christian Pérez (born January 14, 1981), better known by his stage name Pitbull, is an American rapper. His first recorded performance was from the Lil Jon album Kings of Crunk in 2002, after which he released his debut album in 2004 titled M.I.A.M.I. (short for Money Is a Major Issue) under TVT Records. Since then, he has released two other albums under the label, El Mariel in 2006 and The Boatlift in 2007. He is also the host of his own Spanish-language program on the cable channel Mun2 titled La Esquina (Spanish for The Corner).

Life and career

Early life and career beginnings

Pérez was born to first-generation Cuban immigrant parents who made him recite the works of poet José Martí. He was also influenced by the Miami bass genre of hip hop music. Pitbull's parents separated when he was young and he was raised by his mother. He later spent time with a foster family in Roswell, Georgiamarker. He began rapping in high school and was inspired by Nas, The Notorious B.I.G. and Big Pun. At age 16, his mother kicked him out of their house after he became a drug dealer. He then graduated Coral Gables High School and focused his career in rapping. After meeting Irv Gotti, Pitbull met Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew, who encouraged him to rap battle on radio. He expressed interest in the West coast and East coast genres later in life.

Pitbull explained the reason behind choosing his stage name, saying that the dog "bite[s] to lock. The dog is too stupid to lose. And they're outlawed in Dade County. They're basically everything that I am. It's been a constant fight." After meeting Lil Jon in Miamimarker, Pitbull was featured on Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz' album Kings of Crunk in 2002. Pitbull's song "Oye" was featured on the soundtrack to the film 2 Fast 2 Furious the following year. In addition, Pitbull also released several mixtapes, composed of freestyles and remixes of popular rap music. Campbell featured Pitbull in his single "Lollipop".

2004–2005: M.I.A.M.I.

In 2004, Pitbull released his debut album M.I.A.M.I., with the lead single being "Culo" ("butt" in English; can be used as "ass" in context) produced by Lil Jon and the Diaz Brothers. It peaked at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #11 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. Other singles included "Dammit Man", "Back Up", "Toma", and "That's Nasty" (both featuring Lil Jon). He joined the Anger Management Tour, the 2005 hip-hop concert tour headlined by Eminem and 50 Cent. Pitbull also appeared on the Ying Yang Twins' single "Shake", which peaked at #41 on the Hot 100 and #12 on the rap chart, and Twista's "Hit the Floor" (#94 Hot 100, #20 Rap). Remix album Money Is Still a Major Issue was released in November 2005; it included new track "Everybody Get Up", a duet with hip-hop/R&B group Pretty Ricky.

TVT Records, Pitbull's label at the time, and Slip-N-Slide Records disputed over the release of Welcome to the 305, an unreleased album that Pitbull recorded with Slip-N-Slide in 2001. A judge in Miami made a decision allowing Slip-N-Slide to release the album, and a U.S. District Court judge affirmed the decision further. In March 2007, TVT was ordered to pay Slip-N-Slide $9.1 million for blocking the album release.

In January 2006, he guest-starred in UPN's South Beach. Also in 2006, he recorded "Nuestro Himno" in collaboration with Wyclef Jean, Carlos Ponce, and Olga Tañón. On Listennn... the Album, the debut album by Terror Squad member and Miami radio personality DJ Khaled, Pitbull performed on two singles: "Holla At Me" and "Born-n-Raised" alongside other Southern based rappers.

2006: El Mariel

El Mariel, Pitbull's second album, was released in October 2006. The title was in reference to the boat that transported Cuban refugees to Florida in the movie Scarface. He dedicated the album to his father, who died that year in May. Along with the usual party-oriented tracks, Pitbull also included politically-themed tracks in El Mariel. The album was released on October 31, 2006, and included singles "Bojangles", "Ay Chico (Lengua Afuera)", "Fuego", and duet with Puerto Rican singer Ken-Y, "Dime ". El Mariel topped the Billboard independent albums chart and peaked at #17 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the rap chart.

2007–2008: The Boatlift

Pitbull's third album, titled The Boatlift, was released in November 2007, spawned by the single "Secret Admirer" featuring Lloyd on the chorus. Earlier, Pitbull announced that this album would have a more gangsta rap edge than his earlier albums. Subsequent singles included "Go Girl" featuring Trina, and "The Anthem" featuring and produced Lil Jon, that song sampling the hook from the song "El Africano" by Wilfrido Vargas and the beat from the song "Calabria" by Rune RK. "Go Girl" peaked at #80 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #36 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart; "The Anthem" #36 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the Hot Rap Tracks.

His variety show, Pitbull's La Esquina, debuted May 2007 on the mun2 cable network. On December 21, 2007, Pitbull was arrested for drunk driving; he posted $1,000 on bail and pleaded not guilty. He was later acquitted from the charge. Pitbull also appeared on DJ Laz' "Move Shake Drop" and DJ Felli Fel's "Feel It".

