For today’s edition of “Blow The Whistle,” we head back to the west coast, then down south with Richmond, CA/New Orleans, LA superstar rapper Master P.
Percy “Master P” Miller, also known as the Ice Cream Man, is an integral part of Hip Hop’s deeply-woven fabric. Not only is he one of the few rappers that can claim 2 coasts (west and south), he also helped usher in a new, entrepreneurial era of Hip Hop, destroyed the boring ethos that album covers had to be a certain way (with the help of Pen & Pixel Graphics), and introduced a record label roster full of eccentricity and originality.
People don’t give Master P credit for being the mastermind that he clearly was. Aside from having an uncanny knack for spinning delightful urban anthems, his formidable marketing strategies and penchant for sniffing out unique talent helped him build one of the most well respected rap labels in the 1990s. Proof of his perpetual success is evident as the Do It Myself attitude continually echoes in the forefronts of today’s Internet-driven music business. And truth be told, there might not be such a heralded respect for the south had it not been for Master P (among others as well, of course).
No Limit Records, which started as a small record shop in Richmond, California, was home to P, Silkk the Shocker (P’s brother), Mystikal, Mia X, Mac, C-Murder (P’s other brother), Magic, Romeo Miller, Fiend, Soulja Slim, Kane & Able, Snoop Dogg, and more. These acts, all totally different from one another, rounded out what comprised the No Limit sound, courtesy of Beats by the Pound. P himself released an mind-numbing 13 solo albums. That’s not counting the mixtapes, compilations, and soundtracks he was involved with. Really though, Master P got rich selling mediocre rhymes, which had a base in his real world — never forget — and funky beats to an ever-so-eager public, and that’s why we are praising him today.
Now, in all actuality, Master P was nothing more than a glorified dope boy, stringing basic words together over beats that were so superior to what was out at the time, they drowned out his regular ass raps. Everybody and their mom had some No Limit slap in the headphones or car stereo, bruh. If Pen & Pixel charged the label by the cover, in units, they cleaned up, just like P did. That’s how his records were moving back then.
Much like Too $hort and Nelly, Master P delivered his mediocrity in such a sexy package that many — if not most — of us decided to ignore the superior normalcy of his music. As far as rap referendums go, Master P was outrapped by every single artist he ever signed. And I’m 100% positive that he could not have cared less. When guest rappers outshine their song host, they Renegaded, in reference to Eminem outshining Jay Z on his own song. Surely then, getting Master P’d would be the exact opposite, because he has never outrapped anyone. In 13 albums, nary a sharp dart has ever been launched from P’s dry, Scrooge McDuck-like claws. I type this with full confidence of my accuracy. And, yes, I had every No Limit tape and CD.
Master P’s legacy will forever live on through his notable influence on Louisiana’s thriving rap community, the artists he introduced the world to, and the classic straight-to-dvd films he has dropped throughout his career. And he’s not done with music just yet, folks.
From d-boy to Ice Cream Man to spokesperson for a sham educational institution, Master P is clearly a Hip Hop legend and will never be forgotten, even if we can’t recite any of his verses from any of his songs.