Pitbull Juggles His Many Hustles While Leading by Example

Pitbull earned the following mention in Variety’s Music Mogul of the Year special. For more, including the cover story on Sean Combs, click here. 

Whether he’s going by Pitbull, Mr. 305 or Mr. Worldwide, Armando Pérez is both a recording artist and a self-made mogul, rising from Miami’s mean streets to become a hustling entrepreneur worth $27 million, according to Forbes’ recent list of Hip-Hop Cash Kings. That’s more than double his bona fides from four years ago, when the same survey had him pegged at $11 million.

“There are no failures, only opportunities” is one of his favorite mottos. Another — “There’s nothing better than freedom” — describes his current situation after the conclusion of his deal with Sony Music Group and RCA Records, making him a free agent for the first time since he signed with Luther Campbell’s Luke Records in 2001 (his Spanish-language albums are still distributed by Sony Latin).

“For me, this is just the beginning,” says Pérez, who insists he won’t re-up with another record label for the time being. Instead, he announced a new venture at the recent eMerge Americas tech conference in Miami Beach: a worldwide blockchain coding competition — which he’s dubbed Smackathon — hoping to help artists wend their way through the maze of streaming services while disrupting the current music business.

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