Letters To The Editor-April

Don't Dis Master P pg#2

Whats Up? I've been into Master P since The Ghetto's Trying to Kill Me. I had to go through great lengths to get the tape, it was not something that is regularly carried in the music stores here. When I finally recieved it I thought it was dope, even though it isn't like the Master P we all know today. I owned this tape with a lot of pride knowing I was maybe the only one to have it in my city. I think people have a problem with P because he blew up. It was no longer acceptable for the underground audience to like P because he was gaining huge mainstream appeal. Like you said, Master P didn't sell out, everyone else came to him. You could consider him a mainstream rapper doing underground music.

What is considered as Pop Music has changed considerably. If Master P came out 7 years ago with the shit he is doing now, he wouldn't be as popular. You would prpobably read about him being scorned the same way that Cube or NWA or The Geto Boys were back in the day. For me it is hard to hear kids from the suburbs talking Master P this or that, when they think his first album was Ghetto D. Its weird to hear my girlfriends 12 year old sister play I Miss My Homies and singing it word for word. What we need to do though is congratulate P on his success and feel proud for what he has become. All of those that were down with him when he was still Unknown can say I remember when...

Peace FlyAssRy.

hey yo, i totally agree with your opinions towards P. people need to realize wherre he's come from and how he works. he does what he wants because he likes it, not worrying about what the public will think. Also, consider how many other rappers he has brought to the mainstream. Through his success, he has uplifted several talented unknowns to the status of stars. he is bout it. what else can you say. plus with his films, he's a complete player. he's doing what is inside him. and he's letting that pur out for the world to either embrace or disregard, or disrespect. I don't think he really cares. no limit is who he is. Stay crunk..............


Percy Miller [Master P] is a genious. Being a university student studying Business Administration at the Richard Ivey School Of Business , I have studied numerous amounts of bus cases involving a vast array of businesses. I've studied and discussed P's marketing schemes many times and the way P's ran his business so far, there's truly no limit.

P knows how to fool you. P will say an album has gone platinum when it hasn't. He'll say gold when it 400,000. He'll write "Banned in theatres accross America" or "Independent underground movie of the year". In other words, he'll hype his shit up. These messages have a huge effect. You see ads for artists that haven't even started recording yet. Hip hop hasn't seen marketing like this before. One of the lines in "I'm Bout It" made his plan clear. "We'll get some rappers. Have big concerts. Fill up the stadiums and even if they don't fill up, we'll act like they do." That's essentially what has seperated P from other labels. He makes himself look bigger than he actually is. So why is P selling so much right now? Cause everyone wants to know what all of this hype is about. Who created this hype? Not the mainstream. Not the radio. It was P.

They say that pop albums sell. But P doesn't make pop albums. Ask anybody that isn't into rap music who Master P is and there's not a chance in hell that they'll know. But how come? They know who Puffy is. They even know Ice Cube and Tupac. The only thing beating P is this French Canadian internationally known singer by the name of Celine Dion and the soundtrack to the biggest movie of all time. And believe it or not, no one really knows Master P. He's not a mainstream artist but he's got billboard on lockdown. P has created this hype. Not his music. Not the radio. P

All of his success wouldn't have came without the true no limit fans. And why does he have fans? Well, those ghettos that exist in the NY also exist in the South. And they can relate to P's uuuuggh. They feel those beats that come by the pound. They want those rolexes,rings,phones,etc that they see on his album covers. They want to charge it 2 da game. P makes good music. It's not pop though. He has created his own brand of gangsta rap that represents his people. His music is purely for the streets. The shit doesn't get any rawer. But wait a second? P has how many albums on billboard? When you find your niche market, you find success and that success has escalated to something that has gotten out of hand. Those fans that feel P because of the music have helped him become mainstream. Those fans that made "Ice Cream Man" go almost gold are the same fans that made mainstream America turn it into what is now probably at least platinum.

