How Master P Flipped A $10,000 Life Insurance Settlement Into A $250 Million Business Empire
When you browse our annual ranking of the richest rappers in the world, many of the top names are probably easy to guess. You’ve got your standards… Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Diddy and Jay-Z. And then you may be surprised to who comes in at #8.
The eighth richest rapper in the world today hasn’t had a major hit in over a decade. In fact, his once dominant rap label filed for bankruptcy back in 2003 and his most recent self released studio album sold just 75,000 copies. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, we are talking about the ultimate No Limit soldier, Percy Miller. Better known as Master P.
It might be hard to fathom today, but back in the mid-to-late 90s no other rap label or CEO was more successful than Master P and No Limit Records. Master P pulled himself out of one of the roughest and poorest ghettos in New Orleans by launching a hugely successful business empire that earned him hundreds of millions of dollars. And it all started with a $10,000 life insurance settlement check.
Master P – The Early Years
Master P was raised in the Calliope housing projects, one of the most violent and drug infested areas of New Orleans. P planned to get his family out of the ghetto by playing in the NBA. After high school, he won a basketball scholarship to the University of Houston. Unfortunately P’s NBA dreams were dashed after he suffered a severe knee injury during the first few months of freshman year.
After the injury, Master P left Houston and transferred to Merritt Junior College in Oakland to be closer to his family which had recently moved to the nearby city of Richmond. Determined to make something of himself and help his family live a better life, he soaked up as many business classes as he could at Merritt. In 1990, tragedy struck when P’s grandfather was killed in a work related accident. The one bright side of the accident was that it left Percy with a $10,000 malpractice insurance settlement check.
Armed with $10,000 and two years worth of junior college business classes, Master P decided to open a record store. He found a dilapidated building and struck a deal with the owner that gave him the first three months rent free in exchange for cleaning and renovating the storefront. The 21 year old future mogul soon launched “No Limit Records & Tapes” on San Pablo Avenue in Richmond, California. To reduce costs in those early days, Master P lived in a tiny storage room in the back of the shop with his wife Sonya and their one year old son, Percy Romeo Miller, Jr (AKA the future Lil Romeo).
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