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Master P Shrugs Off the Limits

Pop music* The rapper, promoter and clothing designer is undeterred by the slow sales of his latest release. He's got other ventures to work on.

January 11, 2002|NEKESA MUMBI MOODY | ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK — It's hard to find an area that Master P hasn't tried to master.

The 31-year-old hip-hop mogul, who at one time had a place on Forbes magazine's list of top-earning entertainers, is perhaps best-known for his rap label, No Limit Records.

The label not only put Master P (born Percy Miller) and Southern rap on the map, it also launched or helped resuscitate the careers of Snoop Dogg, Mystikal, Silkk the Shocker, C-Murder and Lil' Romeo, his 12-year-old baby-faced son.

But the New Orleans rapper has gotten just as much attention for his other ventures, including film producer ("I Got the Hook Up"), actor (the upcoming "Undisputed") and professional basketball player (he was waived by the NBA's Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Hornets).

His No Limit Sports firm represented then-rookie Ricky Williams during negotiations with the NFL's New Orleans Saints in 1999.

Lately, he's been trying to put the focus back on his music career with the release of "Game Face." The disc sold a disappointing 72,000 copies when it was released last month.

In addition, No Limit Records has lost some luster with the departures of Snoop Dogg and Mystikal, and the recent arrest of Master P's brother, C-Murder, on attempted murder charges.

Still, Master P remains undeterred. He's launching a new clothing line, called No Limit 100 Percent Genuine Urban Gear, and is working with cable network Nickelodeon to develop a show for Lil' Romeo.

Question: You were criticized when you negotiated Ricky Williams' contract. Some said his contract, filled with incentives, was a mistake because it garnered him less money. What's your opinion?

Answer: I don't see why it didn't work out. I think it was probably the best thing that happened to Ricky Williams and the best thing that happened to the Saints.... People need to realize that Ricky Williams wanted that incentive contract

Q: How have your brother's legal woes affected you?

A: Everyone has a black sheep in the family that's done something wrong.... You don't judge [a] person by what someone else does. We're definitely praying for him, hoping that this teaches him a lesson.

Q: Do you ever worry about losing touch with your fans?

A: I come from the ghetto; I don't worry about image, I worry about making money.... I think people get it wrong, think that you are not supposed to change.... There's nothing wrong with coming out of the ghetto, but you also have to remember where you came from.

Q: What are some of the things that you do to give back?

A: I help them by making sure that I can do something for them, like putting up computers in the community.

Q: Is there anything you miss about your pre-fame days?

A: I wish I could just walk in the malls and go to the movies.... But when I could do all that, I was broke (laughs).

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