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Master P

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  • Born: New Orleans, LA
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s

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Master P created a hip-hop empire without registering on any mainstream radar. For several years, he operated solely in the rap underground, eventually surfacing in the mid-'90s as a recording artist and producer who knew exactly what his audience wanted. And what they wanted was gangsta rap. With his independent label No Limit, Master P gave them gangsta rap at its most basic -- violent, vulgar lyrics, hard-edged beats, whiny synthesizers, and blunted bass. He wasn't a great rapper, nor was anyone on No Limit; occasionally, the No Limit rappers were even talentless and clumsy. But in a time when major labels were running away from the controversy that gangsta rap caused and Dr. Dre, the father of the genre, was proclaiming it dead, Master P stayed on course, delivering album after album of unadulterated gangsta. It was recorded cheaply and packaged cheaply, and almost all of the records on No Limit were interchangeable, but that didn't matter, because Master P kept making money and getting paid.

Appropriately for someone who operated outside of conventional hip-hop circles, Master P (born Percy Miller, circa 1969) didn't come from such traditional rap locales as New York or California. Master P was based in New Orleans, a city with a rich musical tradition that nevertheless had an underdeveloped hip-hop scene. It also had an unspoken violent side that affected Master P as a teenager. After his parents' divorce, he moved between the homes of his father's mother in New Orleans and his mother in Richmond, CA. During his teens, he was on the outside of the drug and hustling culture, but he also pursued a love of basketball. He won a sports scholarship at the University of Houston, but he left the school and moved to Richmond, where he studied business at Oakland's Merritt Junior College. His grandfather died and left him ten thousand dollars in the late '80s, which Master P invested in No Limit Records. Originally, No Limit was a store, not a label.

While working at No Limit, Master P learned that there was a rap audience who loved funky, street-level beats that the major labels weren't providing. Using this knowledge, he decided to turn No Limit into a record label in 1990. The following year, he debuted with Get Away Clean and later had an underground hit with The Ghettos Tryin to Kill Me! in 1994. Around this same time, the compilation West Coast Bad Boyz, which featured rappers Rappin' 4-Tay and E-40 before they were nationally known, was released and spent over half a year on the charts. These latter two albums were significant underground hits and confirmed what Master P suspected -- there was an audience for straight-ahead, unapologetic, funky hardcore rap. He soon moved No Limit to New Orleans and began concentrating on making records.

By the mid-'90s, No Limit had developed its own production team, Beats by the Pound (comprised of Craig B., KLC, and Mo B. Dick), which worked on every one of the label's releases. And there were many releases, hitting a rate of nearly ten a year, all masterminded by Master P and Beats by the Pound. They crafted the sound, often stealing songs outright from contemporary hits. They designed album covers, which had the cheap, garishly colorful and tasteless look of straight-to-video exploitation films. And they worked fast, recording and releasing entire albums in as quickly as two weeks.

Included in that production schedule were Master P's own albums. 99 Ways to Die was released in 1995, and Ice Cream Man appeared the following year. By the time Ghetto Dope was released in the late summer of 1997, Master P had turned No Limit into a mini-empire. He had no exposure on radio or MTV, but No Limit's records sold very well, and Tru -- a group he formed with his younger brothers Silkk the Shocker and C-Murder -- had Top Ten R&B hit albums. His success in the recording industry inspired him to make I'm Bout It, an autobiographical comedy-drama titled after Tru's breakthrough hit. Master P financed the production himself, and when he found no distributor, it went straight to video in the summer of 1997.

His next film, I Got the Hook Up, appeared in theaters during the summer of 1998, concurrent with the release of his album MP da Last Don. In between flirtations with the sports world -- including a tryout with the NBA's Toronto Raptors and negotiating the NFL contract of Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams -- Master P recorded 1999's Only God Can Judge Me. Ghetto Postage and Game Face followed. The double CD Good Side, Bad Side appeared in 2004 and marked P and No Limit's new relationship with the label/distribution company Koch. Both Ghetto Bill and Living Legend: Certified D-Boy arrived a year later. The 2007 compilation Featuring...Master P rounded up some of the rapper's collaborations.

Wikipedia:

Percy Robert Miller (born April 29, 1970), better known by his stage name Master P or his business name P. Miller, is an American rapper, actor, entrepreneur, investor and producer. He is the founder of the popular label No Limit Records, which went bankrupt and was relaunched as New No Limit Records through Universal Records & Koch Records, followed by Guttar Music Entertainment, & currently now No Limit Forever Records. He is the founder and CEO of P. Miller Enterprises, an entertainment and financial conglomerate and Better Black Television.

