By Brad Wete
Updated May 26, 2011 at 03:57 PM EDT
Ethan Miller/Getty Images/ABC

There’s something to be said of a respected, street-certified rapper who can drop Ryan Seacrest’s name in his rhymes and still receive love from his peers and mainstream audiences alike. That’s Pitbull.

The Miami spitter is warming up the Billboard hot 100 chart with his latest single, the Ne-Yo-assisted “Give Me Everything.” That sits at No. 4. While his collab with Jennifer Lopez on her “On the Floor” rest two places behind it. And with his new club-driven album, Planet Pit dropping June 21, it’s safe to say that we’ll be hearing plenty more of him this summer.

For Entertainment Weekly‘s Best of Summer double issue (which hits newsstands this Friday, May 27), we caught up with Pit to talk about why his sixth effort will be the perfect for the season.

But here, find out if his studio sessions are filled with gorgeous women, why he doesn’t need coffee to get jacked up, and what excites him about Planet Pit.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What’s the atmosphere like in the studio when you’re creating?

PITBULL: I don’t really look for an atmosphere or anything like that. When I get in the studio the idea is just to work and bang out as many as I can. I always have fun making the music. My goal was to create a whole planet of music. So the goal was to create a Now [That’s What I Call Music] album, which is when people hear it they’re like, “Oh, this is a single! That’s a single! Oh boy, this is a single.”

So were there beautiful women all over the studio?

Oh no. But those are around every day! Why take them to the studio? The whole point is to get out of the studio. That way you can go hang out with them. I work hard. But I play hard, too. Growing up in Miami and that atmosphere—whether it was across the bridge, meaning the street side of Miami—or South Beach to party, it definitely influences my music one way or another. So anytime I’m in the studio all I have to do is tap into my memory bank and go “Oh, I remember this night. Boom, let’s jus write about it.”

Where does all of your energy come from?

I’m definitely someone who enjoys life and wakes up with a ball of energy. Me being a Cuban American, we’re known for drinking this Cuban coffee that really gets you going. But me, I don’t drink that. I’d run through a couple of walls if I did. I wake up like I drank 10 of them already. I’m always high energy and spirited. What’s the point of working so hard and not enjoying life?

Who are some of the producers you worked with for the album?

The producers that we’re working with on this album are hit-makers with great ears. You’ve got RedOne, Max Martin, Benny Blanco, Dr. Luke, Afro Jack—and [“Give Me Everything] is Afrojack’s first big, big record. Polow Da Don is on the album. And when you get in the studio with the folks, each of them has their own vibe. But they all have the same goal: “How do we give you the biggest record possible?” So we go to the studio and you play everybody else’s record to each other. And they’ll be like, “Okay, we have to outdo that one.” It’s a friendly competition that brings the best out of all of us.

Why is this a good summer album?

With all the negativity going on in the world right now, people need an escape. When you give them a hit record or a great record, it allows them to escape for at least three to four minutes. They’re not thinking bills or economy or immigration or war when you create that kind of ambiance. For the summertime, that’s when everybody unwinds. [Sings Will Smith’s “Summertime” chorus]

What’s Planet Pit look like?

It’s all about being yourself and enjoying it. For example, I live in so many genres in the music business. I don’t have any problem adapting or mutating or making a fusion with different kind of beats because I know myself. A lot of people are scared that they’re going to lose their credibility or lose the street. And the guys that are scared to try other music or just to be creative are the ones who aren’t in tune with themselves. Planet Pit is all about that. If you’re in tune with yourself, you’re going to bring something to the table. Or to the planet, which is a good time and good business. And a lot of great women!

What’s a song you’re especially proud of?

There’s a song there called “Castles in the Sand” featuring Kelly Rowland. It shows another side of me. But yet it has that big pop rhythmic feel to it. I think that when that hits the radio, people are going to look at me in a whole different light.

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