Percy Robert Miller|
Calliope Projects, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
|Net worth||US$350 million (2013)|
|Spouse(s)||Sonya C. Miller|
Percy Robert Miller, known by his stage name Master P or his business name P. Miller, is an American rapper, actor, entrepreneur, investor, author, filmmaker, record producer, philanthropist, and former basketball player. He is the founder of the record label No Limit Records, which was relaunched as New No Limit Records through Universal Records and Koch Records, then again as Guttar Music Entertainment, and finally, currently, No Limit Forever Records. He is the founder and CEO of P. Miller Enterprises, a conglomerate company, and Better Black Television, a short-lived online television network.
Miller gained fame in the mid-1990s with the success of his hip hop music group TRU as well as his fifth solo rap album Ice Cream Man, which contained his first single "Mr. Ice Cream Man". In 1997, after the success of one of his biggest singles to date, "Make 'Em Say Uhh!", went double platinum, Miller grew further in popularity. Then Miller released his second platinum album Ghetto D. Miller also starred in his own street film, mostly based on his life, I'm Bout It.
In 1998, P. Miller released his most successful album to date, MP Da Last Don. The album was also based on a film that Miller produced, which came out earlier that year with the same name. The album hit number 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, selling over 400,000 copies in a week. The album was certified 4× platinum, with over four million copies sold, making it Miller's highest selling album. In 1999, Miller released his eighth album, Only God Can Judge Me. It was not as successful as his previous album, though it reached a gold certification. Miller also starred in the movie I Got the Hook Up, with A. J. Johnson, and created the soundtrack of the same name. On November 28, 2000, he released his ninth album, Ghetto Postage, which sold 500,000 copies, but it did not compare to his earlier more successful releases.
In the early 2000s, as No Limit Records popularity was slowly declining, so was Miller's. Miller re-launched No Limit Records as New No Limit Records. In 2001 Miller released his tenth album entitled Game Face. In 2003, Miller starred in the film Lockdown. In 2004, Miller released his eleventh album, Good Side, Bad Side; it charted number 1 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and sold 300,000 copies. The same year, Miller released his first independent album Living Legend: Certified D-Boy on his new label Guttar Music.
In 2013 Forbes estimated Miller's net worth at nearly $350 million, which put him as the third-richest figure in hip hop at the time. On December 6, 2013, Miller released his thirteenth studio album The Gift on his newly founded label No Limit Forever Records. On November 27, 2015, Miller released his fourteenth album, entitled Empire, from the Hood to Hollywood.
Percy Robert Miller was born and raised in New Orleans in the Calliope Projects. He is the oldest out of five children. He has one sister, Germaine, and three brothers: Kevin, and platinum-selling rap artists Corey "C-Murder" & Vyshonne "Silkk The Shocker" Miller. He attended Booker T. Washington High School & Warren Easton High School. Having played on the basketball team, Miller then attended the University of Houston on an athletic scholarship, but he dropped out months into his freshman year and transferred to Merritt College in Oakland, California to major in business. After the death of his grandfather, Miller inherited $10,000 as part of a malpractice settlement. Miller opened a record store in Richmond, California called No Limit Records, which later became the foundation for his own record label of the same name. On February 15, 1990, Master P released the cassette tape Mind Of A Psychopath. His brother Kevin Miller was killed that same year in New Orleans. Instead of letting this destroy his dreams, it only increased the motivation of Master P to become a successful entrepreneur to change his life and save his family.
On February 12, 1991, Master P released his debut studio album Get Away Clean which was quickly followed by his second album Mama's Bad Boy, in April 1992. Both albums were released through In-A-Minute Records. In 1993, Master P released his first collaboration album with his group TRU entitled Who's da Killer? Master P released his third studio album The Ghettos Tryin to Kill Me! on March 18, 1994; it was later re-released in 1997 as a limited edition under Priority. That same year Master P collaborated on the No Limit compilation albums West Coast Bad Boyz, Vol. 1: Anotha Level of the Game & West Coast Bad Boyz: High fo Xmas. On June 6, 1995, Master P released his fourth studio album 99 Ways to Die. Master P and TRU released their third album True in 1995, which was the group's first major release after two independent albums. The album reached #25 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #14 on the Top Heatseekers. The album was known for its first single and one of Master P's best known songs "I'm Bout' It, Bout It". He also worked on the compilation album, Down South Hustlers: Bouncin' and Swingin' during that year.
