Louisiana rapper Master P is not only a legendary emcee but a respected record executive, actor and entrepreneur. Born and raised in the impoverished Third Ward of New Orleans, the musician (real name Percy Miller) has cemented his place in the hip-hop history books as one of the best rappers to come out of the South.
Master P comes from a family of talent and is, in fact, the brother of two other renowned Louisiana musicians. The oldest of five children, Miller is an older sibling to C-Murder and Silkk the Shocker.
Although Miller is a Louisiana native, he decided to attend Merritt College in Oakland, and it was in the Bay Area that he would first get his big break. Following his graduation in 1989, in 1990, Miller released his debut mixtape, Mind Of A Psychopath. Much to his surprise, it picked up quite a lot of traction in Oakland and managed to garner so much attention he landed a record deal with In-a-Minute Records. Founded by Jason Blaine in 1990, the label was home to MCs working the underground bay area rap scene and exclusively pushed rappers located in Oakland. Other ’90s acts who were signed to the now-defunct label include the RBL Posse, Andre Nickatina, I.M.P, Pooh-Man and the Totally Insane Crew.
As a prominent figure in Oakland who needed an official body of work, in 1991, Master P released his debut studio album Get Away Clean. Nationally, the project flew under the radar. However, one Oakland rapper who loved it soon became a superstar and called upon Master P to perform alongside him. Throughout the 1990s, Master P was the opening act for 2pac and even went on several national tours alongside the legendary California emcee. As a result of this, Miller and his music received mass exposure, and his buzz eventually spread nationwide.
With a solid nationwide fanbase in the US and Canada by 1995, Miller saw it fit to move back to New Orleans and begin producing more solo material. However, with a degree in business studies and business administration, the entrepreneur simultaneously founded a record label that would grow to become legendary. As the founder of No Limit Records, Miller cleverly used his LA contacts to propel the label. In 1994, the label released several compilation albums including, West Coast Bad Boyz, Vol. 1: Anotha Level of the Game and West Coast Bad Boyz: High fo’ Xmas. The 1990s saw Death Row and other LA-based collectives dominate the culture. Miller capitalised on this by having West Coast artists release exclusive music through his label en masse via mixtapes.
Despite being located in New Orleans, following the dissipation of Death Row, No Limit released Snoop Dogg’s music for an extended period until the turn of the millennium. No Limit was also home to Silkk The Shocker, Mystikal, C-Murder and Soulja Slim. Miller also released several hit albums while running the label including, Ghetto D and MP Da Last Don. As an extremely gifted musician himself, in a 2019 interview with Nick Cannon on LA’s Power 106 FM, Miller was asked to name his top five favourite rappers. You can take a look at his picks below.
Master P’s five favourite rappers of all time:
- Snoop Dogg
- Biggie Smalls
- Lil Wayne