Master P.Feb 16, 2008 47
Master P in the heart of uptown New Orleans, Louisiana, grew up in the third ward Calliope projects. After his mother and father separated, his mother moved to Richmond, California. Master P decided to stay in New Orleans and travel frequently to California to spend time with his mom. His mother agreed it was important for him to stay in school in New Orleans and grow up with his father and his family. Remaining in New Orleans, P and his brothers were raised by their paternal grandmother. When P’s grandfather came into an inheritance, P was given ten thousand dollars. Striving to be an entrepreneur, Master P took this money and opened an independent record store in Richmond, California called No Limit Records. After gaining first hand knowledge of the music industry as a retailer, P felt he had the business savvy to embark on his dream to become an entertainer as well as owning his own record company. No Limit Records, the retail store became No Limit, the record company. The first release, Master P’s “The Ghetto’s Tryin’ to Kill Me” sold over 100,000 units independently. The second release also from Master P was the EP “99 Ways To Die”, which went on to sell over 200,000 units, also without major distribution.
After selling over a quarter of a million records, several of the major labels came to Master P offering him a deal. Weighing all his options, he decided to sign his company, No Limit, to a straight pressing and distribution deal with Priority Records. “In order for me to stay true to myself and my company, I had to maintain complete creative control,” says P. When the deal was solidified with Priority in 1995, No Limit Records released TRU (made up of Master P and his brothers, Silkk the Shocker and C-Murder). Their album entitled “True” went on to sell over 400,000 units, while patenting the phrase and hit song “Bout it Bout it.” TRUE continues to maintain a spot on the Billboard R&B album chart. With a national distribution deal and over a million records under the No Limit belt, Master P went on to make musical history by executive producing the first rap compilations’, “Down South Hustlers” and “West Coast Bad Boyz”. Both records held fast on the Billboard charts for several months.
As No Limit records continued to gain notoriety, Master P’s 1996 solo release of “Ice Cream Man” made a smash debut at number three on the Billboard R&B chart, selling over 800,000 units and counting. Also released from No Limit in 1996 were Kane & Abel’s “The 7 Sins” and Silkk the Shocker’s self-titled album, which entered the Billboard R&B chart at number six.
In early 1997 Master P released the unprecedented success, “Master P presents.. West Coast Bad Boyz II”, the follow-up compilation dedicated to Tupac Shakur. With the debut of the project at number two on the Billboard R&B chart and number eight on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, it was time to recognize No Limit Records. In the following weeks, P released TRU’s latest project, “TRU 2 DA Game”, which debuted at number two on the R&B chart, number one on the Rap chart and number eight on the Top 200. Within one week of its release, “TRU 2 DA Game’ was RLAA certified Gold and is now double Platinum.
As the success story thickens, Master P proves there’s ‘no limit’ to his dreams. His first feature film, ‘I’m Bout It’, a straight to video project that he financed, wrote, directed and produced, debuted number one on Billboard’s Top Music Video chart and has attained a multi-platinum selling status. The film is based loosely on his life growing up in New Orleans and expresses the harsh reality of survival in one of the toughest neighborhoods in America. ‘I’m Bout It’ stars Master P and co-stars Helen Martin, Mack 10, Moon Jones and a host of others. The soundtrack to ‘I’m Bout It’, also a Platinum seller, made history. According to Billboard magazine, ‘never before had a soundtrack charted unless it was accompanied by a theatrical film release.’ The soundtrack debuted number one on Billboard’s R&B album chart and number four on Billboard’s Top 200.
Approaching the latter part of 1997, the muck anticipated solo album from the Master himself is upon us, entitled ‘Ghetto D’. The album features appearances from gold and platinum recording artists’ Foxy Brown, TRU, Mystikal, Too Short, E-40 and Mia X, to name a few. The album is sure to be another huge accomplishment for Master P and No Limit Records. The first single and video ‘I Miss My Homies’ is an amazing song with an unforgettable book. Lyrically, it will touch any person who has ever lost somebody close to them. Another title track on Ghetto D is ‘Gangstas Need Love’ featuring Mercedes, Mystikal, Fiend and The Shocker, all of No Limit Records. Twisting that mid-tempo groove and hook from the Diana Ross hit ‘Since You Been Away” and topping it with Ps one of a kind style and flow, another kit is in order. All the tracks on Ghetto D are produced by No Limit’s production team, Beats By The Pound, and written by Master P, who will certainly be delivering another platinum story to the music game.
With all the success of No Limit records and all there is to come, one can understand why Master P is “Bout It’ and “Tru 2 Da Game’. No Limit has indeed become the most successful independent record company in the country. Thanks to Master Ps never ending vision for his empire, No Limit Records will continue not only to impress, but to have a major impact on the industry and fans for many years to come …. Cause there’s ‘No Limit’ for No Limit Records.