When the Southern-flavored party rap called crunk took over urban radio in 2004, Miami rapper
decided it was time to seek stardom. The way
saw it, "crunk ain't nothin' but bass music slowed down." Miami bass music, that is, the kind
grew up on. His parents 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
understood the power of words right away. Southern acts like
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
brought to the game.
got involved in the game himself when he started appearing on Miami mixtapes. 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.
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," 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 at the tail-end of 2014 and featured Chris Brown, Sean Paul, Dr. Luke, and other guests.