When Master P and his New Orleans-based No Limit Records entered the music scene in the ’90s, they didn’t just change the game. They reinvented it.
The Southern hip-hop artist and his music label ushered in hits such as a “Bout It, Bout It” and a new way of marketing music. In the process, No Limit became one of the biggest independent record labels of all time.
It was all through the vision of self-made mogul Percy Miller, aka Master P. No Limit artists have included Snoop Dogg, Mercedes, Silkk the Shocker, Mystikal, Mia X, Mac, C-Murder, Magic, Short Circuit, Lil Soldiers, Romeo Miller, Fiend, Kane & Abel and Soulja Slim, among others. Master P’s solo album, “Da Last Don,” was one of more than 20 albums that No Limit Records released in 1998. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 495,000 copies in its first week, NPR reported.
No Limit has gone through several relaunches. It was relaunched as New No Limit Records through Universal Records and Koch Records, then again as Guttar Music Entertainment. It is now known as No Limit Forever Records.
Master P, who himself has a string of hits as a rap artist, is also the founder and CEO of P. Miller Enterprises and Better Black Television, a short-lived online TV network. He started film and TV careers as an actor and producer. His first movie was a low-budget ghetto docudrama, ”I’m ‘Bout It.”
He used $1 million of his own money to write, direct, produce and star in it, then released it independently on videocassette. The straight-to-video flick sold over 200,000 copies, earning him back his investment, he said, and $9 million-or-so more, The New York Times reported.
For his feature film, “I Got The Hook Up” Master P made a deal with Miramax. He would not sell them the film outright for some $5 million. Instead, Master P insisted on paying the movie’s $2.5 million budget himself and gave Miramax a percentage of box-office receipts, The New York Times reported. The film took in $10.3 million — another smart move by Master P.
For his most recent film, Master P and his son Romero, financed “I Got The Hook Up 2,” which became the No. 1 urban comedy in the U.S. during its limited release in July 2019 and brought in $4,028 per screen, Forbes reported.
Besides entertainment ventures, Master P has bought a real estate company, a Foot Locker outlet, a gas station and a New Orleans restaurant called Big Poppa Burgers. His popular Rap Snacks are now being sold in thousands of Walmart stores.
Along the way, Master P also started a No Limit clothing line, a phone-sex company, and a sports management firm that, at one point, represented several basketball draft picks, The New York Times reported.
Master P owns his own basketball league — Global Mixed Gender Basketball. He went to college on an athletic scholarship and was signed to two separate NBA contracts in the late 1990s, playing for the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors during the 1998 and 1999 pre-season, respectively.
Worth an estimated $200 million, Master P knows a thing or two about business.
Here are 10 Moguldom business and motivational quotes from Master P.
“Mine is a rags-to-riches story,” Master P told NPR. “Jimmy Iovine offered me $1 million in the ’90s (to be under contract) and I turned it down and walked away and built my empire into hundreds of millions. So, imagine if I took that million dollars. I would have been done. That probably would have been the only money my family would have seen…I tell people all the time, don’t do a business deal when you’re desperate. At that time I was living in the projects. I would’ve sold the rights to my name. I never would’ve been able to use my name again. So we have to be able to read these contracts.”
”You spread out because you never know when it’s going to end,” Master P told The New York Times. ”Business is like a seesaw going up and down. When one goes down, I have the other one going up. You have to think like that if you want to survive.”
“What do you think is the first thing gonna come to you when you get some money? Whether you’re a professional athlete or entertainer or actor or whatever. The first thing gon’ come to you is a lawyer and a financial adviser. The women, all that’s gonna come, the opportunity, all that. But a lawyer and a financial advisor. Now imagine you’re from the ghetto. You’ve never had no money. All of a sudden this guy comes up with a suit on and he’s going to tell you what to do with your money. But this how he’s gonna get you: He’s gon’ tell you, ‘It’s not going to cost you no money. I’m going to take 5 percent of what you make, and I might even give you some money.’ Because they already know what you’re worth. So all they’re going to do is write checks for you, pay your utility bills, write the checks to your parents, your friends or relatives, whoever, ’cause you ain’t got time to do that. So they want 5 percent of your money. So think about this, 5 percent of your money, you never met ’em. So two or three years from now, when you get that big contract, it’s $100 million. What’s 5 percent of $100 million?” Master P said in an interview with NPR.
“I want to cross-promote everything that I have,” Master P told Yahoo Finance. “That’s been the key to our success. Saying that if we cross-promote, we can open up opportunities for so many different people. And that’s what I love about my business. It’s not about one thing.”
“Because it’s all marketing,” Master P told Yahoo Finance. “At the end of the day, when you sell one of these businesses, you want to be a part of that business on the marketing side.”
“Understand your investment,” Master P told Yahoo Finance. “A lot of people like to get in stuff, say they just want to make money. I tell people all the time, ‘You can’t make money. You got to love what you doing, be passionate about it.’ So when you’re making that investment, make sure it’s something that you know and you believe in. And if you’re investing in somebody, make sure they have skin in the game, too.”
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“In business, if you’re going to be an entrepreneur, maybe you might need to cut off some people that’s not worth it for your business or bad for your business, whether it’s family members or friends,” he told Yahoo Finance. “I tell people all of the time, get into the game. You know, that’s the only way. Nothing beat a failure but to try.”
“Work hard and never make excuses.”
“I want to be like Muhammad Ali. He went out there and made a lot of money, he fought hard in the ring, and he fought for our people outside of the ring,” Master P told Black Enterprise.
“I feel like God blessed me to be successful and to have a couple of more things that a lot of people where I come from didn’t have or didn’t see, but it ain’t always about me. It’s about empowering the next generation so that’s what I love doing,” Master P, per AZ Quotes.