Armando Christian Pérez, better known as Pitbull, spent his childhood on the mean streets of Miami, Florida, dealing drugs and dreaming of a career in music. The Cuban-American rapper worked his way to the top of the charts... and the top of the world.
Mr. Worldwide didn't just get lucky. He worked hard to achieve global success, and he knew exactly what he was doing. So, pay attention! These 10 quotes prove that Pitbull is brilliant:
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He's a savvy businessman.
In an enlightening interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mr. 305 shared his street-wise philosophy on making money.
"The only business I knew grew up was flipping," he said. "If I invested five dollars, I knew I could get back eight. If I got back eight, it meant I could live off three, invest another five, get another eight, stack another three. That's what the music business is to me -- flip after flip, a flip after a flip."
As a teenager, Pitbull dabbled with dealing drugs -- forcing his mother to kick him out of the house when he was just 16. He cleaned up his act, but still applies the experience to his work today.
During an interiew with Nightline, he compared making music to selling drugs. "If you look at it, it's the same thing that I do now, just with a different product -- and the product is music. I go city to city, country to country, all around the world getting people hooked to my product. Same hustle, different product."
He's a brand, not a rapper.
Beyond the recording studio, Pitbull manages a multi-million dollar brand.
He told GQ, "Look, Pitbull is a product. Don't get it fucked up -- I'm a businessman. This industry is 90 percent business, 10 percent talent. It's the people who think they're talented, that their shit don't stink, who get left behind."
He knows the secret to commercial success.
In an interview with NPR, he successfully compared his abuela's cooking to worldwide fame.
"The whole point is to touch as many people as you can, to get the message across," he said. "It's something that my grandmother used to do with the food when I would eat. Lettuce and tomato, I didn't necessarily like it. So, what she would do is, she would put it under the rice and the steak, which I loved. And next thing you know, after a couple bites or a couple meals, let's say, I was asking for the tomato and the lettuce. Through the music, it's the same philosophy, if you apply it. Because, there is a message in the music. I am telling you things that really are happening."
He understands the importance of hard work.
"I don't understand the word lose. I don't understand the word can't," he told Katie Couric. "I understand the word learn."
In the same interview, he elaborated, "Patience, passion, and perseverance equals success. Working hard. In the business we both know -- the entertainment business -- there's not too many good people that do things from the heart, for real. If you're a good person, do good business, and work hard, you'll create that reputation. The puzzle comes together."
He's got his priorities in order.
At the 2012 American Music Awards, a reporter asked Pit whether awards or performances excited him more. He answered, "My kids can't eat awards."
He believes in the power of an education.
Mr. Education! He opened a charter school called Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM) in Miami last fall, and he firmly believes in the importance of getting an education.
He told The Washington Post, "The thing about education is that it's no longer sexy. It's no longer cool. I want to...help put together curriculum for schools where it does entertain them. Just make it fun again to learn. There's no way to tackle any obstacle or issue around the world if you're not educated. My mother always taught me that the two most dangerous diseases in the world were ignorance and greed. So, that's why we have to educate. That's why I fight for it. That's why I feel it's the real revolution."
His philosophy on life is simple.
When Cecilia Vega asked him what he thinks about while walking on-stage, he answered simply, "The only thing that matters in life: having fun!"
He's not just a musician.
When Katie Couric asked him what he would do if he didn't make music, he answered, "I'd be an entrepreneur one way or another."
Pitbull consistently proves that he isn't just a musician -- he's a brand and a businessman. Dale!
He gives credit where credit is due.
Pitbull may be on top of the world -- but he always remembers who helped get him there. On an episode of The View, he spoke about his love for his mama. "My mother is my father," he said. "My mother is my hero. My mother is my motivation, my inspiration, and someone who taught me to never give up."