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Pitbull Gears up for Much-Anticipated Release of "El Mariel"
8/23/06 - news / TVT Records press release

Best-selling Cuban American MC Pitbull is gearing up for the October 3rd release of his highly-anticipated second studio album El Mariel (Diaz Bros./TVT Records). Although he makes songs about getting "culo," Pitbull is more preoccupied with preserving the image of his isla bonita, Cuba, and unmasking Pres. George W. Bush's misguided war.

With his new sophomore album, El Mariel, named after the infamous Cuban boatlift that relocated almost 125,000 cubanos to Florida, Inspired by one of the most dramatic events in Cuban history, El Mariel is overflowing with enlightening gems, rap ballads and club bangers. After the success of his gold-selling debut M.I.A.M.I. the music community was having a difficult time placing a label on Pit. “They have this misconception about Pit,” says the 25-year-old MC. “They’ll say, ‘He’s just this Latin rapper, he’s a reggaeton act, he’s crunk.’ They don’t know what to say about me. [After El Mariel] a lot of folks are gonna start saying, ‘You gotta watch out for that boy Pit.’”

Last year, Pitbull surpassed gold status for more than 500,000 copies sold of his debut album “M.I.A.M.I.: Money Is A Major Issue” in the United States. The feat gave Pitbull the biggest-selling bilingual hip-hop debut since Cypress Hill’s 1991 self-titled debut, and put him in the rare category of Latino rappers who have achieved major success at English-language radio. Bolstered by such breakthrough singles as “Culo”, “Dammit Man”, and “Toma”, Pitbull’s debut – as well as its highly-successful successor remix album “Money Is Still a Major Issue” – have made Pitbull an unstoppable Latino voice in urban music.

The Miami-based rapper has collaborated with a who’s who of hip-hop and reggaeton artists, including Lil Jon, Ying Yang Twins, Orishas, Daddy Yankee, Twista and Rick Ross. Pitbull’s recent speaking appearance at the Latin Alternative Music Conference (LAMC) “Tres Crossovers” panel nearly stole the show, with Billboard honing in on Pitbull’s self-identification as a successful rapper “who also happens to be Latin.” Unlike many other Latino rappers, Pitbull has managed to achieve success in the mainstream hip-hop world with bilingual lyrics and potent beats laced with reggaeton. He is equally comfortable sharing the stage at the VIBE Awards with Lil Jon as he is collaborating with Paulina Rubio at the MTV Latin America Awards.

Crossing over different cultures is one of Pit’s strong suits. On “Dime,” his collaboration with Puerto Rican crooner Ken Y, Lil Jon produces his Latin version of Usher’s “Lovers and Friends.” “Lengua A Fuera” finds Ying Yang Twins producer, Mr. Collipark, providing Pit with a bass-heavy booty shaker. Still, Pit isn’t satisfied with being a successful artist solely in the U.S. market. Witnessing how reggaeton has exploded with his help, Pit is not one to play the wall. After the release of El Mariel, he will debut his first full-length Spanish only album, Armando, at the top of 2007. But don’t expect the flavor of the month genre to be his backdrop of choice.

“[Armando] is an Afro-Cuban based project. A lot of energy and just a different movement,” says Pitbull. “Lil Jon, Orishas, the Diaz Brothers, Jim Jonsin, Echo from Puerto Rico and Mr. Collipark are gonna be working on it. I would love for me and Jon to have a number one record on the Latin charts. It would be me bringing him over just like he brought me over to his side.” While his Spanish-language debut is still months away, Pit is concentrating on delivering an educational and entertaining opus with El Mariel. From being a rising underground MC to an internationally known artist, Pit is following in the footsteps of those who came in the infamous 1980 boatlift.

“Some [Marielitos] yes were criminals, some came from a negative background… but you have those who became politicians, lawyers, judges, and doctors, you name it, “ says Pit. “Now that I got my foot in the door it’s time to take opportunities like the Marielitos did.”

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