entertainment

Pitbull Wants To Empower And Uplift The Latino Community By Leading By Example

pitbull / Getty Images

Pitbull is the honorary patron Saint of Miami and they’re so proud of it. Pitbull brings Miami class, Cuban swag to the music world, and has raised us all since his first album dropped almost 15 years ago.

We know him by his trademark style of a shaved head, suit, and those sunglasses he wears everywhere. He might be Mr. Worldwide but there are things that so many people don’t know about him. Here are a few facts that might surprise you.

Pitbull’s real name is Armando Christian Perez.

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

He was born in Miami to Cuban immigrants, making him a first-generation Cuban-American. His parents separated when he was young and he was mostly raised by his mother.

He chose the name “Pitbull” because of the breed’s ferocious reputation.

CREDIT: @pitbullsofinstagram / Instagram

Which makes many believe that he is actually a sweetie under that tough guy facade.

Pitbull spent his first music paycheck to buy his mom a car.

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

This was back in 1999, so the paycheck was about $1,500. He spent $1,200 to buy his mom a 1988 Mazda hatchback and put the $300 remaining in the bank. That’s the son all our mom’s raised us to be.

By the time he was 3 years old, he was reciting José Martí poetry at bars.

CREDIT: @veryspooky_ / Twitter

Pitbull’s father would take him to bars to recite the Cuban revolutionary philosopher’s poetry, he told Vanity Fair. That was the first time I saw how powerful words were,” Pitbull says. “We’re a culture that likes to talk a lot. We have a lot of sayings. Words mean a lot.”

He grew up wanting to become a basketball player.

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

He also went to Tae Kwon Do and jujitsu classes growing up, which he says gave him the discipline he needed in the music industry. His mom allegedly made him listen to Tony Robbins tracks in the car on the way to practice.

By the time he was 13, he was in love with music, thanks to hip-hop icons like N.W.A., Public Enemy and Jay Z.

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

He’s even been called “the Latino Jay Z” to his face during interviews and he doesn’t protest. When we first met Pitbull, he was wearing baggy jeans and had his hair in corn rows.

Some folks call him a “sellout” for his more polished look these days.

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

Have you ever seen this man in anything but a suit? When Vanity Fair points out the “sellout” label, he goes, “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.” Dale.

Most of the suits that he wears are from his own line, After Dark.

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

Other rappers have been in awe of his commitment to the look. Usher has heaped respect on the guy for going out and performing a 3 hour show in an Armani suit, sweating like crazy.

His brand is very important to him.

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

He’s gone on the record telling Latina,  “I’m not here to exploit our culture – I’m here to empower it, and I want to build a brand like Jennifer Lopez.”

His collab with Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte served as the official theme of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

CREDIT: @FansPitbull / Twitter

“We Are One (Ole Ola)” became the tournament’s official song. Immediately after the World Cup, which took place in São Paulo, he was announced to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

He’s not just here for fame and money. He’s giving back.

In 2010, Pitbull protested the anti-immigration laws in Arizona by cancelling his concert.

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

After SB 1070 passed, which requires local authorities to act as ICE by racially profiling people and asking for papers, Pitbull refused to bring any economic revenue to the state.

In a tweet, he says, “How is the country we enjoy and love bcuz of its human rights, freedom, opportunity and that has been built by immigrants, now start 2 deny them? It is contradicting 2 everything the USA stands 4.”

Pitbull has launched the S.L.A.M. charter schools, including in Little Havana, Miami, and Arizona.

CREDIT: @slammiamiofficial / Instagram

The school is aimed towards kids who want to pursue a career in sports leadership and management. The school’s website quotes Pitbull as saying, “This is a dream come true. We can have endless number one records around the world, but it means nothing. To be able to perform in front of the world means nothing. It just gives us the avenue to be able to do these kind of things. This is priceless.”

How does he fund it all? Partnerships. Endless partnerships.

CREDIT: @pitbull / Twitter

He’s endorsed by Kodak, Dr. Pepper, Voli Vodka, Budweiser, Walmart, Pepsi, Dodge, Fiat and more. He grew his spokesperson status with Norwegian Cruise lines by launching a Pitbull backed Norwegian party cruise last year.

He even has a majority equity stake in Voli Vodka, hence that 305 worldwide logo you see there:

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

His brand: party guy. He famously told Vanity Fair earlier this year that he’s “single, bilingual, and ready to mingle.” In the meantime, this guy is hustling.