Miller gained fame in the late 1990s with the success of his group TRU and his fifth album Ice Cream Man, which contained his first single "Mr. Ice Cream Man". In 1997, after the success of one his biggest singles to date, "Make 'Em Say Uhh!," went 2x platinum, Miller grew further in popularity. Then Miller released his second platinum album Ghetto D. Miller also starred in his own street film, mostly based on his life, I'm Bout It which was very successful.

In 1998, P. Miller released his most successful album to date MP Da Last Don. The album was also based on a film that Miller produced, which came out earlier that year with the same name. The album hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 charts, selling over 400,000 copies in a week. The album was certified 4x platinum, with over four million copies sold, making it Miller's highest selling album. In 1999, Miller released his eighth album, Only God Can Judge Me. It was not as successful as his previous album, though it still managed to reach a gold certification. Miller also starred in the movie, I Got the Hook Up, with A.J. Johnson, along with the soundtrack of the same name. On November 28, 2000, he released his ninth album, Ghetto Postage with found success selling 500,000 copies, but it did not compare to his earlier more successful releases.

In the early 2000s, as No Limit Records popularity was slowly declining, so was Miller's. Miller would then re-launch No Limit Records as New No Limit Records. In 2001 Miller would released his tenth album entitled Game Face. In 2003, Miller starred in the film Lockdown. In 2004, Miller released his eleventh album, Good Side, Bad Side it charted number 1 on the Independent Billboards and sold 300,000 copies. The same year Miller released his first independent album Living Legend: Certified D-Boy on his new label Guttar Music, and the album only sold 75,000 copies.

In 2013 Forbes estimated Miller's net worth at $350 million, which put him at #3 on the world's richest hip hop figures. On December 6, 2013 Miller released his thirteenth studio album The Gift on his newly founded label No Limit Forever Records.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Early life[edit]

Miller was born and raised in New Orleans and graduated from Warren Easton High School in 1987. Having played on the Easton basketball team, Miller then attended the University of Houston on an athletic scholarship but dropped out months into his freshman year and transferred to Merritt College in Oakland, California and studied business at Merritt. After the death of his grandfather, Miller earned $10,000 as part of a malpractice settlement. Miller opened a record store in Richmond, California called No Limit Records.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Contents

Music career1.1 Early works1.2 1995–2000: Return to New Orleans and mainstream success1.3 2001–05: The New No Limit1.4 2005–07: Guttar Music1.5 2010–present: No Limit Forever & current works

Music career[edit]

Early works[edit]

On March 14, 1991 Master P released his debut studio album Get Away Clean which followed by his second album Mama's Bad Boy in April 1992. Both albums were released through In-A-Minute Records. In 1993, Master P released his first collaboration album with his group TRU entitled Damn. Master P released his third studio album The Ghettos Tryin to Kill Me! in March 1994; it was later re-released in 1997 as a limited edition under Priority. That same year Master P collaborated on the No Limit compilation albums West Coast Bad Boyz, Vol. 1: Anotha Level of the Game & West Coast Bad Boyz: High fo Xmas. On February 28, 1995, Master P released his fourth studio album 99 Ways to Die. Master P and TRU released their third album True in 1995 and it was the group's first major release after two independent albums. The album reached #25 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #14 on the Top Heatseekers. The album was known for its first single and one of Master P's best known songs "I'm Bout' It, Bout It". He also worked on the compilation album, Down South Hustlers: Bouncin' and Swingin' during that year.

1995–2000: Return to New Orleans and mainstream success[edit]

In 1995, Master P moved from Oakland, CA back to New Orleans to relocate No Limit Records with a slew of new artists and in-house producers Beats By the Pound. Master P and TRU released their third album True in 1995 and it was the group's first major released after two independent albums and it managed to make it to #25 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #14 on the Top Heatseekers. The album was known for its first single and one of Master P's best known songs "I'm Bout' It, Bout It". He also worked on the compilation album, Down South Hustlers: Bouncin' and Swingin' during that year. On April 16, 1996 Master P released his fifth album Ice Cream Man. It contained his hit single from the album "Mr. Ice Cream Man", which accelerated Master P's rise to fame. Later in 1996, Master P returned with TRU to work on Tru 2 da Game, which would not be released until February 1997. At that time TRU was reduced to a trio with just Master P alongside his brothers C-Murder and Silkk the Shocker. On September 2, 1997, Master P released his breakthrough album, Ghetto D. The first week sales of the album were the highest of any of Master P's albums, selling over 761,000 copies and went on to go certified triple platinum. It contained the hit single "Make 'Em Say Uhh!", Master P's highest charting single to date. On June 2, 1998, P. Miller released his seventh and best selling album to date MP Da Last Don. Master P released a film of the same name earlier that year. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 charts selling over 400,000 copies in its first week and went on to sell over four million copies. On October 26, 1999 Master P. Miller released his eighth studio album Only God Can Judge Me which contained his single "Step To Dis". The album went certified gold selling over 500,000 copies. In 1999, Master P & TRU released their fifth studio album Da Crime Family. On November 28, 2000, he released his ninth studio album Ghetto Postage which contained his hit singles "Bout Dat" & "Souljas". Also in 2000 Master P and his new group 504 Boyz released their debut album Goodfellas which peaked at #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and contained their hit single "Wobble Wobble".