1995–2000: Return to New Orleans and mainstream success
In 1995, Master P moved from Richmond, CA back to New Orleans to relocate No Limit Records with a slew of new artists and in-house producers Beats By the Pound. On April 16, 1996 Master P released his fifth album Ice Cream Man. It contained his hit single from the album Mr. Ice Cream Man, which accelerated Master P's rise to fame. Later in 1996, Master P returned with TRU to work on Tru 2 da Game, which would not be released until February 18, 1997. At that time TRU was reduced to a trio with just Master P alongside his brothers C-Murder and Silkk the Shocker. On September 2, 1997, Master P released his breakthrough album, Ghetto D. The first week sales of the album were the highest of any of Master P's albums, selling over 761,000 copies, and it went on to go certified triple platinum. It contained the hit single "Make 'Em Say Uhh!", Master P's highest charting single to date. The song earned him an MTV Video Music Award nomination the following year for "Best Rap Video", but lost to Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It". On June 2, 1998, P. Miller released his seventh and best-selling album to date MP Da Last Don. Master P released a film of the same name earlier that year. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 charts selling over 400,000 copies in its first week, and went on to sell over four million copies. On October 26, 1999 Master P. Miller released his eighth studio album Only God Can Judge Me, which contained his single "Step To Dis". The album went certified gold, selling over 500,000 copies. In 1999, Master P & TRU released their fifth studio album Da Crime Family. On November 28, 2000, he released his ninth studio album Ghetto Postage which contained his hit singles "Bout Dat" and "Souljas". Also in 2000, Master P and his new group 504 Boyz released their debut album Goodfellas, which peaked at #1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and contained their hit single, "Wobble Wobble".
2001–05: The New No Limit
On December 18, 2001, Master P released his tenth studio album Game Face, the first Master P album released on The New No Limit, which had a partnership with Universal Records. In 2002, The 504 Boyz released their second album Ballers. Both albums charted it high on the Hip-Hop charts, but shortly after, No Limit began to decline in popularity. Record sales as well as roster changes and lawsuits caused No Limit Records to file for bankruptcy on December 17, 2003. Master P's eleventh album, entitled Good Side, Bad Side, was released on March 23, 2004, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart. Master P & hip hop group TRU released their last album The Truth in 2005.
2005–07: Guttar Music
In 2005, Master P and his son Romeo Miller formed the independent label Guttar Music. On April 26, 2006, P. Miller released his twelfth studio album Ghetto Bill. It contained the single "I Need Dubs," which sampled LL Cool J's "I Need Love". On November 29, 2005, P. Miller released his first independent album Living Legend: Certified D-Boy on Guttar Music. Master P and 504 Boyz also released their last album entitled Hurricane Katrina: We Gon Bounce Back that year, and it was dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, Master P released a collaboration album with Romeo titled Hip Hop History that sold 32,000 copies worldwide.
2010–present: No Limit Forever & current works
On December 6, 2010, it was announced that Master P was going on a new tour with his brother Silkk The Shocker and his son Romeo entitled No Limit Forever International. On February 8, 2011, Master P was featured on rapper Gucci Mane's track entitled "Brinks". It was his first recorded song in over four years. Early 2012 Master P started to re brand his label with fresh new talent from the streets, including Graphic Designer @Hitmayne4Hire / HITGPX to revision the tanks look and bring back that "NO LIMIT" look with modern style to all future projects and promotions. On 10 August 2012, he performed at Detroit, MI rap duo Insane Clown Posse's 12th Annual "Gathering of the Juggalos" concert. On November 16, 2011 Master P released his first mixtape and first solo project in over 6 years, entitled TMZ (Too Many Zeros). On August 2, 2012 it was announced that Master P was working on his thirteenth studio album Boss Of All Bosses. On September 17, 2012 Master P released snippet of an upcoming single entitled "Friends With Benefits" featuring Houston rapper/singer Kirko Bangz.
