Pitbull says music business is “90 percent business, 10 percent talent”

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 6 years ago '04        #1
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Mourad 5 heat pts
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Pitbull says music business is “90 percent business, 10 percent talent”
 

 

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Halfway through his standing-room-only live Q&A at today's Billboard Latin Music Conference, Miami-born bilingual pop star Pitbull recalled growing up on his mother's Tony Robbins tapes. The confession came as no surprise. The 31-year-old star devoted much of his talk with Billboard's Leila Cobo to explaining how to benefit from setbacks, one of Robbins' greatest themes. "I started to understand how failure is the mother of all success," Pitbull said.

The largest failure to which he alluded was his litigious break with his former record label, the now-defunct TVT. After graduating to it from Luke Records, the Miami-based independent run by 2 Live Crew's Luther Campbell, Pit soon discovered TVT was run much like communist Cuba. "I saw that the owner was very litigious, so I decided when I caught him slipping, I'd sue him too," he recalled of the tactics he used to break free. But he decided to view it as a learning experience. "TVT was like my university on the business. It was my Harvard."

The biggest lesson learned: He had better take the reins on his own career. From the early days, he envisioned a bilingual movement that would reach farther than just music itself, and when he went independent, he quickly a.ssembled his own team. It's a move he said most artists these days should also make. "Forget everyone. You get that money, and you invest in yourself," he said. "Nobody's going to bring you a bigger return on your investment than yourself."

Despite all the business talk, and despite the freshly pressed suit, his personal brand of the Calle Ocho chico made good still came through. He punctuated nearly every sentence with Spanglish, from "imaginate" ("imagine that") or "perfecto," or the somewhat more rude interjection "coño." The audience tittered back at his frequent laugh, the throaty heh-heh-heh heard on so many of his hit records.

Those records, he also explained, were largely as much business calculations as were his recent big-money sponsorship deals with brands like Dr. Pepper, Bud Light, Kodak, and Pepsi, or on his own partial ownerships in Voli Vodka and Sheets energy strips. "This is called the music business. It's 90 percent business, 10 percent talent," he readily admitted. "There's no genius to what I do. I keep it simple, stupid -- K.I.S.S."

In a business that tends towards overcomplication, this was a quasi-revolutionary concept, he said, as was a focus on his as-yet-untapped target market. "I had a saying that I was too hip-hop for Latins, and too Latin for hip-hop," he said. "But I forgot about awards shows, I forgot about politics, I forgot about everything. The people I'm talking to, talk just like me."

The key to breaking radio barriers between English and Spanish, he said, was to make sure he focused on universal themes, and to pick Spanish words that everyone could relate to and chant. "Even with a song like 'Culo,' who doesn't want to talk about that?" He asked the audience, switching from English to Spanish mid-sentence, before switching back again. "Even gringos say, 'Oh I know what he's talking about, a.ss! I'm gonna look for that in the club tonight."

Beyond the bawdy lyrics and thudding club beats, though, Pitbull said he hopes to be one of the driving forces shaping the marketing conversation with the new generation of U.S.-born Latinos. "It's all about empowering. When we go out there, I want them to know there is no way they're going to get into this culture and distort it or exploit it. Not on my watch. I'm like the Rickenbacker Causeway," he said, referring to a famous Miami road linking the mainland and the tiny island of Key Biscayne. "I'm the bridge."

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 Pitbull Says Music Business is '90 Percent Business, 10 Percent Talent' at Latin Conference Q&A | Billboard.biz

93 comments for "Pitbull says music business is “90 percent business, 10 percent talent”"

 6 years ago '04        #2
justinjones 311 heat pts311
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at least he is honest about it
 6 years ago '10        #3
kiddrocay 30 heat pts30
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:omfg: the truth finally arrives, someone plz call 911 because mc donalds is out of chicken nuggets
 04-26-2012, 09:33 AM         #4
TrueHopTunes 
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Well, I guess that's better than Juvenile's recent claim that the music industry is 95% business and only a dismal 5% talent...
 6 years ago '09        #5
5_star_smitty|m 210 heat pts210
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 thakid96731 said:
[IMG]<a href="http://senorgif.memebase.com/2012/04/26/funny-gifs-facepalm-and-leave/?utm_source=embed&utm_medium=web&utm_campaign=shar ewidget"><img class='event-item-lol-image' src='http://chzgifs.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/funny-gifs-facepalm-and-leave.gif' alt="Just Facepalm And Leave GIF - Just Facepalm And Leave" title="Just Facepalm And Leave GIF - Just Facepalm And Leave" height="196px" width="341px" /></a><br />see more <a href="http://senorgif.memebase.com?utm_source=embed&utm_medium= web&utm_campaign=sharewidget">Gifs</a>[/IMG]
3 deleted posts & u still can't get it right
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 6 years ago '04        #6
Mourad 5 heat pts OP
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 5_star_smitty said:
3 deleted posts & u still can't get it right
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Wrong thread ?

Dude, who is the girl in your avy ?
 6 years ago '06        #7
marcusaka50 59 heat pts59
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basically do what makes the most money for you and stick with that formula.

the music game is battle between business and music because the ability to sell records is chosen over people who have real talent but can't make the same amount of money verse the other artist with less or no talent at all that make more money.
 6 years ago '10        #8
Agentzer0oo0 215 heat pts215
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That's my Pitbull



fu*k all you fu*kboys that hated :
 6 years ago '11        #9
Kingpin 313 104 heat pts104
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Rihanna and Nicki minaj proved his theory to be true
 6 years ago '07        #10
Damagegadget 493 heat pts493
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90% marketing and manipulation..your favorite trap rapper sucks in other words..they have misled you to believe it is "good" music
 6 years ago '10        #11
Ant McQueen 17 heat pts17
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Props to Pitbull for re-shaping his career and getting to where he is. He didn't like the way thing were going so he took control. That's an awesome thing.