2001–05: The New No Limit[edit]

On December 18, 2001, Master P released his tenth studio album Game Face, the first Master P album released on The New No Limit which had a partnership with Universal Records. In 2002, The 504 Boyz released their second album Ballers which both albums making it high on the Hip-Hop charts but shortly after No Limit slowly declines in popularity and record sales as well as roster changes and lawsuits caused No Limit Records to file for bankruptcy on December 17, 2003. Master P's eleventh album, entitled Good Side, Bad Side, was released on March 23, 2004 and was #1 on the Independent Billboards. Master P & TRU released their last album The Truth in 2005.

2005–07: Guttar Music[edit]

In 2005, Master P and his son Romeo Miller formed the independent label Guttar Music. On April 26, 2006, P. Miller released his twelfth studio album Ghetto Bill. It contained the single "I Need Dubs" which sampled LL Cool J's "I Need Love". On November 29, 2005, P. Miller released his first independent album Living Legend: Certified D-Boy on Guttar Music. Master P and 504 Boyz also released their last album entitled Hurricane Katrina: We Gon Bounce Back that year and it was dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, Master P released a collaboration album with Romeo titled Hip Hop History that sold 32,000 copies worldwide.

2010–present: No Limit Forever & current works[edit]

On December 6, 2010, it was announced that Master P was going on a new tour with his brother Silkk The Shocker and Romeo entitled No Limit Forever International. On February 8, 2011 Master P was featured on rapper Gucci Mane's track entitled "Brinks". It is his first recorded song in over four years. On 10 August 2012, he performed at Detroit, MI rap duo Insane Clown Posse's 12th Annual "Gathering of the Juggalos" concert. On November 16, 2011 Master P released his first Explicit mixtape & first solo project in over 6 years entitled TMZ (Too Many Zeros). On August 2, 2012 it was announced that Master P was working on his thirteenth studio album Boss Of All Bosses. On September 17, 2012 Master P released snippet of an upcoming single entitled "Friends With Benefits" featuring Houston rapper/singer Kirko Bangz. On December 11, 2012, DJ 5150 & DJ Hektik released a tribute mixtape to Master P entitled Uptown Veteran.

On January 16, 2013 Master P released his second official mixtape entitled Al Capone as promotion for his Boss Of All Bosses album. Then on February 12, 2013 Master P released his first collaboration mixtape entitled New World Order with his new group Louie V. Mob which includes himself, Atlanta rapper Alley Boy & Washington, DC rapper Fat Trel . On August 6, 2013, Master P released his third official mixtape entitled Famous Again as promotion for his Boss Of All Bosses album, it featured appearances from Rome, Silkk The Shocker, Dee-1, Young Louie, Play Beezy, Gangsta, Howie T, Clyde Clarkson, Game, Chief Keef, Fat Trel, Alley Boy, Problem, Wiz Khalifa, Tyga, Chris Brown & production from 1500 & Nothin, Young Bugatti, Stiv Schneider, The Composer & JB. On December 6, 2013, Master P released his thirteenth album entitled The Gift.

On January 23, 2014, it was announced that The Gift would be re-released on February 21, 2014, as a Video album with a Music video for every song & it would be entitled The Platinum Gift. On February 6, 2014, it was announced that Master P was working on two new albums, Ice Cream Man 2, which is a sequel to his critically acclaimed debut major label album Ice Cream Man & Boss Of All Bosses. On February 28, 2014 Miller released his fifth mixtape The Gift Vol. 1: Return of The Ice Cream Man.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Contents

Other ventures1.1 Film and television career1.2 Business career and ventures1.3 Pro Basketball Career

Other ventures[edit]

In 1998 Miller ranked 10th on Forbes magazine's list of America's 40 highest paid entertainers with an estimated income of $56.5 million. In 2009 on Forbes in his mogul career it was estimated at $661 million, making Miller at the time the highest paid hip hop entertainer in the world. In 2013 Miller's financial status as an American rap mogul is a net worth estimated at $350 million, making him #3 of the highest paid hip hop entertainers.