On January 16, 2013, Master P released his second official mixtape entitled Al Capone as promotion for his Boss Of All Bosses album. Then on February 12, 2013 Master P released his first collaboration mixtape entitled New World Order with his new group, Louie V. Mob, which includes himself, Atlanta rapper Alley Boy, and Washington, DC rapper Fat Trel . On August 6, 2013, Master P released his third official mixtape entitled Famous Again as promotion for his Boss Of All Bosses album, it featured appearances from Rome, Silkk The Shocker, Dee-1, Young Louie, Play Beezy, Gangsta, Howie T, Clyde Carson, Game, Chief Keef, Fat Trel, Alley Boy, Problem, Wiz Khalifa, Tyga, and Chris Brown, as well as production from 1500 & Nothin, Young Bugatti, Stiv Schneider, The Composer, and JB. On December 6, 2013, Master P released his thirteenth album entitled The Gift.
On January 23, 2014, it was announced that The Gift would be re-released on February 21, 2014, as a Video album with a music video for every song, and that it would be entitled The Platinum Gift. On February 6, 2014, it was announced that Master P was working on two new albums, Ice Cream Man 2, which is a sequel to his critically acclaimed debut major label album Ice Cream Man, and Boss Of All Bosses. On February 28, 2014 Miller released his fourth mixtape The Gift Vol. 1: Return of The Ice Cream Man.
On January 5, 2015 Master P released his second collaboration mixtape entitled We All We Got with his new group Money Mafia, which includes himself, his son Maserati Rome, Ace B, Young Junne, Eastwood, Gangsta, Play Beezy, Calliope Popeye, Flight Boy, and No Limit Forever in-house producer Blaq N Mild. The mixtape would also include a surprise feature from fellow well-known New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne, on the track "Power". On February 9, 2015 Master P released his third collaboration mixtape entitled #CP3 with his No Limit Forever artist and fellow New Orleans rapper Ace B. On April 20, 2015 Master P released his fourth collaboration mixtape entitled Hustlin with his group Money Mafia. On June 4, 2015 it was announced that Master P's newest group Money Mafia would be releasing their debut album in 2015 entitled Rarri Boys. On June 8, 2015 Master P along with Money Mafia would release their first single from Rarri Boys entitled "Bonita". On July 16, 2015 Master P released his fifth collaboration mixtape entitled The Luciano Family with his group Money Mafia. On October 7, 2015 Master P would reveal the cover art's & announced that there would be three sequel album installments to his critically acclaimed debut major label album Ice Cream Man entitled Ice Cream Man 2: The Streets, Ice Cream Man 3: The Hustle, Ice Cream Man 4: The Lifestyle that will be released all on the same day. On October 13, 2015 Master P would reveal & announced the cover art, release date & track list to his upcoming new album entitled Empire that will be released on November 28, 2015. On November 27, 2015 Master P would release his fourteenth album titled Empire, from the Hood to Hollywood it would feature guest appearance's from Krazy, Lil Wayne, Maserati Rome, Money Mafia, Ace B, BlaqNmilD, Fame-O & Luccianos, it would be released via his label No Limit Forever Records & Globy House Records.
On February 23, 2016 Master P would release a new single entitled "Funeral" it would feature his new group No Limit Boys members Ace B & Angelo Nano. On March 2, 2016 Master P would release a new single entitled "Middle Finga". On March 16, 2016 Miller released his fifth mixtape entitled Middle Finga. On March 18, 2016 during an interview Master P would announce he was working on a new album entitled The Grind Don't Stop with his new group No Limit Boys & he would also announce his new tour entitled the Pop-Up Tour. On March 28, 2016 it was announced that Master P's newest group No Limit Boys formerly Money Mafia would be releasing their debut album in 2016 titled No Limit Boys. On August 21, 2016, Master P released his sixth official mixtape entitled The G Mixtape, it featured appearances from 2 Chainz, A$AP Ferg, E-40, The Game, Gucci Mane, Jeremih, Lil Wayne, Nipsey Hussle, No Limit Boys, Rick Ross, Usher, Travis Scott & Yo Gotti.
