As the founder of the highly successful underground hip-hop label No Limit Records, Master P is the mastermind behind one of the biggest commercial sensations of the late 90s. With mainstream labels disassociating themselves from the gangsta rap genre, Master P and his crew of MCs have tapped a rich vein with a remarkable glut of gangsta-related product. Miller grew up in New Orleans, a city with a violent underbelly but far removed from the urban centres that would become associated with rap music, New York and Los Angeles. He spent time in California as a teenager, and eventually moved to that state to study business in Oakland. Left a substantial sum of money by his grandfather in the late 80s, he invested it in a music store in Richmond, California, No Limit, before starting the label of the same name in 1990. Noting a gap in the market for hardcore rap records with street beats, Master P and his production team Beats By The Pound began churning out records characterised by their use of lifted hooklines and rather clich?d G-funk backing.
Cheaply produced and recorded, and with no backing from mainstream radio or television, Master P and his team exploited the rap market to such an extent that the label soon became an underground sensation. Scoring an underground hit with his solo debut, 1994's Ghetto's Tryin' To Kill Me!, Master P shocked a music business used to records that followed a proven formula to commercial success. He formed Tru with his brothers C-Murder and Silkk The Shocker, providing the label with its mainstream breakthrough when their debut album entered the R&B Top 30. Further Master P albums, 99 Ways To Die, Ice Cream Man (US number 26, May 1996) and Ghetto D (US number 1, September 1997), established the highly successful No Limit practice of using an album to promote its roster of rappers and advertise future releases. With Silkk The Shocker and C-Murder releasing breakthrough albums, and a support cast including Mia X, Mystikal and Young Bleed, No Limit was by now firmly established as one of hip-hop's most popular labels. Master P's self-produced and self-financed autobiographical movie I'm Bout It, was another showcase for No Limit's gangsta rap and G-funk fixations. Denied a cinema release the movie went straight to video, while the soundtrack entered the US album chart at number 4 in June 1997. Another movie, I Got The Hook-Up appeared in summer 1998 at the same time as the chart-topping Master P album, MP Da Last Don. The same year No Limit released the new Snoop Doggy Dogg album, Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told, under the rapper's new moniker Snoop Dogg. In February 1999, Silkk The Shocker's Made Man topped the Billboard album chart. The indefatigable Master P's other interests include a clothing line, a sports management agency, and personal forays into basketball and pro-wrestling.
No Limit was rechristened New No Limit following its transition from Priority to Universal Records in 2001. The label's new partnership was inaugurated with the release of Master P's Gameface in December.… Expand
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