When Pitbull was a kid, life looked a lot different than it does now that he's a Grammy-award-winning artist. In the 1980s, he was just Armando Christian Peréz, growing up in a rough, crime-ridden part of Miami called Carol City.
"Carol City was a very interesting neighborhood and still is; they even tried to change the name (to) Miami Gardens," he tells Tony Robbins on a recent episode of "The Tony Robbins Podcast."
"I grew up around drugs, I grew up around abuse, I grew up around alcoholism," he says.
"I thought it was just everybody's normal," Pitbull tells Robbins. "As you start to grow, you look back and you go wow, wait a second. I was going through things at 5, 6 years old that I shouldn't have been going through."
But women in his family, who immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, helped him to focus on the right things. "Those are the women that built me — my grandmother, my aunt and my mother," he says, explaining that they would pepper him with questions about getting motivated.
"Do you see where you're going to be?" he says they would ask. "Do you see the opportunity you have in this country? Do you see how you can take advantage of this freedom that you have?"
While taking Pitbull to school in the morning, his mother would reinforce the message — by playing Tony Robbins' motivational tapes in the car.