Aside from being a rapper, Master P has also enjoyed a highly successful career as an entrepreneur and investor. After the death of his grandfather, Miller inherited $10,000 as part of a malpractice settlement and opened a record store in Richmond, California called No Limit Records, which later became the foundation for his own record label of the same name. He has since parlayed his $10,000 initial seed capital investment into a $250 million business empire spanning a wide variety of industries. As a businessman, Miller was known for his frugality and keeping business expenses down and profit margins high. His shrewd business acumen allowed Miller to take his profits from one venture to bankroll the next venture.
Miller was one of the first rappers to notice and take advantage of the retail potential of the music industry. As an investor, Master P was one of the first rappers to build a business and financial empire by investing in a wide range of business and investment ventures from a variety of industries. He has since invested the millions of dollars he made from his No Limit record company into a travel agency, a Foot Locker retail outlet, real estate, stocks, film, music, and television production, toy making, a phone sex company, clothing, telecommunications, a jewellery line, auto accessories, book and magazine publishing, car rims, fast food franchises, and gas stations. His sports management agency No Limit Communications, a joint venture with marketing guru Djuan Edgerton, was a surprising success. His conglomerate company, No Limit Enterprises quickly became a financial powerhouse. His real estate investment and property management company, the New Orleans-based PM Properties controls over 100 properties across the United States. According to Black Enterprise magazine, No Limit Enterprises grossed $110 million in revenue in 1998 alone. This level of success inspired other rappers to branch out into other business ventures and investments. Miller also has his own line of beverages, called "Make ‘Em Say Ughh!" energy drinks. Miller has also made a foray into mass media, where he founded Better Black Television, a cable television network in November 2010 based in New Orleans, making him the first hip hop entrepreneur to establish a cable television network.
Before the arrival of Master P, rappers had historically focused more on the artistic and glamorous side of hip hop music while paying very little attention to the business, investment and financial aspects. All that changed in 1996 when Master P signed a groundbreaking music distribution deal with Priority Records, one where No Limit Records would retain 100% ownership of their master recordings and keep 85% of their record's sales while giving Priority 15% in return for pressing and distribution which allows No Limit to profit from future sales such as catalogs and reissues. Master P went on to make hundreds of millions of dollars from this deal. Additionally, Master P invented many innovative marketing techniques. According to Wendy Day, CEO of the Rap Coalition, "Master P had a whole marketing movement. He was the first person to market the way a corporate entity like IBM would market to their clientele." Whereas the traditional model for marketing records was to spend millions of dollars on expensive videos and air play, Miller didn't have such a luxury. As an independent artist, Miller had to find a way to sell, market and build platinum record selling demand on a limited recording budget. He was well known for keeping upfront business expenses down and profit margins high. He began selling tapes out the trunk of his car in every city and town in America where there was potential demand for his music. He gave out free samples to people with expensive cars and had them playing his music all throughout their neighborhoods. This street level guerrilla marketing technique set the early foundation to build a larger fanbase for the future. After signing his historic deal with Priority, Miller began a high volume business model of cranking out as many records as possible, as frequently as possible. He branded all his albums, so that the No Limit brand became more important than the actual artist's name. Miller cross-promoted all his artists and albums inside the album covers. He also used pen and pixel graphics and mafia-inspired themes to make his albums stand out using Photoshop. He offered 20 songs per album when as most albums offered 15 or less as Miller learned that customers wanted more for their money. He turned his artists into Marvel comic book-like characters rather than just rappers. He made sure his artists were number one on SoundScan every time they released an album, to build the perception of popularity. He used inexpensive videos to promote his artists and he cross promoted albums using films and vice versa and tied them altogether as a package. Brand image and identity became more important than just music quality. Miller's record labels have sold 75 million records as a result of his innovative marketing and branding strategies.
