Pitbull 'Transitions' But Still Gets Respect From Hip-Hop

'I've been on tracks with the best,' Pit tells MTV News of his evolution to global MC.

[artist id="1678002"]Pitbull[/artist] has made major moves throughout his seven-year career. Getting his start under the tutelage of Luther Campbell (a.k.a. Luke) and influenced by Miami booty bass, Pitbull got his big break in 2004 with the Lil Jon-assisted single "Culo." But while his musical origins may have been rooted in bass music and the crunk movement of the early-2000s, Pitbull has grown into a rapper with mass appeal.

His first album, M.I.A.M.I. (Money is a Major Issue), was dedicated to his hometown and exemplified his local accessibility but his latest, Planet Pit, exemplifies his worldwide reach.

"I think from M.I.A.M.I. to Planet Pit, how it transitions, what it shows is maturity, growth, evolution, someone that's been learning, applying, observing," Pit told MTV News last week while he was in Orlando performing at a Zumba fitness convention.

Planet Pit features the rapper's Zumba-inspired single "Pause,' and has already given Pit his first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Give Me Everything." The album's sound isn't rooted in the block, as were earlier songs like "Rain Over Me" featuring salsa great Marc Anthony and the Chris Brown-laced "International Love." Instead, his latest aims to break global boundaries. But while Pit's music may not be as hip-hop-oriented these days, the Cuban-American hit-maker said he still gets his respect.

"As far as getting acceptance from hip-hop, does it bother me? In no way shape or form," he said when asked how it feels move beyond the rap community. "I've been on tracks with the best or what they consider the best. I've been on tracks with Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Fat Joe. ... On those tracks, I think I definitely held my own and everybody respects me for the simple fact that I've created my own lane."

In 2006, Pit laid his rapid-fire rhymes on DJ Khaled's "Holla at Me," alongside Wayne, Ross, Fat Joe and Paul Wall; he also rhymed with Ross and Trick Daddy on the Miami-ode "Born-n-Raised" that same year. Since then, the Miami rapper has expanded his repertoire, collaborating with Usher ("DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love") and Jennifer Lopez ("On the Floor"), as well as producers like RedOne and Afrojack. Pit's musical growth has given him a bigger platform, but also something else far more invaluable.

"Instead of speaking to the block, I rather speak to the globe so the block can go, 'Oh wait a second, there is a whole lot more out there,' " Pit explained. "And that's where the respect and credibility comes into play. You can't buy that and no record can buy that."

What do you think of Pit's latest album? Share your reviews in the comments!