His crew forever changed the face of rap. His label has earned more than 30 gold, platinum and multi-platinum certifications. He created the direct-to-video hip-hop market. And he's the only CEO on the Forbes and
Fortune's lists with gold fronts.
That's right, Master P and the New No Limit Records sit at the top of the
hip-hop game. With "Ballers," the second album from his platinum supergroup the 504 Boyz, the New Orleans entrepreneur will certainly taste the same success that has made him a household musical icon.
The follow-up to the group's 2000 platinum debut "Goodfellas," the 504 Boyz this time around are Master P, Silkk the Shocker, Magic and Krazy, and hot newcomers Choppa and T Bo, with an appearance from Lil Romeo.
"It's definitely a great time for this record," Master P says. This record contains elements from some of the hottest rappers out right now. There's always a new group that's going to bubble up and blow, but the 504 Boyz album went platinum and with the added ingredients, the new flavor is hot. This is the new beginning of the New No Limit. It's one of those records that's a classic."
Indeed, throughout the collection's 19 hard-hitting cuts, rap fans from every region will be able to find several songs that cater to their specific tastes. This well-rounded sound is not lost on the 504 Boyz.
"This is our second album and I think we've grown a lot," Silkk the Shocker explains. "We have some new talent in the group to look out for. This is a hot album and I like the direction that the 504 Boyz are going with this."
"Tight Whips," the first single from "Ballers," showcases the 504 Boyz's mammoth talent and follows in the same hitmaking talent they displayed with "Wobble Wobble," their 2000 platinum selling hit. But instead of rapping about women dancing, P and crew focus here on their lavish rides over a club-ready beat.
An irresistible posse cut, "Ballers" features exceptional tag-team rapping from the entire crew, from Master P to Lil' Romeo to Silkk the Shocker to Krazy to Magic to Choppa. "'Tight Whips' is hot," Master P boasts. "It was so hot that we couldn't hold onto it no more. The bootleggers are trying to get it. The streets want it. The clubs want it and everybody wants it."
The video for the high-octane single made its debut on BET's and Master P let us know that he owns each of the 13 cars featured in the clip. Yep, the Ghetto Bill Gates doesn't rent rides for his videos. He simply pulls his fleet out of the garage.
"Cars is what's happening," says Magic, who delivers a rousing erformance on "Tight Whips." "We wanted to make something that everybody's going to enjoy right now, something that's going to make people dance."
The 504 Boyz live up to that ideal throughout "Ballers." "Who Run This" and "Haters Gon Hate" are certified club anthems, while "My Life Is Sweet" contains the type of reggae flavor that is sure to set the party off.
Always ones to highlight their diversity, the 504 Boyz also deliver "I Got You Girl" for the thug girls who have helped make them hip-hop's hottest franchise. "There are a lot of women fans out there and they've always been loyal," Master P says. "You have to have songs that women can also relate to," he adds.
Fans are also loyal to talent. New members Choppa and T-Bo (No Limit's first white rapper) show impressive skills throughout "Ballers," showing why Master P brought them into the New No Limit fold.
This type of chemistry adds excitement to the mix and allows these up-and-coming acts to reach the heights of Master P, Silkk the Shocker, Lil' Romeo and the other 504 Boyz. "It creates a bigger fanbase because everybody steps up to their turn already having a fanbase," Magic says. "It brings in a variety of different audiences. We carried a certain type of audience for a long time. With these different flavors, we can cater to different crowds."
Producers Myke Diesel, Da Beat Boyz, Full Pack Music, Sinista and C-Los Beats make sure that their high-impact, block-rocking beats are tight, as they display on one of the most sonically diverse albums ever released by No Limit. In fact, Master P thinks this collection will impact across the country, from North to South, East to West.
"We've got an East Coast flavor on this record and it's still a Southern record," Master P says. "It's something different, unique. Everybody's stepped their game up and has their game face on."
Master P knows about keeping his game face on. With No Limit Records, he has sold tens of millions of records and created a movement with his recordings, movies and clothing lines (P. Miller Shorties, Romeo's clothing line, and P. Miller Jeans are both being launched this year).
P and the 504 Boyz will appear in the Revolution/Sony pictures feature film "Hollywood Homicide," (working title) which also stars Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnet and is scheduled to arrive in theaters in Summer 2003.
It's just another extension of his branding of the 504 Boyz. "We're just making hot music for the streets," Master P says. That's what we're doing."
That's how the 504 Boyz became "Ballers" in the first place.