Louisiana mogul and No Limit founder Master P is known as a powerhouse in hip-hop and is renowned as one of the first figures to make large amounts of money as a record executive. The label head (real name Percy Miller) has worked with the likes of Silkk the Shocker, Mystikal and Snoop Dogg. As such, he has a deep understanding of the record industry.
However, he released material of his own and, in an interview with XXL, alluded to the fact that he and other Southern artists from the 1990s may have started trap music. Although Miller’s early projects don’t sound sonically like modern-day trap, he suggests that he evoked the Southern spirit that led to the genre.
Speaking to XXL about his 1996 album, Ice Cream Man, Miller explained, “To me, I feel like it was the blueprint for trap music! Nobody wasn’t talking about hustling like I was talking about it. Nobody was really a boss in the music industry. Everybody had a boss, everybody had someone putting their music out. So when I talk about hustling and trapping, I think it opened the doors for the Gucci Manes and the Young Jeezys!”
Miller unveiled that he took inspiration from Rap-A-Lot, Scarface and Geto Boys but stated that he really broke down the door for the South, proclaiming, “I opened the doors for the rest of Southern hip-hop to where people could be themselves and be a real entrepreneur and businessman.”
He reflected on the wealth-generation front, recalling, “Back then, artists were just about lyrics and being talented. And I think I broke that mould by having an 85/15 deal so artists could really start making money off music so that this generation can make money now.”
Although Master P claims the culture and sound of trap may have begun in New Orleans, many see trap as an off-shoot of crunk music, which emerged during the electronification of hip-hop at the turn of the millennium in Atlanta.
Some of its main figures include producers and artists such as Young Jeezy, Jazzy Pha, Future and Gucci Mane. You can listen to Master P’s 1996 album Ice Cream Man below.