The topic of ownership and its importance has been at the forefront of recent conversations for the last few years. Largely driven by what we see in the media, but especially as it relates to Black culture.
We all remember 50 Cent’s massive $90 million Vitamin Water deal and Dr. Dre’s enormous contract with Apple. We can look before that of course and even throw to our favorite Sean/Shawn duo and their historical apparel lines, Sean John and Rocawear. In more recent years Rick Ross has famously joined the conversation as a Wingstop franchisee with 25 locations. And while we’ve always applauded celebrities for owning their own there’s a name that often gets looked over, Percy ‘Master P’ Miller.
Most only know about the unprecedented contract he struck with Priority Records in the 90s, negotiating a deal that allowed him to keep 100% ownership of No Limit Records’ masters including holding onto 85% of its sales. He’d famously become known as the man who flipped a $10,000 inheritance to an empire worth more than $250 million. But that’s not where his relationship with ownership ends.
At its height, Master P’s empire included: No Limit Records, No Limit Enterprises, No Limit Clothing, No Limit Communications, No Limit Films, No Limit Sports Management, Bout It Inc. PM Properties (where he currently owns over 30 properties across the country) and Advantage Travel.
Let’s start with music.
Master P’s knowledge of the music business started in a San Francisco record shop he opened with an inheritance left from his grandfather. He’d go on to create the aptly titled, No Limit Records, making huge waves in the 90s. We’d be introduced to Silkk The Shocker, C-Murder, Mystikal, Mia X, Mac, Majic, the late Soulja Slim, Lil Romeo and re-introduced to Snoop Dogg (the west coast rapper signed with No Limit after leaving Death Row). In 1998 the label released 23 albums and sold 15 million copies, earning over $160 million. While their reign would go on to be overshadowed a bit by another New Orleans machine, Master P’s incredible success at marketing made it easier to forge ahead in areas outside of music.
Film and television was a natural lane for Master P to cross populate. With his successes in both music and fashion, the big and small screen made the most sense. His production companies No Limit Films and Genius Minds are responsible for more than 25 movies and TV shows. His most recent box office success: 2019’s I Got The Hook Up 2. The sequel to the 1998 cult classic, was completely funded by P and his son Romeo Miller and made $4,028 per screen, resulting in the film being the number one urban comedy in America.
Quite possibly the one place we never expected Master P to make his mark on was the $550 billion snack industry.
Unbeknownst to many, Rap Snacks, the chip brand that features Hip Hop stars on its packaging, is actually 26 years old, making its first debut in 1994 with Bar-B-Quin’ With My Honey. And while the concept of a flavored potato chip was hardly new, the color of the faces behind the brand was. The chip’s creator, James Lindsay, partnered with Master P in 2017 to relaunch the company with two of their most popular flavors, Migos’ Sour Cream with a Dab of Ranch and Cardi B’s Cheddar BBQ. To date Rap Snacks is sold in over 4,000 Wal-Mart stores nationwide. Fun fact: Lindsay invented the honey BBQ flavor profile in the chip industry over 25 years ago. Now he and Master P are embarking on the trillion dollar noodle business with Rap Noodles. P along with rappers Boosie and E-40 each have their own flavor (Creamy Chicken Gumbo, Louisiana Hot Spicy Chicken and Beef Prime Rib respectively) accompanied with, you guessed it, their likeness.
There are a few other notable business ventures worth mentioning, including Monyatti, Master P’s 2018 sneaker brand which recently signed a multi-million dollar manufacturing and distribution deal. And his 2019 acquisition of House of Glory, a professional wrestling league, where the idea is to merge Hip Hop with wrestling, a feat only he can make happen. And if you’re ever in New Orleans, you can stop by Big Poppa Burgers his new restaurant that specializes in burgers with over-the-top toppings.
You’d be hard pressed to find an industry Master P hasn’t touched in some way. When we talk about ownership and education in our community and those that have elevated this mindset long before it was popular, let’s remember and celebrate the master behind it all.
Further Reading: Pick Up ‘Guaranteed Success’ by Master P.
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