P doesn't make high quality music. But obviously some folks were feeling it and P took advantage. He created this hype. All of a sudden, his market isn't only the black folks down south. The little white thirteen year old who comes to the mall with his mom and sees all of those CD's that look funny. The CD cover says that he'll get "more value for his money" with so many tracks and he saw that ad in the Source that said No Limit was the number one independent record label in America. Damn Master P must be good. He has to be. Then P focuses on quantity not quality cause more albums bring more money. Two weeks later comes the next No Limit release and believe or not, once you buy a Master P album, either you'll hate it or you'll listen to it long enough until you actually start feeling it.

So one by one, P goes mainstream. He reaches the ghettos all over America. Without the mainstream on his side. That uuuggggh that you made fun of last year is everywhere and whether you like it or not, the more you hear it, the more you think of why P is so big. That term "Bout it" that you hear over and over seemed so ridiculous a couple of years ago. Now that the Cocoa B's, Common, Lox, and your local DJ start using it, P becomes cool all of a sudden. P created this hype. No one but P.

P's success is not the music but the way he presents it. He's not original. He's arguably worst than Puff. Everything he does is biting. Listen to his lyrics. Listen to his flow. Comparisons can be made. He makes a movie. He bites Scarface, Boyz n Tha Hood, and on and on. He uses Pac's fame to his advantage. Y'all can't deny this. Yes, he has his own sound cause any no limit track can be identified even if the volume is on level one but P does bite more than most in the industry. But was Dre right when he said gangsta rap was dead? Hell no. Americas feenin' for violence and P provides it in the rawest form.

Eventually, this hype will die down. The true fans will always be there. But they're the ones that buy from the mom and pop stores that Soundscan doesn't keep track of. They're the ones that will tape it off a friend. But there's no way that mainstream will always feel P. His music is on the pop charts because he has made himself popular like no one else. Luckily, P is intelligent enough to know that he won't have Billboard on lockdown forever. That's why he's going into films which will come and go. That' why he's starting sports management along with some other ventures.

In one way or another No Limit will always be successful. So don't even start the Death Row comparisons. There's four categories in running you Business. Marketing- No Limit has invented a new style of marketing that McDonald's can't even comprehend. Finances- When you get 85% Your money is straight. When the money is in the family. Your money is straight. No Limit's money is Master P's money. Operations- P has the last word on everything. he calls the shots. his determination and drive won't let someone else fuck him over, yes it's all legal and it's all about money, maximizing output as in no classic material but a new release every other week has proven to not only be efficient but also effective. Human Resources- when you run an army, you have to be ready for war.

P has made sure that every one who is a part of the army is ready for war. If your not putting in 100%, you're out. If you don't wanna act like a part of the family, you're out. It's that simple. Don't let other people control your success. Suge let that happen. P won't let that happen.

MG Carson

What you said about Master P is what I have been sayin to people ever since he blew up. I haven't listened to him since he was 'underground'(because its hard to find out about underground music where I live and I was younger)but I have listened since around the 'Ice Cream Man' album and he didn't get props form many people back than either.

I always had the ideas you just expressed and never exactly how to put it so people would listen, or maybe when I say it they're just like ' Whos this kid to tell me....' but people may listen to you. I listen to all different groups(e.g. Company Flow, Wu-Tang, No Limit, etc.) because Im open mined about things. Some kids that just listen to underground say Master P aint real because he talks about guns or money but thats what hes seen all his life. Just because it may be violent doesn't mean that its not real.

Some people say ' violence gives Hip-Hop a bad name' well let people think what they want as long as thats what you know and you not makin up the violence to sound cool. When I refer to P, I'm basicly refering to the whole No Limit family because they all grew up in hard places and thats what they know. I recomend that anyone who doubts P to rent his movie "I'm Bout it"(it's only a few $$ you can spare it) its a true story and you will gain new found respect for him. I'm not sayin you gotta like his music, just respect him just because he's a celebrity doesn't mean he 'sold out', he's had money since he sold drugs, he's just makin it legally now. All Im sayin is give P and all of No Limit a chance.

