Written By: Jordan Smith
Originality: (5 / 5) Vocals/Flow: (5 / 5) Lyrics: (5 / 5) Production: (5 / 5) Average: (5 / 5)
For some reason when we talk about pioneers in Hip-Hop, often left out of the discussion is Master P. As the first prominent rapper out of the NOLA, he inevitably broke down doors for the stars of 2000s southern rap like Lil Boosie, Lil Wayne, and Birdman. It’s really a shame that the hip-hop entrepreneur with a net worth of more than $200 million ended up having to be the same guy who fails to make the “best ever” lists.
In between releasing two albums that peaked at number 1 on the Billboard 200, Master P managed to hoop his way onto the preseason roster for two different NBA teams and became executive producer of one of the greatest Nickelodeon sitcoms ever starring his son, fellow rapper Lil Romeo. As followers of hip-hop it’s probably safe to say that Percy Miller isn’t celebrated near enough for his work inside and out of the booth. In the name of preserving the colossal legacy he did make for himself, I had to go back and listen to his 1997 release, Ghetto D. 20 years later, themes that were present on that body of work are clearly the basis of what fuels Southern Rap today.
As for the production and lyricism, they both show the early stages of what was to come from the region within the near future. The soul samples give a sound and feeling reminiscent of the G-Funk era earlier in the decade, but the cadences and flows varied in pace which was becoming more popular due to artists like Three-6-Mafia and Bone Thugs who had the style down to a science already. Tracks like “Weed & Money” and “Eyes On Your Enemies” would lay the groundwork for what would later be known as “Trap Music.”
Gritty, uncompromising tales of southern inner-city street laws on record. The themes presented on “Captain Kirk” and “Plan B” were far ahead of their time and would give the green light for players across the south to put their stories on wax. The standout singles on the album “I Miss My Homies” and “Make ‘Em Say Ugh” couldn’t have been on further sides of the spectrum which highlights how versatile an artist Master P truly is, which is all the more reason for making sure that his name is always in the conversation when talking about the legends from hip-hop’s golden era of the 1990s.
By no stretch was Master P the best lyricist of a generation but similar to Tupac, the first global rap mega star, he was a pioneer and he did break down a ton of doors for his predecessors. Had Master P not played for the Raptors or Hornets in the preseason, who’s to say whether or not Jay Z or Lil Wayne would have their own sports agencies. Or think about the Andre 3000s, Big Boi and TI’s of the rap universe who found a second home for themselves on screen. Master P was the first pioneer to use quality music as a launching pad for a plethora of businesses. His music, like his entrepreneurship should be given a lot more credit amongst hip-hop circles.