Film and television career[edit]

Since 1997, Master P has been in numerous feature and straight to DVD films and television shows. His filmography includes Uncle P, Uncle Willy's Family, Soccer Mom, Gone in 60 Seconds, Toxic, Foolish, and I Got the Hook Up. Miller recently teamed up with Romeo to develop a children's cartoon titled 'Gee Gee The Giraffe. The show is true to the duo's mission to produce positive, educational and entertaining content for African-American children. Animation has been employed by the Millers on prior occasions such as their February 2008 cartoon version of their music video for the song "Black History." Miller has also made history as the first hip-hop entrepreneur to own a cable television network, Better Black Television or BBTV, which was meant to promote positive messages and content to the African American culture. The network was launched in 2009. Executives include Denzel Washington, Derek Anderson of the Charlotte Bobcats, DJ Kool Herc and Bo Derek. Miller is starring in a new film with his protege Gucci Mane entitled Get Money which is based on his book of the same name. Master P also starred on Romeo! on the children's network Nickelodeon from 2003 to 2006. He was also a contestant on Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 2) replacing his son Romeo Miller who dropped out due to an injury. He partnered with Ashly DelGrosso and received the lowest total score of 8 for his paso doble, the lowest score in the show's history. He was eliminated on Week 4. In 1999, he had a small run in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) where he led a professional wrestling stable called the No Limit Soldiers in a feud with Curt Hennig's West Texas Rednecks.

Business career and ventures[edit]

Aside from being a rapper, Master P is a successful entrepreneur and investor. He was one the first rappers to take notice of the retail aspect of the music industry. Since making his foray in the entertainment business, Master P has operated several external ventures since the 1990s. He has bought a real estate company, a gas station, a No Limit clothing line, a phone-sex company and a sports management firm that represents several basketball draft picks. As an investor, Master P was one of the first rappers to build a business and financial empire by investing in a wide range of business ventures from a variety of industries. He utilized a strategy by investing his business profits in other business ventures and investments. He has since invested the millions of dollars he made from his No Limit record company into a travel agency, a Foot Locker retail outlet, real estate, film production, toy making, a phone sex company, clothing, telecommunications, book & magazine publishing, car rims, fast food franchises, gas stations, and sports management agency No Limit Communications, a joint venture with marketing guru, Djuan Edgerton, was a surprising success. No Limit Enterprises quickly became a financial powerhouse. According to Black Enterprise magazine No Limit Enterprises grossed $110 million in revenue in 1998 alone. This level of success inspired other Hip Hop artists to branch out into other business ventures and investments. In 2008, he started his own television cable network, Better Black Television.

As founder and CEO of No Limit Entertainment, Miller at one time presided over a business empire that included No Limit Records, Bout It Inc., No Limit Clothing, No Limit Communications, No Limit Films, No Limit Sports Management, P. M. Properties and Advantage Travel. Miller represented former NFL running back Ricky Williams when he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints. Miller also manages the music, film and television career of his son, rap star Romeo Miller, pop star Forrest Lipton and rap star Gucci Mane.

Before Master P, rappers had historically focused more on the artistic and glamourous side of Hip Hop while paying very little attention to the business and financial aspects. All that changed in 1996 when Master P signed a ground breaking music distribution deal with Priority Records, one where No Limit Records would retain 100% ownership of their Master Recordings and keep 85% of their record's sales while giving Priority 15% in return for pressing and distribution. Master P went on to make hundreds of millions of dollars from this deal. Additionally, Master P invented many innovative marketing techniques. According to Wendy Day, CEO of the Rap Coalition, "Master P had a whole marketing movement. He was the first person to market the way a corporate entity like IBM would market to their clientele." Whereas the traditional model for marketing records was to spend millions of dollars on expensive videos and air play, Master P didn't have such a luxury. As an independent artist he had to find a way to build platinum record selling demand on a limited budget. He began selling tapes out the trunk of his car in every city and town in America where there was potential demand for his music. He gave out free samples to people with expensive cars and had them playing his music all throughout their neighborhoods. This street level guerrilla marketing technique set the early foundation to build a larger fanbase for the future. After signing his historic deal with Priority P began a high volume business model cranking out as many records as frequently as possible. He branded all his albums, such that the No Limit brand became more important than the actual artist's name. Master P cross-promoted all his artists and albums inside the album covers. He also used pen and pixel graphics and mafia inspired themes to make his albums stand out. He offered 20 songs per album where as most albums offered 15 or less. He turned his artists into marvel comic book like characters rather than just rappers. He made sure his artists were #1 on soundscan every time they dropped an album to build the perception of popularity. He used cheap inexpensive videos to promote his artists and cross promoted and tied them altogether. Brand image became more important than just music quality. Master P's record labels have sold 75 million records as a result of his innovative marketing strategies.

