Master P talks about his recent projects, collaborating with younger artists, and providing an early hit for Beyoncé.
Master P is back. The No Limit mogul took an extended hiatus, but his recentÂ collaboration with Alley Boy and Fat Trel, Louie V Mob, as well as his solo mixtape "Al Capone" now findÂ the legend re-energized. The rapperÂ spoke to Complex about his recent mixtapes, working with younger artists and producers, his biggest regrets, as well as givingÂ BeyoncÃ© one of her first hits.
View some excerpts from the interview below.
Can you tell me about the process of recordingÂ Al Capone?
Music, for meâyou go through a feeling. You go through that era when you get it. And I feel like that niche, that swag came back to me, where I could compete with this generation and time of music. A lot of people go by what they did in the past. When music comes to me, I want to deliver it.Â I feel like me listening, getting out and understanding the culture and where the musicâs at right now, [the music] went right back to my time. I think that a lot of people are remaking my old songs and putting a lot of Master P in their records.
How did you meet the producers you used onÂ Al Capone?
Deezle is from New Orleans. Heâs been in California making music, and when we connected, it was just like getting back with your homeboy. He had that heat. Young Bugatti, this kidâs in the 11th grade but he's got grown people music. Being able to find the next newÂ superstar on the production side, I feel I found a jewel, somebody [with whom]Â weÂ could get it, together.
Do you draw inspiration from FatÂ Trel and Alley Boy, now that youâre working with them?
They definitely gave me my youth back. Being around them, and being in the zone that theyâre in, they remind me of myself. These areÂ two young cats who work hard. We use the studio like the gym. Itâs not like we come in here to play, we come in here to work. We consider ourselves the Big Three. You have an OG and two young shooters that really understand the music business. I gave them the blueprint, and thereâs not no regular artist around here, these are my partners.
How did you first come across Fat Boy and Alley Boy'sÂ music?
I discovered them late. It was already brewing out there on the streets and I just felt like they didn't have somebody to actually stamp them as artists. I feel like weâre all misfits. Either people are crazy to deal with you or they canât see the true talent that you have. Thatâs what makes you a diamond in rough and I seen them as being diamonds in the rough. That same swagger, that same hungrinessÂ and grind to be successful. But they just need the right coach. I feel like Phil Jackson with two superstar players. Coming out to the streets, I think that thereâs no bigger team than us. Now, with the stuff weâve been through, the people weâve lost, the family members and friends we lost, to be able to put that in your music? People could really feel it. The authentic-ness.Â They come from the ghetto and they want to change their [lives].
Looking back on your career, do you have a major regret? Is there one thing that you wished youâd done differently?
I wouldnât say Iâll try to change my life for other people. I know I went through a growing process to where you feel like, âYou know what? You going to do this, youâre not going to do this, youâre going to give this up.â But like they say in the Bible, sometimes you have to go with your God-given talent and you have to do whatâs best for you. Thatâs one thing that I can look at in my life and say, "I got to do whatâs best for me, and I canât keep stopping my life for what other people think," because people are going to think what they are going to think, no matter what I do.
When you first hit the scene, No Limit did 75 million in sales and basically took over. Then it seemed like within a year or two, it disappeared. What do you think was the real cause of that coming to an end?
Everything has its time. Somebody else had their time before me. It was the Geto Boys and N.W.A. Some music is timeless, but as an artist, you have a certain amount of years. You've gotÂ to develop new production, and thatâs why I have younger producers. You have to be able to think about the future, you canât just think about now. In the hip-hop business, people only think of the now. If you look at a corporation, theyâre already prepared for when this slows down: How am I going to have the next, best technology? And I donât think music companies are doing that. They go with whoâs the hottest artist in the game right now.
What other contemporary artists are you listening to now?
Iâm listening to E-40, Iâm listening to Chief Keef, Iâm listening to T.I., Iâm listening to Rick Ross, Iâm listening to A$AP Rocky. Thereâs a lot of great records out there. Iâm listening to Gucci Mane.
Whose career are you most proud have been a part of? Youâve worked with so many artists and were an A&R basically for so many artists over your career.
BeyoncÃ©. I gave themÂ one of their first hit records. Iâm definitely proud of them. To watch where she's at, itâs amazing knowing that this was the same girl that was in my basement at my studio looking for records, and now sheâs able to reach her dreams.