Rapper Pitbull has signed with Polo Grounds Music/RCA Music Group through his Mr. 305 Inc. imprint. The move reunites the Miami rapper with Polo Grounds Music president Bryan Leach, who signed Pitbull to TVT Records six years ago. In addition to recording, the new deal includes touring and branding opportunities.

“Being an artist with an independent mindset, I was skeptical about signing with a major label,” said Pitbull in a statement. “But being that Bryan and I have shared success and come from the TVT school of hard knocks, I know Polo Grounds and the RCA/Jive Label Group will be the perfect fit for Mr.305.”

Pitbull’s current Ultra Records single, “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho),” is No. 13 on Billboard’s Rhythmic chart. It’s the follow-up to “Krazy” featuring former TVT labelmate Lil Jon. Combining all of its various versions, that track has sold 722,000 digital downloads according to Nielsen SoundScan. The rapper has since become a finalist in the upcoming Billboard Latin Music Awards (April 23) in the newly created category Latin Digital Download Artist of the Year.

Premiering this week is the Paul Hunter-directed video for Pitbull’s newest release, “Blanco” featuring Pharrell. The track is the first single from the original motion soundtrack for “Fast & Furious 4” (Interscope/Star Trak), issued March 31.

All three aforementioned songs are being considered for inclusion on
Pitbull’s debut Polo Grounds Music/RCA Music Group album, “Rebelution.” Slated for release Sept. 1, 2009, the album will be executive produced by Jim Jonsin. Joining Jonsin on the production side will be Lil Jon, Mr. Collipark, Play N Skillz and The Neptunes, among others.

Pitbull’s last TVT album, 2007’s “The Boatlift,” has sold 131,000 units. A few weeks before TVT filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008, the rapper charged during an interview with Los Angeles radio station KPWR that the label didn’t properly promote the album.

Declaring that he was working “like a slave” to promote “The Boatlift,” he urged fans to boycott it.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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