As founder and CEO of No Limit Entertainment, Miller at one time presided over a business empire that included his conglomerate No Limit Enterprises, No Limit Records, Bout It Inc., No Limit Clothing, No Limit Communications, No Limit Films, No Limit Sports Management, P. M. Properties, and Advantage Travel. Miller represented former NFL running back Ricky Williams when he was drafted by the New Orleans Saints, however the deal was rated the worst contract for a player in NFL History by ESPN. Miller also manages the music, film, and television career of his son, rap star Romeo Miller, as well as pop star Forrest Lipton and Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane. Miller was also the executive television producer for his teenage daughter Cymphonique’s Nickelodeon Show, How To Rock, and the co-creator Romeo!, the hit Nickelodeon television show that stars his son.
In 1998, Miller ranked 10th on Forbes magazine's list of America's 40 highest paid entertainers, with an estimated income of $56.5 million. In 2009, he earned more than $661 million, making him the highest paid hip hop entertainer in the world at the time. In 2013, Miller's wealth is estimated to be $350 million, making him one of the wealthiest figures in the American hip hop scene.
Film and television career
Since 1997, Master P has been in numerous feature and straight to DVD films, and in television shows. His filmography includes Uncle P, Uncle Willy's Family, Soccer Mom, Gone in 60 Seconds, Toxic, Foolish, and I Got the Hook Up. In 1999, he had a small run in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), where he led a professional wrestling stable called The No Limit Soldiers in a feud with Curt Hennig's The West Texas Rednecks. Master P also starred in Romeo! alongside his son Romeo Miller on the children's network Nickelodeon from 2003 to 2006. He was also a contestant on Dancing with the Stars (U.S. season 2), replacing Romeo who dropped out due to an injury. He partnered with Ashly DelGrosso and received a total score of 8 out of 30 for his pasodoble, the lowest score in the show's history. He was eliminated on Week 4.
In 2008, Miller has also made history as the first hip-hop entrepreneur to own a cable television network, Better Black Television (or BBTV011, which was meant to promote positive messages and content to the African American culture. The network was launched in 2009. Executives include Denzel Washington, Derek Anderson of the Charlotte Bobcats, DJ Kool Herc, and Bo Derek. As part of the BBTV project, Miller and Romeo teamed up to develop a children's cartoon titled 'Gee Gee The Giraffe. The show is true to the duo's mission to produce positive, educational, and entertaining content for African-American children. Animation has been employed by the Millers on prior occasions such as their February 2008 cartoon version of their music video for the song "Black History."
As reported in March 2011, Miller planned to star in a new film with his protégé Gucci Mane, entitled Get Money. The film, set for release through No Limit, would be based on Miller's book of the same name.
On June 10, 2015, it was announced that Master P and his family, would be starring in their own reality show entitled Master P's Family Empire. It is scheduled to be aired on Reelz sometime in November.
Miller had a contract with two different NBA teams: the Charlotte Hornets during the 1998 pre-season, and the Toronto Raptors in 1999 pre-season. He also played in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) for the Fort Wayne Fury. In 2004, he played for the ABA's Las Vegas Rattlers. He took part in the 2008 McDonald's NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and scored 17 points.
"Brick to a Million"
On Master P's new track "Brick to a Million", with Fat Trel and Alley Boy, Master P rapped lyrics that many interpreted as a diss to Kanye West and Lil Wayne. On the song, he raps, "New hittas wearing dresses, f it, I ain't scared to address it, Gangstas on skateboards, I'm at the house breaking headboards, Real stand up."
During an interview with Power 106's Big Boy's Neighborhood, Master P cleared up misconceptions about the lyrics, stating that he was not addressing those rappers in particular but was instead talking about a radio station employee who told him he was finished. "Even that, that ain't a diss. I never made a diss record. Like I said, a lot of people, if you feel salty behind that, then I could say if the shoe fit well, I'm not afraid to address it," he said. "I just feel like in Hip Hop, we've got to stick to whether we're going to be real or we not. Like I said, I'm just addressing what I see. To be honest with you, that particular song wasn't about nobody in Hip Hop but I think people taking it like that. This was one of these guys that worked at the radio station and didn't believe in me and told me it was over for me. He ridin' up on a skateboard and got a little mini-skirt on. This a new dude into the business, and he telling me it's over for me."