Pro Basketball Career[edit]

Miller had a contract with two different NBA teams: the Charlotte Hornets during the 1998-99 season, and the Toronto Raptors in 1999 pre-season. Despite this, he was never actually on the regular season roster for an NBA team. He also played in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for the Fort Wayne Fury. In 2004, he played for the ABA's Las Vegas Rattlers. He took part in the 2008 McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and scored 17 points .Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Controversy[edit]

"Brick To A Million"[edit]

On Master P's new track "Brick to a Million" with Fat Trel and Alley Boy, Master P rapped lyrics that many interpreted as a diss to Kanye West & Lil Wayne. On the song, he raps, "New niggas wearing dresses, fuck it, I ain't scared to address it, Gangsta niggas on skateboards, I'm at the house breaking motherfucking headboards, Real niggas stand up."

During an interview with Power 106's Big Boy's Neighborhood, Master P cleared up misconceptions about the lyrics, stating that he was not addressing those rappers in particular but was instead talking about a radio station employee who told him he was finished. "Even that, that ain't a diss. I never made a diss record. Like I said, a lot of people, if you feel salty behind that, then I could say if the shoe fit well, I'm not afraid to address it," he said. "I just feel like in Hip Hop, we've got to stick to whether we're going to be real or we not. Like I said, I'm just addressing what I see. To be honest with you, that particular song wasn't about nobody in Hip Hop but I think people taking it like that. This was one of these guys that worked at the radio station and didn't believe in me and told me it was over for me. He ridin' up on a skateboard and got a little mini-skirt on. This a new dude into the business, and he telling me it's over for me."

P who was rumored to have issues with Cash Money Records back in the day, said that if the rappers took offense to the song, they might want to rethink their choices. But he insists that he has no beef with either of them. "If you feel guilty about something, then that's something you need to address about with yourself," he said. "Y'all gotta realize, we really from the streets. If there really was a feud, there would have been a problem. But I got love for Baby and them, Lil Wayne. They come from where I come from. It's always been a competition. Everybody wants to be the best."Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Artistry[edit]

Rapping technique[edit]

Miller has been known for his deep toned aggressive enunciation & his story telling rhymes on poverty, social injustice, police brutality & hope. Miller is also known for his catchy melody hooks. Miller is also known for carrying a theme for each of his album & his unique musical ability to connect with his audience.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Contents

Personal life1.1 Philanthropy1.2 Family1.3 Politics1.4 Author

Personal life[edit]

Philanthropy[edit]

Miller has dedicated his time to communities through P. Miller Youth Centers and his P. Miller Food Foundation for the Homeless. On July 12, 2005, Willie W. Herenton Jr, the mayor of Memphis, Tennessee presented Miller with the key to the city. On April 27, 2010 Miller along with his son Romeo was awarded the Certificate of Special Recognition, from Congress member Maxine Waters.

Family[edit]

He has multiple children including singer and actress Cymphonique Miller who starred in her own Nickelodeon sitcom "How To Rock, rapper Romeo Miller who also appeared on Nickelodeon with his sitcom "Romeo! (2003 - 2006), and rapper/actor Jamel Cook. Rappers Silkk the Shocker and C-Murder are his brothers. He is also the younger cousin of producer and rapper Mo B. Dick.

Politics[edit]

In late 2007, Miller got actively involved in politics where he supported and encouraged voter participation. Miller was an early supporter for the candidacy of Illinois senator and subsequent U.S. president Barack Obama. On December 30, 2010 it was announced that Miller and his son Romeo would attend and host an event with Michelle Obama for Anti-Obesity.

Author[edit]

In 2007, Miller released the self-help book "Guaranteed Success," with Urban Books/Kensington Books. rawn from his involvement in Donald Trump's empowerment seminars, and inspired by the work of Robert T. Kiyosaki, in "Guaranteed Success" Miller addresses the issues of self and self-esteem, offering a method for overcoming fear and other obstacles and that prevent us from taking the right steps toward financial freedom.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Filmography[edit]

Television
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