Pitbull is dedicated to success, but on his own terms: the Cuban rapper aspires to become the next billion-dollar brand by age 35. Often the butt of jokes, Pitbull is preparing for his takeover... and it's looking feasible.
Don't believe it? His recent profile in The Hollywood Reporter will convert the nonbelievers. Here are five reasons to love Pitbull.
He Smells Nice
No, seriously! When Pitbull headlined Brooklyn's Barclays Center, he hired people to hand out samples of his Pitbull Man and Pitbull Woman perfumes. It's all part of his business acumen, because who likes a smelly music mogul? Elvis Duran, DJ at NYC's Z100 agrees: "Pitbull is one of the most dynamic performers of the last two or three years. When he's onstage, he just chops the trees down. And he smells good. We always make it a policy to sniff him."
He Knows That Interns Run the World
Hardworking people always come out on top. "Why do interns make the best CEOs?" Pitbull asks. "Because they got the doughnuts and coffee, they cleaned the bathrooms. They learned that building in and out."
He Truly Started From the Bottom (Now He's Here)
Pitbull started peddling drugs at a young age. "We all have Scarfaces in our family. [The movie] is the truth. It wasn't exaggerated. Scorsese, Oliver Stone, De Palma—those guys were right on the money," the rapper explains. But that's not where he wanted to be, even then. "I wanted to be [the character] Sosa: Educated, good-looking, a good dresser and he's the one who was running it. And notice that he never got his hands dirty. He sipped his tea. He was nice, not aggressive. And at the end of it all, he was the one that stayed. So I realized around 18 that [protagonist] Tony [Montana] is the wrong guy to be looking up to." After nine Top 10 singles and major sponsorships with Dr. Pepper, Kodak and Voli Vodka, he's figured it out.
He Takes Ridicule With Grace
The most famous incident occurred two years ago, when the Cuban rapper/entrepreneur was sent to Kodiak, Alaska following the internet hijacking of a Wal-Mart campaign. Pitbull took the embarrassing moment with grace, thanking the people of the tiny island town for having him. Heck, he even retweeted our Pitbull-centric episode of Glam or Sham even though one of the random guys we interviewed wasn't so crazy about Pitbull's fashion. In the end, Pitbull wins that round.
He's a Wonderful Father, Cares Deeply About Education
Pitbull spent $15 million on opening the Sports Leadership and Management Academy, a public charter school dedicated to using sports to teach disenfranchised youth the importance of education. "There is no way that you can tackle any obstacle or any issue around the world if you are not educated. That's why I fight for it," Pitbull said. As for his own children, he has one rule: "Pitbull is Pitbull; Poppy is Poppy. I teach them that they will never live in my shadow. That they're going to be bigger, better, stronger." You tell 'em, Pitbull!
Read Pitbull's full THR cover story here.