Master P, who was rumored to have issues with Cash Money Records back in the day, said that if the rappers took offense to the song, they might want to rethink their choices. But he insists that he has no beef with either of them. "If you feel guilty about something, then that's something you need to address about with yourself," he said. "Y'all gotta realize, we really from the streets. If there really was a feud, there would have been a problem. But I got love for Baby and them, Lil Wayne. They come from where I come from. It's always been a competition. Everybody want to be the best."
Miller has been known for his deep-toned, aggressive enunciation and his story-telling rhymes focusing on poverty, social injustice, drugs and drug dealing, police brutality, and hope. Miller is also known for his catchy melody hooks. Miller is also known for carrying a theme for each of his albums and his unique musical ability to connect with his audience.
Miller has been known for not only his music but mostly for his business acumen, due to creating and branding his highly successful independent record label No Limit Records, as well as his other business ventures.
Miller is held in high esteem by other rappers as well. During an interview after meeting Miller, Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz stated, "This is my first time meeting [him]. I just want to let him know how he influenced the whole South in Hip-Hop." 2 Chainz went on, "We used to argue people like they ain’t understand why we appreciated Master P and his music. It was more than that. I felt like it was his grind, his hustle. He actually put music out like every week. I even heard stories about some of the songs never even being mixed before. It was just about giving the fans what they needed. And he the reason why a lot of us are here, including myself."
Accolades and honors
In 1999, Master P won the award for "Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist" at the American Music Awards.
In 2005 Miller was ranked at #36 by VH1 in their list of 50 Greatest Hip Hop Artists. On September 29, 2008 Miller's single "Make Em Say Ugh" would be ranked at #94 by VH1 in their list of 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs.
In November, 2011 Miller's son Romeo Miller would perform at the 2010 Hip Hop Honors, along with his brother Valentino Miller, his cousins Lil' D and Black Don, and his uncle Silkk The Shocker, as well as Trina, Gucci Mane, and Mystikal to honor Master P and No Limit Records.
On July 10, 2013, Miller was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, making him the first hip hop artist to be inducted.
On January 20, 2015, Montreal R&B/Hip Hop artist Xav released a song with Master P called "Bout It Bout It", from his upcoming Zeeky EP, paying homage to Master P's 1995 international hit. The music video, which also features Master P, premiered on Vibe.com the same day.
On June 9, 2016, fellow well known American artist Usher would release a new single entitled "No Limit", from his album Hard II Love, the song would reference & pay homage to Master P's 1996 international hit "Make 'Em Say Uhh!" & Master P's No Limit Records release Ghetto D, Master P would also be featured on the official remix of the song entitled "No Limit (G-Mix)" with 2 Chainz, A$AP Ferg, Gucci Mane & Travis Scott.
Miller has dedicated his time to communities through P. Miller Youth Centers and his P. Miller Food Foundation for the Homeless. On July 12, 2005, Willie W. Herenton Jr, the mayor of Memphis, Tennessee presented Miller with the key to the city. On April 27, 2010 Miller along with his son Romeo was awarded the Certificate of Special Recognition, from Congress member Maxine Waters.
In late 2007, Miller got actively involved in politics, whereby he supported and encouraged voter participation. Miller was an early supporter for the candidacy of Illinois senator and subsequent U.S. president Barack Obama. On December 30, 2010 it was announced that Miller and his son Romeo would attend and host an event with Michelle Obama for Anti-Obesity.
- 1991: Get Away Clean
- 1992: Mama's Bad Boy
- 1994: The Ghettos Tryin to Kill Me!
- 1995: 99 Ways to Die
- 1996: Ice Cream Man
- 1997: Ghetto D
- 1998: MP da Last Don
- 1999: Only God Can Judge Me
- 2000: Ghetto Postage
- 2001: Game Face
- 2004: Good Side, Bad Side
- 2005: Ghetto Bill
- 2013: The Gift
- 2015: Empire, from the Hood to Hollywood
- 2016: The Grind Don't Stop
- TBA: Ice Cream Man 2: The Streets
- TBA: Ice Cream Man 3: The Hustle
- TBA: Ice Cream Man 4: The Lifestyle
- TBA: Boss of All Bosses
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- Official website
- Official Promo Site - Tru Tank Soldiers
- Master P's channel on YouTube
- Master P at the Internet Movie Database