By Victor Ochieng
“I turned down $1 million from Jimmy Iovine,” Master P said. “My brother was like, ‘We need to take that money and take over the hood.’ it was a bad contract. It was a seven year deal. I could never use my name anymore. Jimmy was like, ‘I got Suge Knight, I got Puff; if I had you, I got the hood. I told him I was going to get something to eat, I left and never came back.”
Instead of letting that experience dampen his spirit, it just inspired him to take his hustle to a whole new level. “I decided to search on how I could get my own label,” he said. “At the time, Michael Jackson had the best deal. He was getting about 22 cents per record sold. I went to Michael Jackson’s lawyer. He told me he would talk with me if I gave him $25,000. That was a lot of money in the 1990s [laughs]. So I talked to him and he said the only thing that can put you close to Michael Jackson is a distribution deal. He told me I needed $200,000 to market my album.”
Where was he going to get that money? He had “to figure it out.”
He added, “The record companies came in the hood and tried to sign me. He was from Priority Records. I told him I wanted a distribution deal. I had about $200,000 to market. The label agreed to do the deal. I was able to take my story and believe in it.”
Master P talked about being passionate about what he was doing back then. Regardless of the challenges that were coming his way, he never gave up. “I was always passionate about everything I was doing,” he told his listeners. “It was never about the money for me.”
Many people discouraged him, telling him he wasn’t going to make it. However, he never let their discouragements get to him, choosing to surge forward, regardless.
“The competition was real for me back then,” P said. “Tupac and Biggie were still alive and people told me that I wasn’t gon’ make it.”