Pitbull on THR

Pitbull has had one of the most meteoric rises in pop over the past few years, going from a small-time Miami emcee to the so-called Mr. Worldwide, selling out arenas around the world -- and rapping about every single one of them. Look for Pit to perform Monday (March 31) on NBC's "Today" show. In the April 4 issue of The Hollywood Reporter, he offers a glimpse into how he built a global empire, with lessons learned from his time on the other side of the tracks.

READ THE THR COVER STORY | EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

Here are five things we learned about the enigmatic rapper in the new THR:

HE'S PROUD OF KESHA, BUT… He says he hasn't been in touch with his "Timber" collaborator since she got out of rehab recently. Why? "People need their space. The good thing is she came out on a high horse. Sometimes, it's a blessing in disguise."

TAKE IT FROM HIM: 'SCARFACE' WAS ACCURATE. "[The movie] is the truth," he says of the Brian DePalma classic, set in Miami. "It wasn't exaggerated. Scorsese, Oliver Stone, De Palma -- those guys were right on the money." He's apparently lost track of the amount of times he's seen it.

HIS EMPIRE COULD SOON EXTEND TO TV/FILM. He reportedly has a development deal with Endemol, which produces "Big Brother," and has teamed with Ryan Seacrest for a miniseries based on the Bacardi family.

HE'S FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OTHERS. He has a deep admiration for Celia Cruz, saying the Cuban star carried "all of our stories on her back," as well as fellow countrymen Desi Arnaz and Gloria Estefan, whom he notes were experts at "figuring out the business part" of entertainment.

HE'S NEVER VISITED CUBA. Though he has Cuban heritage, his parents both natives of the island country before their move to Miami, he's still waiting on the opportunity to visit his homeland. He said he hopes to perform there within the next five years.

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