Of course he has a television production company named “Honey I’m Home.”

CREDIT: @SomeOldPhotos / Twitter

Of course, this is named after the first ever Cuban-American actor Desi Arnaz’s line in I Love Lucy. He even has his own SiriusXM radio channel called Pitbull’s Globalization Radio.

Most recently, he’s expected to play the voice of ‘Ugly Dog’ in Uglydolls, releasing in 2019.

CREDIT: @pitbull / Twitter

He also played the voice of Bufo in Epic (2013) and himself in Blood Money. So far, he hasn’t taken up acting in any way but he has played himself eight times on television and the big screen. #NeverForget his Dancing with the Stars era.

That’s not to say he hasn’t made enemies over the years…

CREDIT: @lelezack / Twitter

Lindsay Lohan tried to sue him in 2011 for defamation after he used the line “I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan” in the track “Give Me Everything.” The judge dismissed the suit, ruling that Pitbull’s entire track is protected as a work of art under the First Amendment. 😘

Public Enemy No. 1? President Trump.

CREDIT: @jkarsh / Twitter

Trump literally flew Pitbull in a helicopter to meet with him and ultimately, Pitbull decided that Trump doesn’t understand the true unity and power of the Latino community.

Caption: “Everybody calm down, Donald Trump isn’t Pitbull. It’s not as if he has a plane he can just load up with stuff for Puerto … oh, right.”

Immediately and quietly after Hurricane Maria passed, Pitbull flew cancer patients from Puerto Rico to Miami to continue getting chemo.

CREDIT: @pitbull_updates / Twitter

He also told CNN that he clearly sees what Trump is about. “His true colors are real simple. It’s about money, it’s about power, and when you’re raised that way, it goes to show you what your true priorities are.” Burn.

Meanwhile, Pitbull joined J.Lo and Marc Anthony’s relief initiative “Somos Una Voz” to aid Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

They raised over $6 million dollars to bring aid to Puerto Rico.

Ultimately, Mr. Worldwide doesn’t just want to conquer the world. He wants to empower Latinos to do the same.

CREDIT: @pitbull / instagram

We’re calling it an uprising in the best possible way. He told “The Real” that “money does buy happiness, you just got to give it away.” There you have it. Pitbull is one of the most charitable rappers around and it’s all thanks to those Tony Robbins tapes.


READ: While People Pleaded For Trump To Send Relief To Puerto Rico, Pitbull Sent A Private Plane To Help Cancer Patients

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Here's Why Robert Clemente Remains As Relevant Today As He Was The Day He Died

entertainment

Here’s Why Robert Clemente Remains As Relevant Today As He Was The Day He Died

@DugoutLegends / Twitter

If you’re Puerto Rican, you grew up knowing who Roberto Clemente was. You might even have a vela of him lit in your house right now. Roberto Clemente was a legend on the baseball field and truly saintly in his personal life.

Clemente’s life and career reads like every Latino mother’s dream: he was truly the best at everything he did. Here are just 21 of the hundreds of facts I could tell you right now.

Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker was born in 1934.

CREDIT: @BeschlossDC / Twitter

Let’s set the stage here. Clemente is an Afro-Puerto Rican born in Isla Verde, Carolina, Puerto Rico to Don Melchor Clemente and Luisa Walker. He’s from the same town as boxers Esteban De Jesus and Alfredo Escalera.

He was the youngest of seven kids.

CREDIT: @TheRealSangy35 / Twitter

His father worked in the sugarcane fields as a foreman, and, with such a big family, everyone chipped in a bit. Roberto would help load and unload trucks for his dad.

He started out as a track and field star in high school.

CREDIT: @JohnDreker / Twitter

His dream was to compete in the Olympics for the sport, but Puerto Rico got to him. The national passion for the sport made him decide to redirect his attention to the game.

By the time he was 16 years old, he was on Puerto Rico’s amateur baseball league.

CREDIT: @baseballhall / Twitter

The story goes that Roberto Marín spotted Clemente playing baseball in his barrio and was recruited for softball. He played shortstop for two years at Julio Vizcarrondo Coronado High School. Then, Ferdinand Juncos found him.

He spent the first season on the bench.