Camaka Z

On a personal tip.. It looks like Master P with all his success and high visibility is headed to that same arena as Puffy.. He's about to be the scorn of hip hop.. It's interesting watching Master P's rise.. When he used to live here in the Bay Area.. he was never given any love on radio..Not even on the college stations, yet he was always a hot item in the streets.. He always had love in the South.. Watching P and his No Limit Army makes you realize just how large this country is.. and that there's always room for someone to get in where they fit in...I can understand how folks would get mad at Puffy for remaking old hit records.. But Master P hasn't really done that... His commercial success was more of a forced situation..
* I knew when 2Pac and Biggie died that some interesting things were going to happen. The mass media wanted to jump on something next. Enter the No Limit army. I respect Master P for one thing and one thing only. He knew how to market product. Yes....the adds are just so corny I laugh, and it can be down right playing to all those negative sterotypes, but he did something right. More undergrounders should take the "best of" of Master P (his music business mind) and incorporate that into the music also. Trust me I know this, many undergrounders think that the music and the music alone is going to put them over, but Master P is living proof that it isn't the case. *

in the sense that at least here in the Bay Area he was selling so many records and getting so many request... commercial radio had no choice but to start playing him.. His sound is not something that has and was easily embraced..I mean how do you go from a soft and warm song by Brian McKnight into an abrasive, loud ass song by Master P? It's not something that comes natural for a lot of folks.. But hey, if people are requesting it.. Then that's what they'll get... Me, personally I don't know what P did to garner all this love.. I can't hear it in the music... But whatever he is doing works..

* Marketing, some Music videos in rotation that will influence radio DJ's to put it in rotation, a Vibe cover, a few movie soundtracks, he is working it that is for sure. *

If you recall a few issues back I talked about how while djaying at a niteclub I played the Big Daddy Kane classic.. 'Ain't No Half Steppin', It was mixed in real smooth and the entire dance floor of about 500 people cleared.. People started complaining.. I followed up by quickly dropping Master P's 'How Ya Do Dat There' and the place went bananas... Right now the biggest record in the Bay Area is 'Make 'Em Say Uuugh'.. I even hear Funkmaster Flex is playing this track in New York... Who would've thought just a two years ago..

My question, 'Is Master P' considered an underground artist.. or a commercial artist..? He's doing the same stuff he's always done.. If anything he's moved away from a 'commercial sound'... Folks from the Bay Area may recall he had a few commercial sounding songs that never quite made it anywhere... But now that he's being played on radio I hear folks complaining that Master P sold out... I question that.. I also have to ask the question who is Master P's audience and how should they be perceived.. In this neck of the woods.. I remember Master P being strictly a 'hood' thing.. Kids with their hats flipped back and sporting gold teeth were grooving to him.. They still are... Now I see a bunch of other folks coming to the plate...

* Master P appeals to the lowest common demoninator. People that just don't know better. Have you ever seen a big budget Hollywood film, with all the big stars, that just insults your intelligence? Yet the film still makes the ducats? It's basicly trash and will be forgotten and buried in the "movies only $3" basket in Blockbuster, but the motion picture industry will keep making these films and people will keep supporting it at the box office and rental shops. Hollywood will say, "we just give'm what they want." the actors will say, "I got paid 10 million to do this so why not?" and the people will say, "I haven't seen a good film in a long time." Strange world isn't it? *

"I bring all this up so that we as hip hop lovers can watch how things evolve.. Master P may soon be the new poster boy for our dissatisfaction.. I just caution us to be aware of the reasons for our scorn..Are we jealous? Or our we mad because he manged to move the crowd with his sound and style more then 'more deserving underground artist' who has the ultimate flow... I've witnessed big time record executives swing through this area to help launch promotional campaigns on behalf of their artists.. I've seen groups drop through and make themselves known in the area.. I've seen hype videos being shown around the clock and I've seen a gauntlet of things come out the pocket to push artists like Gang Starr, Cappadonna and numerous others.. However, it's Master P who is blowing up the spot..How can I be mad when he took the same shots as everyone else...?

