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The label flopped, the officer lied, and the video went viral. It could have been the worst two years ever for Armando Perez, known to the masses as the emcee, “Pitbull.” Instead – it yielded Pit’s greatest success to date, and much to show for it.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride,” said Pitbull, who called in to The Ralphie Radio Show from his hometown of Miami. The city rewarded “Mr. 305” for his charity work by giving him the key to the city. This came right before Pitbull released his major-label debut LP, Rebelution, which includes the back-to-back top 10 hits “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” and “Hotel Room Service.”

“Definitely an honor and a blessing,” Pit commented of the award from Miami. “Bein’ able to come from we’ve come from, whether it be negativity, poverty, or nothing and make something…” he continued, before a right turn on to a lighter note. “The thing was, then I took it to the pawn shop, and it wasn’t really worth much, and I was like, ‘Damn!’”

When you look back at Pitbull’s last 18 months – his sense of humor is something to marvel at. The dominos began to fall in December of 2007 – when police charged Pitbull with driving under the influence of alcohol and speeding. The following February, TVT Records filed for bankruptcy. Pit remises of the label’s workers fondly, but calls TVT President Steve Gotlieb, “illogical.” Then fast forward to May 2009, when Pitbull punched a fan on stage. The Miami-emcee still feels guilty over the incident. However, Pit felt the need to defend himself.

“I brought (the fan) on stage to get rid of him, ‘cause he was making it rain (the act of tossing money in to the air) all night,” Pitbull recalled, adding that anything that goes up in the air becomes a distraction while performing. “As soon as I bring him on stage, he throws money in my face, so to every action there’s a reaction.”


Part 1: Receiving The Key To Miami, Ellen

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Part 2: Rollercoaster of a Year, Egg Whites Edit in “Hotel Room Service.”


But by the midway point of 2009, Pitbull’s misfortunes were beginning to turn around. June saw Pitbull ink a deal with Sony Music that allowed him to create his own record label, Mr. 305 Inc. In July, a Miami jury acquitted Pit of the DUI charges after authorities convicted an officer of perjury. Then August brought Pitbull not one, but two Top 10 singles from Rebelution. Pitbull says he moved up the date from September 1 to coincide with his performance on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien. Pit will also be appearing on Ellen. The rapper is quite fond of the talk show host, even if it doesn’t seem to exactly translate that way.

“I really like Ellen,” Pitbull admitted. “To me, she’s someone that’s genuine, someone that’s natural, and someone that does what she loves. She don’t got no hair on her tongue… well… let me stop that.” Pit intended to use an old Spanish expression to imply that she says what she wants, but he admits it didn’t translate as well as he planned.

“Down here in Miami, you know anyone tell you, ‘Yo, how’s everything?’ You say, ‘Nah, I’m straight.’ I be like, ‘Yeah, I’m straight,’ (Ellen) might be like, ‘Ehhhh I’m not,’” Pitbull joked.

The conversation did not get any more serious when asked about the latest “Super Clean” edit of “Hotel Room Service”: the last part of the rhyme, “Oh you’re the healthy type? Well, here goes some egg whites,” changes to “Then I’m gonna give you just what you like.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that,” Pitbull said, attempting to naively defend his double entendre off the breakfast food with a certain human excretion. “If you go to have breakfast at a diner, and you ask for egg whites, is that a problem?”