Source/Image: Franchise Times
Pitbull is Miami’s favorite son. Cab drivers can tell you the son of Cuban immigrants’ entire history growing up in a single-parent home in Miami. “Pitbull is a man of the streets,” one American-Cuban cab driver told us. “Nobody gave him nothing. He did it on his own.” A few weeks later at a reception overlooking the Miami skyline at the Franchise Expo South, an Argentine franchise litigator with Greenberg Traurig sang the performer’s praises as well. Pitbull’s appeal, he said, is his ability to use Spanglish so artfully. The hip-hop artist/entrepreneur resonates with the U.S. Latino population, a group that is becoming more and more attractive to marketers, as well as with Latin Americans, a lucrative market south of our borders. He even receives several mentions in author Tom Wolfe’s epic novel about Miami, “Back to Blood.”
As a blue-eyed, fair-skinned teen, Pérez earned the name Pitbull because during the rap battles at underground clubs in the South, he challenged the black rappers with way more street cred than he had in rapid-fire word fights, and came out the victor. In an HBO special on prominent Latinos, he joked that while pit bulls are illegal in Miami, he has papers. Now—at least in his music videos—he’s a lover, not a fighter.