CREDIT: @baseballhall / Twitter

By the next season, he was promoted to the Cangrejeros (“Crabbers”) starting lineup. He hit a .288 and became the leadoff hitter.

The Brooklyn Dodgers signed him with a $10k bonus.

CREDIT: @BSmile / Twitter

That meant he had to move to Montreal. Apparently, the cold and the language barrier was a major culture shock to the islander and he made fast friends with bilingual teammates Chico Fernandez, Tommy Lasorda, and Joe Black.

The size of his bonus automatically put him on the Major League roster.

CREDIT: @DugoutLegends / Twitter

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected him first overall in 1954 after the Dodgers’ coach tried to hide him from recruiters. The Dodgers rarely played Clemente at all to continue hiding his raw talents from other recruiters, in hopes they could keep him for a season. Nope.

His first major league game was against the Dodgers.

CREDIT: @Pirates / Twitter

Clemente ended up going 1-for-4 and scored a home run. Also, fun fact, Clemente was No. 13 until center fielder Earl Smith left the team in April 1955.

He was in a car accident during his first professional season and missed several games.

CREDIT: @si_vault / Twitter

He had a lower back injury but still ended up playing in 124 games with a .255 batting average. Impressive, no? Five years into playing with the Pirates, he led them to a World Series.

Clemente is the first starting Latino to help win a World Series in 1960.

CREDIT: @SInow / Twitter

In all his firsts, he’s also the first Caribbean person, as well. If you’re wondering what the difference is, just think in terms of colonizers. Spain overtook Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic while other countries like the U.S. and France used their force and power to literally own other islands.

In 1958, Clemente enlisted in the Navy.

CREDIT: @TheBuccosFan / Twitter

He spent six months on active duty at Parris Island, South Carolina and served until 1964. That means that while he was serving, he was also winning World Series.

Announcers kept calling him “Bob” and he kept insisting his name was Roberto.

CREDIT: @BSmile / Twitter

Even baseball card companies like Topps made cards that red Bob Clemente. Clemente had the Latino burden of constantly combatting the colonization of even his name from Anglo-America.

Even his plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame used the incorrect name.

CREDIT: @BleacherReport / Twitter

Instead of using the Latino naming customs of putting his mother’s maiden name after his father’s last name, they called him “Roberto Walker Clemente.” Decades later they corrected it in 2000 when it was recast properly.

He finished his career with exactly 3,000 hits.

CREDIT: @Super70sSports / Twitter

The last one was against the New York Mets on September 30, 1972, and it ended in a double off. Clemente had been asked about this moment years before and in an interview, he doubted whether he would ever even live to see the day.

Clemente was widely honored for his humanitarian efforts during his life.

CREDIT: @JennaLaineESPN / Twitter

After the 1972 earthquake in Nicaragua, which decimated the country, Clemente was immediately sending shipments to aid the country. When he learned that the last three shipments had been diverted by the corrupt government, he decided that maybe his presence on the next shipment would make sure the goods got into the right hands.

Unfortunately, the plane crashed immediately after taking off from Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @darrenrovell / Twitter

Apparently, the plane he charted had a history of mechanical problems, and it was also overloaded by 4,200 pounds. Four other people were killed in the crash.

Clemente is the only Hall of Fame member who was inducted against the mandatory five-year waiting period rule.

CREDIT: @BaseballQuotes / Twitter

He was elected posthumously just three months after his tragic passing and inducted three months later. The only Pirates member to not attend his funeral was on the dive team in Puerto Rico attempting to recover his body. It was never found.

Clemente continues to inspire young people y Boricuas to this day.

CREDIT: @TonyDungy / Twitter

Bridges are named after him in Pittsburgh.

There’s a whole movie about him called Baseball’s Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories.

CREDIT: @Super70sSports / Twitter

Directed by Richard Rossi, it was the first feature film on the player who was so often overlooked by the media at the time. Rossi feels that Clemente was just as important to baseball as Jackie Robinson and that his number should be universally retired.

Clemente was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor for his humanitarian efforts.

CREDIT: @KhaledBeydoun / Twitter

His humanitarian efforts will never be forgotten, and neither will his commitment to his roots while paving the way for so many others to follow in his footsteps. Clemente was the first Latino to be named league MVP, World Series MVP and be elected to the Hall of Fame.


READ: Roberto Clemente Is Ushering In The End Of Hispanic Heritage Month For Google Doodles

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