A friend and I were having a conversation about how the " more talented " artists (not throwing any salt at Pitbull, but in general) don't market and make things happen for themselves like the " less talented " artists do. These guys have their stuff down to a formula. From the way they make their music, their persona, their style of dress, etc. They try to bring some entertainment value along with what they do. It would be cool to see some of the " more talented " artists do the same (but keep their content intact).

Just my opinion.
 6 years ago '04        #12
Mr_GooD_NeWs 26 heat pts26
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 6 years ago '07        #13
Ratty Tat Tat 
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Hence why this guy is even relevant let alone in Bud Light commercials and halftime shows and sh*t.

He is hands down one of the worst talents I have ever seen.
 04-26-2012, 10:42 AM         #14
Mwana Ya Lola 
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 Ant McQueen said:
Props to Pitbull for re-shaping his career and getting to where he is. He didn't like the way thing were going so he took control. That's an awesome thing.

A friend and I were having a conversation about how the " more talented " artists (not throwing any salt at Pitbull, but in general) don't market and make things happen for themselves like the " less talented " artists do. These guys have their stuff down to a formula. From the way they make their music, their persona, their style of dress, etc. They try to bring some entertainment value along with what they do. It would be cool to see some of the " more talented " artists do the same (but keep their content intact).

Just my opinion.
 6 years ago '04        #15
hewsdaddy 
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do we really need pitbull .. AND FLO RIDA?
 6 years ago '04        #16
justinjones 311 heat pts311
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 Ant McQueen said:
Props to Pitbull for re-shaping his career and getting to where he is. He didn't like the way thing were going so he took control. That's an awesome thing.

A friend and I were having a conversation about how the " more talented " artists (not throwing any salt at Pitbull, but in general) don't market and make things happen for themselves like the " less talented " artists do. These guys have their stuff down to a formula. From the way they make their music, their persona, their style of dress, etc. They try to bring some entertainment value along with what they do. It would be cool to see some of the " more talented " artists do the same (but keep their content intact).

Just my opinion.
pitbull can actually rap if you heard his earlier mixtapes and m.i.a.m.i. he just found a lane and stuck to it. I don't mind half the stuff he does so more power to him. I only got a problem with people that do that style badly.

and yes most of the talented rappers are bad at marketing themselves. They don't have to sell themselves out but they can market themselves better
 6 years ago '10        #17
Ant McQueen 17 heat pts17
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 justinjones said:
pitbull can actually rap if you heard his earlier mixtapes and m.i.a.m.i. he just found a lane and stuck to it. I don't mind half the stuff he does so more power to him. I only got a problem with people that do that style badly.

and yes most of the talented rappers are bad at marketing themselves. They don't have to sell themselves out but they can market themselves better
True, I know Pitbull can rap that's why I made sure that threw the lil' comment in the paranthesis, LOL. The same with The Black Eyed Peas. Some people forget that they were on some " real Hip Hop " sh*t before the addition of Fergie. For their sake I guess it's a good thing that they switched their style up. Otherwise they could have been another " forgotten " group.
 6 years ago '10        #18
Ant McQueen 17 heat pts17
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 I-NeeD-$$$ said:
me and my homeboy were just talkin about the same sh*t yesterday... It's like the more talented artists are lazy as sh*t and just expect sh*t to happen. While the less talented know they gotta make up for it and go 10x's harder... and actually end up bein the ones that make it.
i.e mike jones, soulja boy, kreayshawn, ect.

Some of these "real hiphop" fans need to be blaming their favorite rappers for not grindin as hard as the ones they hate on.
I agree. One thing I'd like to add to that is the idea that music is also entertainment. Most of the people who listen to music probably aren't purists. They're everyday people and folks like to be entertained. A lot of of the " more talented " artists seem to forget. There's nothing wrong with blending style and substance. I think that's what made Kanye so likable when he first came out. That blend of the two.

Just my opinion.
 04-26-2012, 11:05 AM         #19
Sam Rothstein 
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Well, yeah it is, that game and what people consider "talented" is forever changing and only a few stand the test of time.

You go back and you listen to these records and you tell yourself damn, I could have made that record. So, yeah he's right. That's why I don't listen to the haters. I just handle business and keep working.


Last edited by Sam Rothstein; 04-26-2012 at 11:08 AM..
 6 years ago '10        #20
Ant McQueen 17 heat pts17
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 Mwana Ya Lola said:
It's definitely possible. Throughout the history of music it's been done.

I'm not saying every artist has to be on that tip because some music is cool for having mindless fun, wildin' out, buggin' or whatever. But the artists who pride themselves in their abilities, creativity, lyrical conent, etc (that want to be bigger tan what they are) should find a way to be entertaining while they're getting their point across.

Again, this only applies to the cats that complain about people not wanting to hear " conscious/intelligent " music.


[video - click to view]


Folks used to jam to that sh*t back in the day. It has a message, but at the same time James brought style, flair, and charisma to that joint. It wasn't just some dry a.ss song with some cat sounding like a self-righteous prick trying to preach to you.

I'm not saying that motherfu*kas should be on some Black Power sh*t, LOL. I'm just saying that it's possible to blend style and substance. It's been done before and can be done again.

Just my opinion.
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