L . A ., May 10— Percy Miller sat behind the large pine work desk in his office here recently, putting on a pound of gold jewelry and a bulletproof vest and playing one gangsta rap song after another from his upcoming album, ''Da Last Don.'' Record stores state the record is a shoo-in going to #1 in the pop charts when it's circulated the following month, but Mr. Miller says it'll be his last as a solo singer. He really wants to concentrate on being an entertainment exec.
Better known to rap fans as Master P, the 28-year-old Mr. Miller is a self-made millionaire plus one of rap's many inspirational success tales. As to what he claims was a $10, 000 malpractice settlement given to his household after their grandfather died, Master P combined two years of junior college company classes and a whole lot more many years of what he calls ''street hustling'' to start out an archive shop after which accurate documentation organization, No Limit, which has, with little radio or MTV exposure, become one of the primary brand new independent labels in any form of songs.
As he says at the beginning of their ''99 Ways to perish'' record album, ''I'm not merely your every day rapper: I'm an entrepreneur.''
a go through the pop music charts lends quality to his claim. The other day only Warner Brothers had much more records within the Top 40 than No limitation. In its six many years, the label has actually offered over $120 million in records to a gathering therefore faithful that it purchases thousands and thousands of copies of an innovative new record by an unfamiliar group solely because the cover states No Limit.
The maps reveal half dozen No Limit functions almost totally unknown beyond your rap world - Silkk the Shocker and C-Murder (Master P's brothers), Sons of Funk, Young Bleed, Mystikal, Master P himself and, going into the top ten on Wednesday, Fiend.
''Master P has generated himself really limited time as a hip-hop icon, '' stated Ricky Leigh Mensh, an editor in the music-industry trade magazine Hits. ''He's become a hero to many people who have originate from difficult backgrounds and stated, 'Whatever it takes, I'm going to make anything of myself.' ''
And that's only music. Master P's aspiration stretches far beyond rap. As he could not get the sorts of package he desired for their first film, a low-budget ghetto docudrama called ''i am 'Bout It, '' he took $1 million from the lender and typed, directed, produced and starred in it. He released it separately on videocassette and sold over 200, 000 copies, making straight back his financial investment, he said, and $9 million roughly even more. By proving he could make a fruitful movie by himself, he was in a position to negotiate a distribution cope with Miramax for their next movie, ''I Got the Hook-Up, '' that will be released in theaters on 27.
Perhaps not the kind to attend and count box-office receipts, he made his third motion picture, some album cross-promotion labeled as ''Da past Don, '' within 11 days and plans to release it on their own in June. Some performers see their particular music as art, others see it as a vehicle to fame, however for Master P, films and music are assets. ''It's a business if you ask me, '' he said from behind his work desk, grinning through gold caps because of the letters M and P on them. ''I'm with it to make money. It really is work. It's the way I receives a commission.''
But how much money does Master P desire? 100 twenty million bucks, even if you subtract the 30 percent that record shops get and also the 15 per cent set aside for his distributor, Priority Records, is enough to retire on. ''There ain't no goal to prevent at, '' he stated. ''i suppose I would like to end up being the ghetto Bill Gates.''
In search of their aim of billions, Master P has recently moved beyond enjoyment: he's purchased an actual property business, a Foot Locker socket and a fuel section, in which he's begun a No limitation clothes line, a phone-sex company and an activities administration company that represents a few baseball draft picks.
''You spread out as you never know when it's gonna end, '' Master P said. ''Business is like a seesaw going up and down. Whenever one falls, I have another one increasing. You have to think like that should you want to endure.''
Conversing with Master P is similar to auditing a business-school program. In conversation he constantly shares his strategies of never investing more cash than he has got, of beginning a company by thinking small (''you must crawl one which just stroll''), of maximizing earnings by eliminating the middle males, of working two times as tough as anybody else and of having everything - their organization, their studio, his master tapes, his film negatives. In his handle Miramax, like, instead of selling the movie outright for a few $5 million, Master P stated he insisted on paying the movie's $2.5 million spending plan out-of his pocket and offering Miramax only a percentage of box-office receipts. In the event that movie fails, he swallows the loss, however, if it succeeds, he'll keep the revenue.
''Master P meets in to the custom each and every seat-of-the-pants business owner that's ever before worked in rock-'n'-roll and R-and-B company, '' said Bill Adler, a rap business veteran and former music critic which works the label Mouth Almighty/Mercury. ''exactly what differentiates him is his self-reliance and his media cautiousness. He's so confident by what his market desires he'll only place his money down and bet that their innovative hunches are right. Plus, to a sizable degree, he still is their market.''
Using A Custom, Making It His Or Her Own
Ice-cube, whose metamorphosis from gangsta-rapper to director and record-label mind took above ten years, concurred. He stated, ''He's one of the better businessmen i have ever before stumble upon.''