\ More importantly what do I say to that kid who comes through the local record store who has just watched the latest Gang Starr video.. Has just heard Rakim on the radio.. Has looked at the saucy Foxy Brown ad in the latest issue of Source Magazine..Has just passed a million Canibus posters and walks up and asks to buy the latest Master P tape? What do I say to that? Do I say that kid is ignorant and needs to be schooled? Do I give him more Gang Starr to listen to or make him watch more Rakim videos? What makes us any more schooled then he is? As I said before.. people got mad at Puffy cause he hit radio upside the head with his music.. He supposedly tailored himself for the masses.. So explain Master P.. He didn't go to radio.. Radio came to him... and he's blowing up like Puffy.. He's in everyone's record like Puffy.. He's on all these magazine covers like Puffy.. And I'm hearing the same complaints about like I did with Puffy.. What gives? Do you think 'Make 'Em Say Uuugh' was tailored for the masses..? I think not.."

* Do most people want to be hit with complicated metaphores, hidden meanings and off-beats? Most do not. The masses want something that's rather easy to listen too or grasp. A basic 4/4 beat and some rhymes you can hear and follow along too. This way you don't have to think to much. Most people come home from work and plop themselves down on the couch to relax. The last thing they want is something they have to decode and listen too 10 times to understand. Master P gives them the quick fix. But will it stand the test of time? Is it good art? I think not. I'll use the example of movies again...why do most quality films come from independent filmmakers? Why are the real good movies that stir your emotions never really the biggest box office smashes? Why do the crappy sex and violence movies make the top 10 for two weeks, get the quick millions, then fall off? Hummm......

I heard some one say Master P makes music for 'ghetto folks'.. He's an artist for the hood rats and hoochie mommas of the world...Well I thought hip hop was supposed to be from the hood... I thought the rough and rugged sound of artists like Canibus, Mos Def and others was the latest street vibe.. Is Master P talking to kids in some other ghetto... Is he reflecting the streets or is so called true hip hop no longer reaching that audience? Someone else said Master P's material is sloppy.. He can't rap and has no respect for the art of hip hop.. He's not creative... Well he may not lace beats together like Premier.. and he sure can't flow like Q-Tip.. But who has he bitten from..? What songs is he sampling from in 'Make 'Em Say Uuugh?'... I haven't heard too many songs sounding like that one... How many people other Mele-Mel moan and groan in their raps..?

It's unique onto him at this point in time..To me Master P is like the dj who can't mix beats on time.. but he still has the party rockin'... History tells us that there were music critics who back in the days who insisted that what the early jazz and rag time musicians were doing was not real music.. They were holding the notes to long and adding extra riffs and breaking format.. They were considered sloppy.. But man did they not get the place jumpin'... I see Master P in the same light.. He doesn't fit the format.. But hell he's got the joint rockin' more then any other at this time... And don't blame commercial radio.. because commercial radio came to P's party and asked to get down..not the other way around..

It all comes back to that kid who goes into the local record store.. He's being bombarded everywhere... and by everyone.. How did Master P get to him above all others? I didn't see Master P running around town trying to 'strong arm' folks to play his record.. Nor did I see him coming through giving everyone free trips..Although I will admit he did give me a t-shirt about a year ago.. But heck I've seen whole radio stations whined and dined at the fanciest restaurants by artist and still their project never left the ground.. Props to Master P and his success.. He's proof that if you really want to blow up in this hip hop arena you will and can do so... The trick here is to focus on your audience and amke sure you're giving them what they want...I honestly believe that's what Master P has done.. Everyone else has just decided to hop on board..and get down with him...

* Hate to say it, but not a whole lot of people are free thinkers like Davey D. They wait for someone eles to tell them it's dope. Or it's the "cool" thing to get. To be down with. Kind'a like fashion. It's fashionable to wear that, to listen to this...information that can be seen on music videos, magazines, and reflected on the streets. It doesn't mean shit, but it sure is "cool." Time has a funny way of sifting out the truth in the end. Liars, fakes, and frauds will be exposed for what they are. Styles will change, older hip-hoppers will say to the next generation, "what's that shit they are doing?" But the truth and good art will stand the test of time and be bookmarked. I know from my perspective. I want to be written about in books 10 years later, not be plastered all over every popular magazine from coast to coast and fall off in two years. *


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