Perhaps you don’t use Spotify, the internet’s latest free music craze.
If not, then you are not aware that you can have access to a plethora of artist’s music catalogues in entirety and can access them in the order you choose (unlike, say, Pandora Radio). It is great, as I have blogged about previously.
And because Spotify is ad-based, the artists allegedly make money on the deal. It’s a win-win proposition for listener and for artist.
However, the biggest winner in the Spotify revolution is one artist in particular – Percy “Master P” Miller. Already hailed as the most successful hip-hop mogul you have never heard about, Master P has added to his industry allure by providing one of the funniest biographical profiles on the internet (You can find it on Yahoo! music as well).
I recently discovered his biography while reminiscing about my high school days in the Palestine High School marching band, otherwise known as the No Limit Drum Line. Master P played a formative role in our drum solos and percussion battles. I was even given a hip-hop name by our drum captain. He called me “White Chocolate.”
Reading the Spotify profile about Master P was a throw back to middle school. It even reads as if a middle school student got obsessed with hip-hop during a coming of age moment and went crazy with the urban dictionary references. Consider this important sentence:
His albums were recorded cheaply and packaged cheaply, and almost all of the records on No Limit were interchangeable, but that didn’t matter, because Master P kept making money and getting paid.
I’m no grammar wizard, but I am pretty sure that sentence was a run-on and contained too many commas. Furthermore, aren’t “making money” and “getting paid” the same thing? Classic P.
Then there is the back story of P’s meteoric rise. His grandfather died and P’s family won a medical malpractice suit to the tune of $10,000. He parlayed that check into a music store, then a recording studio, then a music label. P’s business model was the Wal-Mart of rap music, focusing on being the low cost, high volume supplier of cheaply produced rap tunes from the streets. He discovered a niche in the burgeoning rap market and found that he could produce “funky, street-level beats that the major labels weren’t providing.” And provide he did.
The Spotify biography adds:
By the mid-’90s, No Limit had developed its own production team, Beats by the Pound (comprised of Craig B., KLC, and Mo B. Dick), which worked on every one of the label’s releases. And there were many releases, hitting a rate of nearly ten a year, all masterminded by Master P and Beats by the Pound. They crafted the sound, often stealing songs outright from contemporary hits. They designed album covers, which had the cheap, garishly colorful and tasteless look of straight-to-video exploitation films. And they worked fast, recording and releasing entire albums in as quickly as two weeks.
Master P was a rap entrepreneur genius and got paid handsomely. Forbes estimated his net worth at $50 million by 1998 (on par with Puff Daddy). Today, having added a sports agency, clothing line, film production studio, and sex chat line (you read that correctly), he is currently valued at $350 million. The whole rags-to-riches story is amazing, for sure, but also tragic. Master P is to be commended for his ambition. But, really? A sex chat line? No limit adult conversations via phone? Really P?
Then there are the videos referenced. Tight Whips is a favorite for the lyrics and worldview confusion. One rapper says, “I ain’t pay the car note in about 3 months / I’d rather, spend my paper on Henney (Hennessy Cognac) and blunts (marijuana).” Dave Ramsey would not approve of such a spending plan.
Then there are the pictures . . . Oh the pictures! Keep in mind that most artists use carefully and tastefully shot artistic photos from talent agencies and promotional pieces. That approach just won’t work for someone who is “making money” and “getting paid” AT THE SAME TIME. Master P opted to get his photos shot at Sears in the photo studio next to the tire shop. Same backdrop. Different wardrobe (Obviously to communicate the complexity of personality and the various hats that Miller wears as a media mogul).
Again, for my money, it doesn’t get better than reading up on Master P. And just in case you are wondering, Master P is laughing too…all the way to the bank.