2009–present: Rebelution

For his latest album Rebelution, Pitbull released singles through Ultra Records: "Krazy" (featuring Lil Jon) and "I Know You Want Me " after his former label TVT Records went out of business. "Krazy" peaked at #30 on the Hot 100 and #11 on the Hot Rap Tracks charts. "I Know You Want Me" peaked at #2 on the Hot 100 and peaked within the top ten spots of charts in the UK, Canada, Italy, and the Netherlands. The song reached #1 in France and the European Hot 100 on the week ending August 29, 2009 according to Billboard magazine. He later signed with Polo Grounds Music through Sony Music and created his own label Mr. 305 Inc. Other singles included "Blanco" featuring Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes and "Hotel Room Service", the latter of which peaked at #9 on the Hot 100. On their second collaboration since "Go Girl", Pitbull appeared on the debut single of rapper David Rush (formerly Young Bo$$), "Shooting Star", also with Kevin Rudolf and LMFAO. An amateur video of Pitbull punching a disruptive audience member at a Colorado concert leaked on the Internet in late May 2009. Pitbull explained to MTV News that it was because the fan kept throwing cash around the stage. He has been tapped by the Miami Dolphins to work alongside T-Pain & Jimmy Buffett to release a new fight song for the Dolphins. The city of Miami granted Pitbull a "Key to the City" honor on August 19.


Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)


US Rap

US Indie CAN
2004 M.I.A.M.I.: Money Is a Major Issue
  • Released: August 24, 2004
  • Label: TVT
  • Formats: CD, cassette, LP, digital download
14 7 * 1
  • US: Gold
2006 El Mariel
  • Released: October 17, 2006
  • Label: TVT
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
17 5 2 1
2007 The Boatlift
  • Released: November 27, 2007
  • Label: TVT
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
50 13 5 7
2009 Rebelution
  • Released: September 1, 2009
  • Label: Polo Grounds/RCA Music Group
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
8 5 1 3
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Compilation albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions


US Rap

US Indie
2005 Money Is Still a Major Issue
  • Released: November 15, 2005
  • Label: TVT
  • Formats: CD, digital download
25 4 2 1


Year Song Peak chart positions RIAA


UK CAN FRAmarker ITAmarker NLDmarker
2004 "Culo" (feat. Lil Jon) 32 45 11 M.I.A.M.I.
"That's Nasty" (feat. Lil Jon)
"Back Up" 86
"Toma" (feat. Lil Jon) 108 73 21
"Dammit Man" 119 58
2005 "Everybody Get Up" (feat. Pretty Ricky) Money Is Still a Major Issue
2006 "Bojangles" 91 89 El Mariel
"Ay Chico " 92 99 19
"Dime " (feat. Ken-Y) 116
2007 "Fuego"
"Tell Me" (feat. Frankie J and Ken-Y) Non-album single
"Secret Admirer" (feat. Lloyd) The Boatlift
"The Anthem" (feat. Lil Jon) 36 8
2008 "Go Girl" (feat. Trina & Young Bo$$) 83 25
"Sticky Icky" (feat. Jim Jones)
"Krazy" (feat. Lil Jon) 30 11 70 Gold Rebelution
2009 "I Know You Want Me " 2 86 4 4 2 1 6 1
"Hotel Room Service" 8 85 7 9 7 14
"Shut It Down" (feat. Akon)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

As featured performer

Year Song Peak chart positions Album
Hot 100 R&B Rap Pop
2005 "Shake" (Ying Yang Twins feat. Pitbull) 41 37 12 28 U.S.A.
"Hit the Floor" (Twista feat. Pitbull) 94 125 20 The Day After
2006 "Holla at Me" (DJ Khaled feat. Lil Wayne, Paul Wall, Rick Ross, and Pitbull) 59 24 15 65 Listennn... the Album
"Born-n-Raised" (DJ Khaled feat. Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, and Pitbull) 83
2008 "Move Shake Drop" (DJ Laz feat. Flo Rida, Casely, and Pitbull) 56 42 Category 6
2009 "Feel It" (DJ Felli Fel feat. T-Pain, Sean Paul, Flo Rida, and Pitbull) 23 90 Go DJ!
"Shooting Star" (David Rush feat. Kevin Rudolf, LMFAO, and Pitbull) 77 Feel the Rush Vol. 1
"Now I'm That Bitch" (Livvi Franc feat. Pitbull) Underground Sunshine
"Outta Control" (Baby Bash feat. Pitbull) 14 TBR
"Fresh Out The Oven" (Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull) Love?
"Helpless" (Backstreet Boys feat. Pitbull) This Is Us
"Now You See It (Shake That Ass)" (Honorebel feat. Pitbull & Jump Smokers) TBR
"Ni Rosas Ni Juguetes" (Remix) (Paulina Rubio feat. Pitbull) Gran City Pop

Music videos

Year Title Director(s)
2004 "Culo" Coodie and Chike
"Dammit Man" Flyy Kai
2005 "Toma" Jessy Terrero and Lil Jon
2006 "Bojangles" Marcus Raboy and Lil Jon
"Ay Chico (Lengua Afuera)" Bernard Gourley
2007 "Go Girl" David Rousseau
"Secret Admirer"
2008 "The Anthem"
2009 "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)"
"Blanco" Dereck Janniere and Paul Hunter
"Hotel Room Service" David Rousseau


External links

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