What better way to ring in the New Year in Miami than with Mr. 305 himself? Yes, Pitbull – the King of Calle Ocho whose booty-shaking smash hits include “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho),” “Give Me Everything,” “Culo” and the new ”Get It Started” and “Don’t Stop the Party” – helps toast 2013 with a banging show in the Magic City. Pitbull hits the AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday, Dec. 31 in support of his new album, “Global Warming,” featuring collabs with everyone from Shakira to Christina Aguilera to Chris Brown to J.Lo. The Miami homeboy, real name Armando Perez, talked to the Miami.com about the concert, how he chose his stage name, and receiving the Key to the City in 2009.
What can we expect from your show?
As far as New Year’s Eve, the night’s gonna be called “Whatever Happened in Miami Never Happened.” And what we’re trying to create down there is something yearly – you have your Calle Ocho, your Ultra, your WMC – an event to create a foundation and a platform. So you can expect exactly what New Year’s Eve in Miami is about. A f—ing party, man! Ringing in 2013 the right way and leaving all the negative s— behind.
Was there ever any doubt that Miami would be the place for you this year?
Man, to me, it’s an honor. I’m blessed to be able to be doing the AmericanAirlines Arena on New Year’s Eve. We’re trying to put together a show kind of like what Dick Clark does, may he rest in peace, and what Ryan Seacrest does. We kind of stumbled across this, and we said, well, if no one’s gonna pick it up, let’s just put it together, and if we build it, they will come. And sure enough, we ended up doing a deal with Access TV, which is [Dallas Mavericks owner] Mark Cuban and Ryan Seacrest’s new channel, and they’re gonna be filming it live and running it through all their channels. So it’s a foundation for something for the future.
So I’m sure we’ll hear plenty of tracks from “Global Warming” – any chance of surprise guests joining you onstage for some of those collaborations?
No, it’s just me up there, no surprises other than an amazing show. We’re bringing out the guns on this one.
How did you choose the name Pitbull?
Because I do exactly what a pitbull does. It fights, it bites, it locks and doesn’t let go till it handles its business. But more than anything, it doesn’t understand the word “lose.” I read a quote the other day that said the word “lose” doesn’t exist – it’s just “win” or “learn,” and that’s the same way I feel about it. They’re also illegal in Dade County, so I always say I happen to be the only legal Pitbull.
Yeah, they even gave you the Key to the City – how did that feel?
Man, that was an honor. You know, I’m a home-grown, Dade County born-and-raised 305 boy, so for them to give me that, it was like, Wow. That and the other one that was huge for me also was the King of Calle Ocho – that was even bigger for me than the Key to the City.
Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?
As far as the business side, in ’09 I started putting them out publicly – ‘09 was freedom in the music industry; ’10 was invasion; ’11 was build the empire; ’12 grow wealth; and ’13 is put the puzzle together.
Are you talking about all your endorsements, with Bud Light, Dr Pepper, Voli Vodka and Miami Subs?
Everything as a whole, and to organize it and make sure it runs parallel and it all helps each other out. And also it’s an honor to be a Miami boy and be owner of Miami Subs and what we’re gonna be doing in the next year, flipping that image and keeping that home-grown feel to it.
You had a bit of a rough upbringing, tough times as a teenager – what got you through all that?
Man, I wouldn’t say it was rough – I think it’s what everybody was going through in Miami at the time, with it being a city that was growing, a melting pot. I don’t think the city could handle its growth. So yeah, I was involved in a lot of I would say extra-curricular activity. But what got me through it was basketball for one, and music. Music has always been my therapy. But my end-all, be-all, who really taught me how to look at things with a positive outlook, was my mother. That’s always been my backbone.