If you are at a point where you know that your music is solid, you got an audience, but you still are not getting the love you deserve, you might want to take a page from Master P’s book. Besides being an incredible success story, he’s also a rapper that never used auto tune.
He literally wrote the book on how to be an independent musician and be a tremendous success. If you can sell millions of cds (Yes they were called CDs back in the day) without the internet or social media, you are a real boss! He’s one of the main reasons I got into rapping and making beats.
Real Name: Percy Robert Miller
Birth Date: April 29, 1969
Home Town: New Orleans, LA
Current Record Label: No Limit Records / New No Limit
Past Record Labels: No Limit Records
Nicknames: P, Master P, Percy, P. Miller
Master P was born Percy Robert Miller in New Orleans, LA on April 29, 1969. After his parents’ divorced, he moved between the homes of his grandmother in New Orleans, and his mother in Richmond, CA. During his teens, he was heavy into the street life and the drugs, violence, and hustling that came with it.
However, he also loved basketball. He won a basketball scholarship to the University of Houston, but soon dropped out and moved back to Richmond and enrolled in a business course at Oakland, CA’s Merritt Junior College.
In 1989, Master P’s grandfather died and left him with ten thousand dollars, which P used to start a record store, No Limit Records, in Richmond, CA. Being the owner of a record store, Master P recognized the strong desire for the underground raw gangster rap that major labels just refused to provide. This knowledge motivated Master P to turn No Limit into a record label in 1990. In ’91, he released his first CD, “Get Away Clean” and went on to release “Mama’s Bad Boy” in ’92. Seeing the immense success of these albums, he decided to become serious about rapping.
Realizing that Richmond, CA wasn’t the best place for his style, he moved back to New Orleans, LA.
By the mid ’90s, No Limit had assembled it’s own production team, Beats by the Pound. Made up of Craig B, KLC, and Mo B. Dick, they worked on every single one of the label’s released. They designed a new never seen before breed of colorful album covers which was unique to No Limit releases. You could tell a No Limit CD just by it’s cover, as seen below.
New Orleans loved P, his next CD in ’95, “99 Ways to Die” was also a huge hit, and sold over 200,000 copies, and his CD “Ice Cream Man” hit streets the following year. By the time the controversial drug-influenced CD “Ghetto D” was released in the summer of 1997, Master P had built his own recording empire. Not bad for a rapper from the ghetto eh?
He had taken over all of Louisiana and made it famous for it’s hot sounds and paved the way for new Louisiana rappers. He had no radio play, no TV play, but still managed to sell astonishing amounts of CDs. Master P along with TRU, a group consisting of Master P and his brothers Silkk and C-Murder, had Top Ten R&B hit albums.
His success thus far inspired him to release “I’m Bout It”, a movie inspired by one of TRU’s hits. Master P financed the production himself, and when no one would distribute it, it went straight to video in the summer of ’97. After this, he came out with the film “I Got The Hook Up” which premiered in movie theaters in the summer of 1998, the same time of his release of the CD “Da Last Don” in which Master P claimed to be retiring and “leaving the rap game”.
Despite taking a break from the game, Master P came back in 1999 with “Only God Can Judge Me”. However, Master P was back with a new style. A cleaner less raw style, made more for national exposure as opposed to staying true to his ghetto Louisiana roots. Many old fans disliked this new style, and were very unimpressed by it.
P lost many of his old fans who had been with him from day 1 through this release. After this CD, “Ghetto Postage” and “Game Face” followed. The double CD “Good Side, Bad Side” appeared in 2004 and signalled Master P and No Limit’s new relationship with distribution company Koch. “Ghetto Bill” arrived less than a year later followed by “Ghetto Bill V.2” and a couple remix CDs.
Master P Facts:
In 2005, Master P and his brother Silkk Tha Shocker (Vyshonn Miller) were arrested in California for carrying a handgun in their car. This was likely due to ignorance of the law, as in Louisiana, it is legal to carry a handgun in your vehicle with no permit.
- First album, “Get Away Clean”, in 1991.
- Holds a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for highest paid hip-hop entertainer.
- Garnered 10 multi-platinum, 12 platinum, and 12 gold records.
- A true entrepreneur, Master P has released a clothing line, a communications company, a brand of shoes, a talking action figure, a brand of subwoofers, and many other business ventures.
- Married twice and has 4 children. He is also the father of rapper Lil’ Romeo.
- Appeared on NBC’s dancing reality show, Dancing with the Stars, in 2006.
- Has produced and appeared in many movies, not limited to “I Got The Hook Up” and “Hot Boyz”. He has appeared in 18 movies, and has produced / directed 7.
Today Master P donates like crazy and has become an even more empowering symbol for budding musicians and success fiends from all over the world.
Master P is a living legend who carved his own way and has established himself as a role model for all. He has literally proven that in life, there are ‘no limits’.