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.. 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.. 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...
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..
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... Let me know what you think?
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