That's the headline for Vanity Fair’s recent profile of Armando Perez, which will run in the magazine’s April issue. But, sadly, over the course of 2,396 words, the magazine fails to deliver on its promise.
What it gives us instead (other than some gorgeous photos taken at Brickell's El Tucán) is little more than a superficial PR bio, glossing over the most interesting parts of perhaps the most successful Miamian ever. The piece doesn’t make a single mention of folks like Uncle Luke, who was instrumental in turning Pitbull into Mr. 305. Instead, the story opts for vapid quotes from famous friends like Diddy and Sofía Vergara.
“Prior to the release of his 10th studio album, Climate Change, he talks to Lisa Robinson about going global, being called a sellout, and meeting with Donald Trump,” the story’s lead teases. But even when the piece approaches something approaching honesty, like when Robinson presses the rapper on the omnipresent claim that he is a “sellout,” it lets Pitbull off the hook with a quote like this: “They’re right. I did sell out. I sell out arenas, I sell out stadiums. I sell out a bunch of things all around the world.”
It’s a shame, really. Pitbull doesn’t do a whole lot of interviews outside of brief press junkets, and with the access and resources Vanity Fair has at its disposal, it could have done a much better job shedding some light on one of pop music’s most prolific and shielded figures.
Still, there are a few interesting nuggets that emerge from the story, like when Pitbull reveals that he was actually flown via helicopter to meet with Donald Trump in West Palm Beach. “I actually met with Trump,” he told Vanity Fair. “He flew [me] in his helicopter over to his resort in West Palm Beach. I like to sit down with people and see what they’ve got going on, and if there’s anybody that’s fallen down and got back up . . . with all the bankruptcies he’s been through—well, you have to respect certain things about him. But I don’t think he knew what he was talking about [when he said those things about Mexicans], and there’s nothing he won’t say to have the limelight. The more outlandish [it is], the more they put it on television.”
Pitbull has admitted to meeting with other GOP candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio before, but given Trump's strained relationship with the country's Latin population, this hangout must have been particularly awkward.
In an interview with Jorge Ramos last year, Pitbull said he would not step foot in a Trump hotel. "Due to the fact of what has been said, no, I wouldn't be able to go to his hotels," he told Ramos. "I wouldn't be able to... I just can't. I can't for the simple fact that you're speaking about a culture that I ride, I die for. And this culture's the only reason that I'm having this conversation right now."
Given the fact that he not only entered a Trump hotel but arrived via Trump helicopter, Pitbull does look like a bit of a hypocrite now. But there's also something possibly noble about wanting to meet a person face-to-face as opposed to judging from a distance. Or maybe it speaks more to Pitbull's opportunist tendencies. Who knows? These would have been questions better handled by, say, the author of the article.
Also revealed in the story is the fact that Pit used to listen to Tony Robbins tapes when he was in fifth grade, which makes gallons of sense and is hilarious to picture (especially if you picture fifth-grade Pitbull in a tiny white suit).
But by the final sentence, we're still left with more questions than ever about Mr. Perez: Is the title of his next album a not-so-subtle reference to the pressing environmental threats posed to his beloved hometown? What keeps Pitbull up at night? And does he, in fact, have a monster weiner?
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.