Rap mogul has Empire with No Limit

Rap mogul has Empire with No Limit

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Show "Empire" reminds a home-grown music mogul of his own life.

Ten years since his last album, Master P is redefining himself in a new age of hip hop, but he never forgets his roots in New Orleans.

We caught up with Master P shooting a reality show on Decatur Street.

"I'm a baby boomer, I've never heard of him. I'm just taking pictures to send to my kids," said one woman wondering what all the fuss was about outside Peaches Records.

It's been a decade since his last album, but Master P, born Percy Miller, is still a star, and his No Limit label is legendary. The original Peaches in Gentilly is where some of his first music was sold - part of where his story begins.

"I was just a young kid in the Calliope projects with dreams saying, 'I want to make it,'" he said, walking through he isle at the record store

His success is more than lyrics and a beat.

"I don't want to be just an artist, I want to run my empire. This is the way I want to run my empire This is a No Limit empire."

Miller says even though he lived in the ghetto, education was part of his life. From the beginning, the tough days in the Calliope have been a theme of Master P's music. The old bricks are the background for raps that were at times raw and real.

"My music tells stories, but there is violence in these communities," he said.

His father, Percy Miller Sr., remembers life in the Calliope.

"It was an experience. It was like a war zone and we survived," the rapper's father said.

Master P's brother, Kevin, died at 18 in the late 80s in gun violence. His brother, Corey "C Murder" Miller, is serving a life sentence for a 2002 killing.

"I got a brother deceased and a brother incarcerated, I felt I had to break the cycle," Miller said.

Master P went to Booker T. Washington High School and was good enough at basketball to earn a scholarship to the University of Houston. Now his son, Lil' Romeo, and even some of his other children follow in his musical footsteps.

Some say it reminds them  of the fictional music mogul Lucious Lyon in the show "Empire."

"When you have a black man and you running a multi-million dollar business, I think that's the similarity," he said. He thinks it's a good show for the music business.

When asked who is living larger, he or Lucious, P replied, "I mean, I never seen no gold ceilings in Lucious Lyon's house. You know what I'm saying?"

Master P is making new music and keeping up with changing times. It's made him rich, with an estimated worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars range. But there's more.

"I been doing real estate, film, clothing, and I have a new master cam coming out," he said.

And he's filming a new reality show, parts of it in the hometown he loves. He marvels at Musician's Village.

"A lot of people look at Hurricane Katrina and call it bad," he said. "Why not talk about the good stuff? This is the good stuff."

He says there are beautiful people around New Orleans - people who have been through a lot. He says it's about surviving and picking up the pieces.

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